Dancewave breaks ground on $5.2M home

Brooklyn dance education organization breaks ground on new home in GowanusDancewave, a Brooklyn-based dance education organization championing accessibility to all, recently broke ground on its new community center at 182 4th Avenue, in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn. The event included NYC Council Member Stephen Levin, Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl, Design and Construction Commissioner Ana Barrio, Deputy Brooklyn Borough President Diana Reyna, and Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon.


To date, $4.8 million has been allocated to the project through generous support from the New York City Council, the Mayor’s Office through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA), and the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office. An additional $400k, for a total $5.2 million capital campaign, is still needed for further capital improvements, equipment, and scholarship funding. These fundraising efforts will be led by Dancewave’s Board Members and Capital Campaign Co-Chairs Grace R. Freedman and Sabrina LeBlanc.


“As an advocate of education and early childhood issues and a proponent for the arts, I’m proud to have Dancewave in the 33rd District. Dancewave has continued to change lives at the center on 4th Avenue and in public schools throughout NYC,” said Council Member for the 33rd District Stephen Levin. “The new Dancewave Center will allow for a larger reach throughout Brooklyn and NYC, and I am thrilled to play a part in Dancewave’s growth.”


Dancewave’s Executive and Artistic Director Diane Jacobowitz said, “Breaking ground on our new home in downtown Brooklyn/Gowanus is a milestone event in our history as a community focused arts organization.”


Looking ahead, Jacobowitz envisions the new Dancewave Center as “a dance and community venue that will offer classes for everyone, with space for performances, readings, lectures, artists talks and community events—transforming this organization into an important creative hub for the cultural life of the area.”


The new 3,600-square-feet Dancewave Center will nearly triple Dancewave’s current size—expanding the nonprofit’s ability to fulfill its vision to empower youth to become individuals who contribute to the fabric of their communities, through access to the dance experience. Studio Joseph’s design will convert the current industrial space into a LEED-certified arts facility, complete with two dance studios that open to a performance space with the capacity for 100 occupants. The expanded facility will be a flexible space that can accommodate classes, rehearsals, and performances, bringing a cultural anchor to the Gowanus neighborhood.


Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said, “On behalf of 2.6 million Brooklynites, I salute Dancewave on the groundbreaking of the new community arts center. I commend Executive Director Diane Jacobowitz, the board of directors, and staff for their contributions and dedication to the cultural arts as well as the enrichment of our young people. Brooklyn is the creative capital of New York City, and the new Dancewave Center will be a shining addition to one of the most vibrant arts communities in the nation.”


Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl agreed. He commented, “Dancewave’s vital, inclusive dance training programs touch the lives of thousands of residents and students of all ages each year. We’re proud to join our partners in the City Council and Borough President’s Office to invest in this expanded home for Dancewave, helping to grow this extraordinary arts group so it can bring the transformative impact of dance to even more New Yorkers.”


DDC Acting Commissioner Ana Barrio is also pleased. She said, “The Dancewave studio will be a community asset that entertains, inspires thought, and strengthens mental and physical health. And at triple the size of its original studio, the new space will accommodate more people and performances, allowing Dancewave to grow and thrive. We look forward to opening the space next year.”


Dancewave’s programs, which focus on the development of essential skills to help build leadership and citizenry, serve more than 3,000 of New York City’s youth. Grounded in the belief that dance education changes lives, Dancewave makes its classes accessible to all, distributing over $50,000 in scholarships to 50 students during the 2016-2017 year. Anticipating that the demand for scholarships for talented and in-need youth will grow, Dancewave will also establish an Endowed Scholarship Fund in conjunction with the capital campaign.


Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon said, “I am thrilled to support Dancewave’s new facility. I was proud to sponsor a bill assisting Dancewave’s access to capital, enabling them to expand their ability to bring dance arts education to many who would not otherwise have access to it. Dancewave’s work bringing dance education to children with autism in public schools and to children with significant disabilities is awesome. This groundbreaking is a long time coming. I could not be happier for them as they begin work on building their new and inclusive facility and adding to the unique culture and artistic community of Gowanus.”


For more information on Dancewave, visit


Photo courtesy of Dancewave.