Dance News: Gibney Unveils Bold New Vision with MORE Artist Residencies, A NEW Partnership with The Joyce, and an EXPANDED Social Justice Program
The Organization Becomes Simply Gibney, Operating a Total of 52,000 square feet, 23 studios and five performance spaces
Today, in recognition of its leadership in and commitment to social justice, community and all areas of the arts, widely renowned art and social justice nonprofit Gibney Dance becomes simply Gibney, concurrently unveiling a brand new visual identity and bold vision for the future. Central to that vision is a major expansion in both space and programs that encompasses new partnerships and residencies and provides a host of new opportunities for artists and social justice activists to work and create across a total of 52,000 square feet, 23 studios and five performance spaces, including 10,000 square feet of new studio and theater space unveiled today. The milestone caps a period of exponential growth and unparalleled success for the organization which, over the course of almost 27 years, has evolved from a socially active dance company with a single dance studio to a two-location performing arts and social justice powerhouse.
NEW NAME AND VISUAL IDENTITY
Regarding the change of name, Founder, Artistic Director and CEO Gina Gibney explains, “While dance will always be an integral part of who we are, we’ve realized that ‘Gibney Dance’ no longer effectively communicates the breadth of what we do. We have a multitude of incredible public programs, we support so many communities of dancers and artists, and we are deeply engaged in supporting survivors of domestic violence. Using just ‘Gibney’ going forward affords us the freedom to more easily cross and push boundaries, question mediums and approaches, and absorb and amplify the power of movement.”
She continues, “As we looked towards the future and took stock of everything that we do, we talked to our community — artists, activists, dancers, instructors, supporters, survivors, staff — about what Gibney means to them. Over and over we heard that Gibney is a place where people feel empowered, a home for all creative people to train and exchange, work and create. This sense of the importance of community transcends specific art forms or social justice practices.”
The new identity and website are now live at www.gibneydance.org.
ADDRESSING URGENT ISSUES OF AFFORDABILITY AND INFRASTRUCTURE IN THE ARTS
The new name and identity usher in the next phase of Gibney’s momentous 27-year evolution, with major expansions in both space and programs focused on leveraging all of the organization’s resources in close coordination and collaboration, to provide maximum artist support and flexibility. In terms of physical space, the organization’s home at 280 Broadway has undergone a 10,000 square foot expansion, unveiling six brand new studios including a fully equipped black box theater that will be used both for public performances and production residencies (more on that below). The expansion brings Gibney’s total footprint (between its two locations at 890 Broadway and 280 Broadway) to 52,000 square feet, encompassing 23 studios and five performance spaces, plus a gallery and a number of other meeting spaces and program hubs.
A major facet of this expansion is addressing the urgent need for affordable space and infrastructure to support artists and activists in New York City. With the addition of these new spaces comes a commitment to provide 25,000 hours of affordable space to artists and activists every year, ensuring that many varied voices are heard, that work has a chance to flourish and that it finds its audience.
The new studio and theater spaces at 280 Broadway received support from the City of New York and are part of the City’s Affordable Real Estate for Artists initiative (AREA).
The new fully equipped black box theater will allow for production residencies, enabling artists to develop work that requires technical support in a theater setting during the creative process.
Gibney’s signature mid-career residency program, Dance in Process (DiP), will also have a year-round home in the new space. Twelve residencies will be granted per year, incorporating exclusive, uninterrupted space in the new studios, as well as stipends and administrative, production and marketing support throughout the year.
Additionally, a vital aspect of Gibney’s next phase is to serve the arts and social justice communities through partnerships with other nonprofits and cultural organizations, sharing space and resources to collectively strengthen the field. Through a brand-new partnership with The Joyce Theater Foundation, one of the new studios will serve as the exclusive three-year home of The Joyce’s artist residency programs and rehearsal space needs. The studio — designed as an ideal space for rehearsals, residencies, showings and events — will enable The Joyce to continue to offer its flexible collection of residency packages that are customized based on the specific needs of dance artists. The Joyce will also introduce new artist services at Gibney that include a fellowship opportunity and highly subsidized rehearsal space offered to select choreographers and dance companies. With this partnership, The Joyce continues to fulfill its mission-based promise of serving and supporting the dance community and bringing it to national audiences.
ESTABLISHING MEANINGFUL SUPPORT FOR EMERGING ARTISTS
To address the current state of severe under-support for emerging artists, one entire new studio will be devoted to emerging artist residencies and a host of programs, services and opportunities.
Making Space+ is a brand new extension of Gibney’s main stage Making Space commissioning and presenting program, focused entirely on creating new levels of support for emerging artists. The program will nurture the development of new works by early career artists and bring unprecedented resources to bear at every stage of creation — from conception through presentation and beyond — making it one of the most robust emerging artist opportunities in New York City, if not nationally. It will leverage the whole of Gibney’s knowledge base and resources as a holistic artistic ecosystem, configuring production, rehearsal and professional development support to have the strongest impact on each participating artist’s career. Through nuanced and responsive support, the program will enable its artists to push boundaries and develop their best work at a scale and visibility level that can catapult them into the next career phase.
Gibney Dance Company: EMERGE
Another new program focused on the need to support emerging artists, EMERGE, will commission new works by emerging choreographic voices for the resident Gibney Dance Company each year. With EMERGE, Gibney hopes to cultivate, mentor and actualize the visions of today’s young artists to become tomorrow’s creative leaders in the field. The program supports the creation of new works, promotes their visibility in the NYC scene and nurtures emerging artists’ efforts by pairing them with seasoned choreographers as mentors throughout the creative process.
The inaugural EMERGE presentation will feature New York City-based choreographers Chanel DaSilva and Bobbie Jene Smith alongside Los Angeles-based Micaela Taylor. Mentor choreographers to be announced. Each artist will teach classes, offer creative process sessions and dialogues about the future of the dance field, and create a new work on Gibney Dance Company to premiere on shared evenings, May 2-4, 2019, in The Theater at Gibney 280 Broadway.
SERVING AS SOCIAL JUSTICE INCUBATOR AND MOBILIZER
Gibney has been committed to social justice since its inception in 1991, currently providing through its Community Action program: over 365 movement workshops per year that use dance to support survivors of intimate partner violence; in-school assemblies that work to promote healthy relationships and prevent violence for youth; and robust social justice programming at the Community Action Hub at 280 Broadway, as well as internationally through Gibney’s Global Community Action Residency program.
Now, with support from The Bay & Paul Foundations, Moving Toward Justice: An Arts & Community Action Incubator will take up residence in the new space with the goal of sharing resources and mobilizing artists as activists outside of the already continuously active members of the resident Gibney Dance Company (whose signature domestic violence and teen dating violence programs continue to expand) in order to tackle pressing social justice issues. This will be accomplished through research, reflection, dialogue and ultimately the implementation of impactful projects.
Fred Bay, President & CEO of the Bay and Paul Foundations, notes, “While much artistic expression has always been seen at least implicitly as social critique, this new initiative demonstrates Gibney's leadership in fostering a whole new discipline, one that explicitly utilizes and leverages the power of art for social change. We see Moving Toward Justice as exemplifying a significant and timely shift in the field, further mobilizing artists as powerful agents of change to propel the newly vibrant movement we are all sensing to achieve social justice and healing in these ever more fiercely urgent times."