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Dance New Amsterdam to Close Without $50K Donation

By Irene Plagianos | August 29, 2013 12:34pm
 A ballet class at Dance New Amsterdam, a 28-year-old nonprofit that is slated to close after years of financial troubles.
A ballet class at Dance New Amsterdam, a 28-year-old nonprofit that is slated to close after years of financial troubles.
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Mark Stephen Kornbluth

TRIBECA — After years of wrestling with debt and threats of eviction, TriBeCa dance studio Dance New Amsterdam is on the verge of closing.

Without an infusion of $50,000, the financially troubled nonprofit will be forced to shutter its theater and studio space at 280 Broadway by Sept. 1., Dance New Amsterdam said in a statement on its website.

The imminent closure comes just a few months after the 29-year-old organization filed for bankruptcy, saying the move was actually saving it from closing.

In May, the nonprofit said bankruptcy would buy it some time to get out of debt and create a long-term plan for solvency.

But the studio’s executive and artistic director, Catherine Peila, said in statement that Dance New Amsterdam's (DNA) current financial troubles are too deep to keep pressing ahead.

“Unfortunately, despite the extraordinary efforts of DNA’s leadership, staff, and faculty, DNA has determined that its current challenging liquidity situation prevents it from pursuing a long-term business plan at this time,” Peila said in a statement on the company website.

“DNA needs $50,000 by the close of business on Friday, August 30th in order to keep its doors open in the near-term and continue operating in the ordinary course of business….and to preserve the possibility of putting together a long-term business plan to serve as the foundation for reorganizing and emerging from bankruptcy.”

The cash-strapped arts organization moved Downtown in 2006 after renting the 280 Broadway space and building a 130-seat theater, six studios and two galleries using federal post-9/11 funding.

But delays in the construction and other issues led the studio to fall behind on its rent at the city-owned space, which had reached $68,945 per month by 2010.

Last year, the studio struck a deal with property manager Fram Realty on a new 10-year lease, with reduced rent, which allowed Dance New Amsterdam to stave off eviction.

The organization, which is taking donations through a Paypal site, said it remains optimistic about getting the needed funds.

Peila said the studio is "sincerely hopeful that an individual or entity will step forward with the required cash infusion of $50,000 for this initial step."

"If DNA is unable to continue operating its business, the loss of this 29-year organization will be severely felt among the arts community," she said.

Peila did not immediately return calls for comment.

It was unclear how much Dance New Amsterdam has collected in donations as of Thursday.