Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dance New Amsterdam files for bankruptcy protection

Dance New Amsterdam Files for Bankruptcy
by Felicia R. Lee, The New York Times, May 29, 2013


May 29, 2013

To the Students and Community of Dance New Amsterdam:

Many of you have seen the announcement that DNA has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.  We'd like to talk to you about what this means for the organization, and how it affects you directly.

First, let me say that DNA isn't going anywhere.  Our doors are open, all our classes, workshops, and programs are happening as planned, and the theater is buzzing with performances.  

Second, I'd like to shed some light on our current situation:

DNA's financial challenges aren't about the amount of money we take in every year.  In fact, what we earned in 2012 completely covered our expenses.  Our challenge is past debt.

Our move to 280 Broadway was filled with delays, cost overruns, and several poor decisions by past management that created close to 4.5 million dollars in debt.  That is a big number, and it impacts our ability to solicit funding from foundations and the government. 

However, a lot of good things are happening that help chip away at that number.  Here are just a few:

Thanks to you, class and workshop numbers are strong and steady
We've added some new, fantastic folks to our contemporary faculty
Applications for our International Student Visa program are way up
Our existing partnership with Pace University remains strong, and new partnerships with the Joffrey Ballet School and the Tom Todoroff Acting Studio are diversifying the DNA community.

We now have a number of commercial clients who have committed to rehearsal space on an ongoing basis.

So why file for bankruptcy?  Chapter 11 is a business reorganization process that exists to protect organizations from their creditors while they get back on their feet.  It allows us to chip away at that debt faster without the looming threat of eviction.  More importantly, it allows us to focus on providing you with a creative space to train, perform, and collaborate with your peers. 

Finally, the most important thing you can do to help is to come to class, sign up for a workshop, see a performance, and continue to donate!  DNA is your home, and if there's something we can do to make you feel more welcome, please let us know.

We'll continue to communicate updates on our progress, but in the meantime, come and dance!

All the best,
Catherine A. Peila
Executive/Artistic Director
Dance New Amsterdam

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