Back in May we learned that the MTA was close to evicting Lower Manhattan’s only venue for experimental theater, 3LD, and early this morning another way-Downtown arts institution sent notice of likely eviction in one week: Dance New Amsterdam. Located in the city-owned Sun Building at 280 Broadway, right across Chambers Street from City Hall, the 26-year-old dance and performing arts institution DNA was encouraged to stay in Lower Manhattan as part of the post-9/11 revitalization effort—the same one that put 3LD in its current situation—with over $4 million in grants and public money between 2004 and 2007, part of which was later rescinded, leaving parts of the 25,000 square foot space unfinished.
Since then DNA, like any subsidized arts institution, has been operating in the red or very near it, and though a new director since 2008 has helped restructure immensely, the center—which includes two galleries, six studios, a 130-seat theater and administrative offices—owes over $500,000 in rent and will be taken to landlord tenant court on July 14 and likely evicted.
Earlier this year, Dance Theater Workshop and Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company brokered a partnership to avoid similar situations for their respective companies, and perhaps a last-minute supporter will come to DNA’s aid. However, much like with 3LD, the city seems largely responsible for DNA’s troubles, encouraging a small but vital experimental arts non-profit to expand aggressively with ample funding before cutting them off. From the tone of the DNA press statement (which you can read in full here, just remember to sign the petition!), it sounds like it may already be too late. Between this and 3LD, there will soon be exactly zero permanent performing arts venues in Lower Manhattan.