Now It Is Official!

Last night took us to Dixon Place for the 100% Official Formal Grand Opening of the new space on Chrystie St.  Complete with Mayoral Proclamations and speeches from Kate Levin, Alan Gerson and the newly-returned Ellie Covan, the evening was a touching, warm-hearted welcome to friends new and old.

Ellie’s “thank you” speech was great and especially noteworthy for being comprehensive and detailed but still engaging and entertaining. It really brought home the fact how much blood, sweat and tears it takes to make these sorts of projects come true. And money, obviously. But as I looked around the room at all the people that make up the Dixon Place community (and it was only really a portion of a vast network including over 10,000 artists that have been supported over the past 20-some odd years) it really became clear how much love and sweat and passion and dedication have gone into this. DP’s dedication to artistic freedom, experimentation and growth have really created an energy that is special and unique. It really is a community, one that I have had the good fortune to be a part of for many, many years, pretty much since I first came to NYC.

It was a really special evening and I’m sure that DP will move into this new era with the same intrepid spirit that has always been at the heart of the enterprise. In many ways the new challenges are only beginning. With a big new space and state of the art equipment, with an NYC that is profoundly different than it was when DP was just in Ellie’s living room, with an artistic community that has changed and with it being ever-more difficult for artists just to get by, DP is going to face some serious adjustments. Let’s hope they can keep the community spirit as they grow. If anyone can do it, its the team at DP! Congrats to everyone on the great work and on being such an asset to the city for so many years! Here’s to a long and fruitful future!!

Oh – and if you haven’t been to Dixon Place for some reason, or you haven’t been in a long time, now is a great time to check it out! The incomparable Split Britches (Lois Weaver and Peggy Shaw) are opening their new show Lost Lounge at DP on Friday.

According the website, Lost Lounge is “a tribute to the people who hold out and to the places people gather to sift through what is lost and found when delicate memory is confronted with hard progress. It is a dark shadowy lounge populated by some uniquely queer yet recognizably universal characters whose moods swing between pessimism for the future and optimism of the past. All set to the beat of some different drums.”  More info here.

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