by Adel Manoukian
DANCE NEW AMSTERDAM RESCUED FROM GETTING THE BOOT
State Sen. Daniel Squadron and Executive Director of Dance New Amsterdam (DNA) Catherine Peila announced last week that the performance center in Lower Manhattan has reached an agreement with its landlord to lower its monthly rent and rental debt. This announcement comes after a three-year effort by local elected officials, residents and cultural representatives to keep the valued dance education center open.
DNA has been serving the Manhattan community for 28 years through public performances, artist services and classes and has worked with roughly 32,000 artists and performers. It was the first nonprofit organization to move into the area, from its former Chinatown location, after the 9/11 attacks.
“This lease amendment lowers our rent and debt tremendously. We are now better positioned to further stabilize, implement educational programs and support the artist’s creative process from studio to stage and beyond,” said Peila.
Since 2010, DNA’s monthly rent has been $70,000, a number that would have risen to $90,000 by 2020 if not for the new agreement. In 2010, the company was unable to pay a month’s rent, which resulted in their possible eviction.
“Over the past 10 years, as Lower Manhattan has recovered, a burgeoning cultural center has come back stronger than ever—and DNA has been a key part of that transformation,” said Squadron. “This agreement is a testament to the fact that it’s possible to find paths forward for community-based cultural organizations and the invaluable work they do.”
9/11 ANNIVERSARY RECOVERY EFFORTS SPURS HONORS
Speaker Sheldon Silver, Assemblyman Michael DenDekker and Minority Leader Brian Kolb announced the passage of an Assembly resolution yesterday at a ceremony honoring volunteers, including residents of the area, who worked on recovery and salvage efforts at the World Trade Center site in the wake of 9/11. Thursday, May 30 marked the 10-year anniversary of the completion of those efforts.
“In pausing to pay tribute to those heroes who courageously and selflessly gave of their time, their energy and even their personal health to support these efforts, we are inscribing in the record books that their courage and sacrifice is forever respected and appreciated by all who call New York State their home,” said Kolb
A copy of the resolution will be held in the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.
The museum also recently launched a web-based interactive timeline of the rescue and recovery events that took place after the 9/11 attacks to honor the efforts of first responders and volunteers.
The timeline, which starts at Sept. 12, 2001, and goes to May 30, 2002, uses images, oral histories and never-before-seen videos by the public to depict the heroic rescues, relief efforts and milestones that followed the attacks.
The museum will also feature a Scroll of Honor, an installation displaying a list of names of all who died on Sept. 11, 2001. In addition, there will be a Recovery and Relief Workers Registry.
“The Scroll of Honor and interactive timeline will be innovative tools for teaching that the story of 9/11 is not just about that one day, but also about the way people came together in the days, weeks, months and years after 9/11 to contribute to the recovery and revitalization of lower Manhattan,” said Alice Greenwald, director of the museum.
COUNCIL SPEAKER CHRISTINE QUINN RESPONDS TO DOMA’S REPEAL
Last week, the Federal Appeals Court repealed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which outlaws gay marriage, deeming it “unconstitutional.”
In response to the announcement, Council Speaker Christine Quinn released a statement today, agreeing with the decision.
“I’m pleased we’re one step closer to overturning harmful federal legislation that denies same-sex couples the right to wed, depriving them of the security and benefits of marriage,” said Quinn.
“I’m proud of the work we have done, and will continue to do, to ensure equal rights for all people, and I thank everyone who has fought so valiantly to repeal DOMA for their efforts and for their tireless work to end this discriminatory policy once and for all.”
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