Update on Bankruptcy and Closure

Update as of Friday, September 13 @ 3:00pm

Dear DNA Community,

On Thursday we reached an agreement with our landlord, Fram Realty, that allows DNA to remain at its current location through mid-October, after which DNA has agreed to leave 280 Broadway. However, Fram Realty has agreed, in good faith, to continue to listen to any viable proposals DNA presents to it. Our agreement is being documented and submitted to the Bankruptcy Court for approval.

Classes and rentals will be running through October 13.

Know that we continue to work on a solution to support the DNA teachers, students, artist, audiences, etc.; but as of yet, we have not been able to secure a partner or find another solution that would allow us to meet DNA’s business responsibilities and remain at 280 Broadway.

The DNA Community is more than a 280 Broadway space; it exists regardless of where we work, dance, teach, create, and perform. For our part, we will help keep the lines of communication open between teachers, students, artists, and community supporters while looking for ways to keep our programs alive.

In the meantime, please come take class and rehearse!

With great respect and awe,

Catherine A. Peila
Executive/Artistic Director

Update as of Wednesday, September 4 @ 3:00pm

As promised, we’d like to update you on our short-term plans, long-term efforts, and Tuesday’s bankruptcy court hearing.

First and foremost, we are working with the court and our landlord toward a definitive date on which we present a viable plan for DNA’s future. We hope to have that definitive date on or before Thursday, September 12, our next court date.

In the meantime, DNA will be fully open through the end-of-day on Thursday, September 12th. We’ll be running with a smaller administrative staff, but our faculty and modern guest artists will be here as usual.

Here are some additional details to help you understand the situation:

We are trying to reach an agreement with our landlord (and the City as the owner of our building) on a date by which we must either have a long-term business plan that’s acceptable to our landlord or vacate our lease and close.

We don’t yet know for how long we will be able to remain open past the 12th, but we will let you know as soon as we do. Our goal is to remain open past the 12th for as long as possible in order to try and restructure DNA’s business and bring on new partners that can make us healthy for a long time to come. We are continuing to work as hard as we can on a long-term solution with a number of potential new partners. And of course, we intend to use the donations raised over the past week, and any new donations that come in, to continue our short-term efforts of keeping our doors open so that we can pursue these long-term efforts. Unfortunately, as we have said before, there are no guarantees.

Finally, we were able to update the bankruptcy court on Tuesday morning on our current situation, and the court scheduled a follow-up hearing next week on September 12, 2013 so that we can report on our efforts.

We thank you for your patience, and we will keep you updated as new information is available. As always, the best thing you can do to help is to come to class and bring your friends!

You can also continue to call our elected representatives at to tell them how much you value DNA:

Senator Squadron:

Mayor Bloomberg:

And one last thing: programs that aren’t part of DNA (such as the Tom Todoroff Acting Conservatory) will continue regardless of the status of DNA.

Update as of Tuesday, September 3 @ 5:30pm

We will have a more detailed update this evening or early Wednesday morning, but we wanted to share the good news that DNA will now be open through end-of-day Thursday, September 12.

Update as of Friday, August 30 @ 7:30 pm

We’ve seen a tremendous outpouring of support from our friends in the last 24 hours. We have raised $50,000, and this means we now have more options than simply closing the doors on Sunday evening as we’d planned.

Although things are still in flux and could potentially change, we will be open on Tuesday and anticipate being open for the rest of the week with our regular class schedule!

You are making a difference. Both Councilmember Margaret Chin and State Senator Squadron’s office have been in touch with us as a result of calls and emails to their offices, and we’ve also been contacted by several potential long-term funders and partners that we’re actively speaking with. Also, many of our wonderful and dedicated staff are now volunteering their time in order to help out.

There is still a large amount of work to be done, and we are not out of the woods yet. This first $50,000 helps with some of our short-term obligations (and is the reason we can open next week), but this is just the first step. DNA will be in court on Tuesday, and our legal and finance team is continuing talks with our vendors and partners.

We must prove to the court that DNA is a viable business, and your immediate support is still needed.

The best way to provide that support is by:

  • Continue taking class
  • Continue to encourage donations
  • Continue to let our elected officials know how much DNA means to you
  • Continue spreading the word!

Senator Squadron:

Mayor Bloomberg:

We can’t thank you enough for all you’ve done. It’s truly inspiring to see our community come together in a time of crisis. We will have more information next week, but in the meantime please come and dance with us!

Update as of Friday, August 30 @ 11:00 am

We have currently raised over $30,000 through the support of our dedicated community! There is still a ways to go, but we can’t thank you enough for showing your generosity and passion.

Many of you have asked exactly what our current $50,000 goal gets us. DNA is hopeful that the $50,000 will allow it to meet its short-term payment obligations (such as rent and payroll) so that it may continue operating (such as holding classes) under the supervision of the bankruptcy court while it tries to develop a solid business plan for the future and emerge from bankruptcy. Creating that plan, in concert with our business partners, legal and financial team, and creditor constituencies, takes time and may well require additional financial support.

The money we are raising now is intended to help buy us some time so that we can continue to explore a long-term solution to remain in business. We are actively talking to a number of potential partners right now to explore those long-term solutions.

Nothing is guaranteed or certain at this point, but every donation, every call you make to our elected officials, and every class you take while DNA’s doors are open makes this monumental task just a bit easier.

Please help us keep up the momentum! The best things you can to help are:

  • Come take class! Keeping our class attendance steady equals less money we need to raise
  • Continue to encourage donations
  • Let our elected officials know how much you value DNA
  • Keep spreading the word!

Senator Squadron:

Mayor Bloomberg:

We are working tirelessly with our legal and financial team to finalize our next steps after this Sunday night. We are committed to finding a way forward for DNA if at all possible, and will continue to keep you informed on our website and Facebook as plans solidify. In the meantime, thank you again and see you in class!

With love and gratitude,
Your friends at DNA

Dear friends of Dance New Amsterdam,

Since its Chapter 11 filing on May 27, DNA has been able to manage “business as usual” while diligently working towards obtaining additional funding sources and developing a long-term business plan. Unfortunately, despite the extraordinary efforts of DNA’s leadership, staff, and faculty, DNA has determined that its current challenging liquidity situation prevents it from pursuing a long-term business plan at this time.

This means that we do not have enough funds to remain open past this Sunday, September 1st unless we can raise at least $50,000 by the close of business on Friday, the 30th.

Donations can be made via PayPal here:

DNA will be fully open for business through end-of-day Sunday, September 1st-all scheduled classes and workshops will continue as usual through Sunday evening. Based on information we will receive from our legal team this week, DNA may still be able to accommodate studio and theater rentals in the short-term.

DNA needs $50,000 by the close of business on Friday, August 30th in order to keep its doors open in the near-term and continue operating in the ordinary course of business, offering dance classes, artist rentals, DNA Presents season and residency programs, and to preserve the possibility of putting together a long-term business plan to serve as the foundation for reorganizing and emerging from bankruptcy.

The executive/artistic director Catherine A. Peila said that it is clear that, without this initial infusion of cash from either an outside individual or entity, DNA will have to seek bankruptcy court approval to wind-down its affairs. With a cash infusion of $50,000, DNA will have the opportunity to continue working with its legal team from Debevoise & Plimpton and its financial advisers from Alvarez and Marsal to develop a viable long-term business plan that is acceptable to DNA’s key creditor constituents, strategic partners, and the community, who have to date supported DNA’s efforts to reorganize in hopes that this important performing arts space and dance organization could emerge and continue to ensure that the tens of thousands of national and international artists and local community members have a home.

The Board, staff, faculty and artists are sincerely hopeful that an individual or entity will step forward with the required cash infusion of $50,000 for this initial step. If DNA is unable to continue operating its business, the loss of this 29-year organization will be severely felt among the arts community.

Thank you very much for your support and commitment to DNA over the years. We will continue to communicate with you as new information is available, and we invite everyone to come take class through Sunday.

Please feel free to reach out to Catherine A. Peila with any questions at 212-625-8369 x201.