3LD wins reprieve, DNA still struggles
According to two different articles in the Tribeca Trib, 3LD has negotiated terms with the MTA and will be able to stay at its location at 80 Greenwich St. Dance New Amsterdam, however, is still struggling to negotiate terms on back rent that will allow it to stay at its home on Chambers St.
The two organizations have taken similar paths to end up where they are now. Both received significant grants from the LMDC to move into their spaces. Both ran into significant challenges in building out their spaces that put them over budget and behind schedule. The situations speak to the benefits, challenges and contradictions in using the arts as a tool for development. Certainly arts organizations help anchor neighborhoods, bringing in audiences and artists who use the local amenities and create energy and vitality in otherwise underutilized areas. Look at the transformation of DUMBO or the ongoing changes in Bushwick. However, arts organizations often suffer from financial instability and are extremely susceptible to fluctuations in the economy. It is hard for an arts organization to resist the opportunity to, finally, have a nice new home. But even under the best of circumstances, they are entering a tenuous situation. Small(ish) organizations from DTW to DNA to 3LD et al are constantly facing the challenges of meeting the needs of the artist community, the audience and the market without the wealth of resources that would accompany a for-profit enterprise. No doubt, non-profits are businesses, but they have very different needs and models than for-profits. Should there be safeguards in place to help arts orgs not only develop new spaces but STAY in new spaces?