EtM, “We Make Do,” and the CUNY Dance Initiative

David Johnston


In 2010, Exploring the Metropolis conducted a report for the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation on workspace needs of mid-career, single-choreographer-led dance companies in New York City.  The resulting report, “We Make Do, More Time is Better But Budget is King” cited a crucial need for affordable, available dance rehearsal space in New York City, and also recommended the City University of New York as a potential partner.

“Universities often have underutilized space in the summer and during winter breaks that can be activated for choreographic residencies, including the research and development phase.  This partnership would be advantageous for all.” (Download the PDF of “We Make Do.“)

Now CUNY has announced the CUNY Dance Initiative, a residency program to provide rehearsal and performance space to New York City-based choreographers, supported by the New York Community Trust and the Mertz Gilmore Foundation.

“The CUNY Dance Initiative was developed in response to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s report in 2010, “We make Do,” which cited the critical need for affordable dance rehearsal space in New York City, and mentioned available performing arts centers and other spaces on CUNY campuses. A successful pilot project last year supporting choreographic residencies and performance opportunities on four CUNY campuses prompted CDI to expand its scope.” (Download the CUNY press release.)

We’re thrilled to see the recommendations of our report come to fruition and we applaud the efforts of New York Community Trust, Mertz Gilmore Foundation and CUNY to come together to solve this crucial workspace problem. We thank The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for giving us the opportunity.

Read more about “We Make Do” and the CUNY Dance Initiative.

Wall Street Journal

New York Times







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