Building Spaces, Invigorating Places
Dance Place is both a pipeline to the national stage for emerging dancers and choreographers and a neighborhood hub for community-based education and youth development. The center is open nearly every day of the year, and delivers a range of programming to more than 750 people—audiences, dance professionals, and students— each week. Once a year, the organization transforms its street into a continent of cultures as DC’s home for Dance Africa. In 2012, Dance Place expanded its street presence to include hands-on outdoor art activities through the District’s Temporium project (a product of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Our Town program). Dance Place has helped nurture an impressive roster of professional alumni and graduates, many of whom return as faculty members and/or parents of new students. It has also been an engine of economic and community investment for the Brookland neighborhood of Washington, DC.
Dance Place’s commitment to permanent investments in artist space is grounded in its own history. Understanding that its mission to transform lives through performing arts and creative education programs required firmly planted roots, when Dance Place was displaced from the gentrifying Adams Morgan section of DC in 1986, the organization’s founding leadership quickly moved to acquire a permanent facility and purchased their Brookland facilities.
Support from LINC allowed Dance Place to invest in thorough planning to renovate and expand its facilities, and in so doing, to reinforce its position as a driving force in Brookland’s next chapter and the neighborhood’s future as a home to artists. The latter was evidenced by a recent commitment by Artspace Projects, a major national developer (and LINC partner), to create affordable live/work artist units adjacent to the Dance Place facility. Dance Place has helped transform what was once considered an undesirable neighborhood into a destination for artists and other creative people, with a wide array of dynamic art programs, both homegrown and world-class.