PRESS RELEASE: New EtM Program to Support Dance in Jamaica

David Johnston



May 18, 2015


CONTACT: David Johnston (212) 886-2503 or 




(New York, NY) As real estate prices soar in Manhattan and Brooklyn, many performing artists are looking towards the borough of Queens.

Exploring the Metropolis (EtM), the only NYC-based nonprofit focused exclusively on workspace issues for the performing arts, has announced a new program to provide space for these artists. Applications are now available for the EtM Choreographer + Composer Residencies, in partnership with the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL) in Jamaica, Queens. The deadline is July 1, 2015.

These workspace residencies begin in September 2015 for four selected choreographer-composer teams collaborating on new work. Each team receives 120 hours of free rehearsal space over three months at the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning, along with a stipend. The residency is open to New York City-based choreographers and composers collaborating on new work. Choreographers working alone are also eligible. Artists will present one free public program in coordination with JCAL or the Jamaica Center for the Performing Arts.

“Artists need space to do their work – it’s as simple as that,” said EtM Executive Director David Johnston. “We’re excited to partner with JCAL, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation and the Endeavor Foundation to help support artists in Queens, and bring this work at audiences in Jamaica. “

This unique partnership is the first implementation of EtM’s Queens Workspace Initiative, a comprehensive study which examined space needs for performing artists living and working in Queens. The resulting 2014 report “I Want to Do More than Survive, I Want to Thrive” identified Jamaica, Queens as an area of rich potential for choreographers, composers and performing artists finding themselves priced out of other areas.

The Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning, located in the heart of downtown Jamaica, was founded in 1972 and features three dance studios, in addition to a visual arts gallery, a 99-seat proscenium theater, ceramics labs and a newly renovated music studio. It is a member of the City of New York’s Cultural Institutions Group (CIG), which consists of arts and culture organizations located on City-owned property.

“We are extremely excited to partner with EtM in this pilot program for Queens artists,” said Cathy Hung, JCAL’s Executive Director. “It aligns with JCAL’s founding vision to serve artists, especially emerging Queens artists. This program also expands our residencies program from visual art, dance, to music.”

The EtM Choreographer + Composers Residencies is supported by the Mertz Gilmore Foundation and the Endeavor Foundation.

Exploring the Metropolis, Inc. (EtM), founded in 1982, studies workspace, proposes solutions and implements programming to serve performing artists, community/cultural facilities and audiences in New York City. More information is available at



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