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Cora Dance Launches Kickstarter Campaign to Renovate New Studio

By Nikhita Venugopal | July 2, 2015 4:05pm | Updated on July 5, 2015 8:41pm
 Cora launched a Kickstarter campaign to renovate its new studio in Red Hook.
Cora launched a Kickstarter campaign to renovate its new studio in Red Hook.
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Cora Dance

RED HOOK — After giving up its studio of six years, a Red Hook dance school has a new home and is hoping to raise funds to renovate it.

Cora Dance is looking to raise $7,500 through a Kickstarter campaign to install new flooring at its Van Dyke Street studio so the space can be used for classes this fall. 

Earlier this year, Cora had to give up its former studio at 201 Richards St. because of an increase in rent and unexpected delays in funding.

But almost immediately after they left the old space, Red Hook Ministries, a church at 72 Van Dyke St., offered up its second-floor community room as a replacement, said Cora's founder and artistic director Shannon Hummel. 

For the last few months, Cora has continued its company rehearsals as well as its Cora Youth Company and some classes for older students but has been unable to reinstate classes for younger students because of the limitations of the new space, Hummel said.

With the Kickstarter funds, Cora would be able to remove the existing carpeting and put in new flooring, which would allow them to resume 70 to 80 percent of its programming, primarily for kindergarten and high school students. 

Any additional funds would be used to further renovate the space, such as repairing the heaters, replacing windows and other improvements like painting.

When Hummel first moved Cora to the new studio, she envisioned it as a temporary location. But the partnership with the church may allow them to stay longer, she said.

"[Red Hook Ministries has] been really generous to us," Hummel said. "Even if this is a temporary partnership... part of what we can contribute to the church is the renovation of the space."

The church leadership could not be reached for comment.

The renovations will serve both the church and Cora, Hummel said. 

"It's going to be a dance studio," she said. "But it's also going to be appropriate now to have small wedding receptions or events."

They hope to begin work on the studio at the end of September and reinstate classes at the end of October after a month of construction.

"We're intending to meet our goal," Hummel said. "Ten dollars at a time."