Visit TheVanDyke.org for more information on the venue.
ArtsGreensboro announced in October 2014 that renowned choreographer and Dance Project artistic director Jan Van Dyke had pledged up to $1 million to create a new downtown performance and rehearsal space by expanding existing facilities at Greensboro’s Cultural Center on Davie Street.
Van Dyke said she had been looking for potential property downtown for nearly two years. When a recent Cultural Center Visioning Study sparked interest in the idea of expanding space there, Van Dyke and Philion came together to discuss the idea of creating a partnership with the City.
Van Dyke explained, “Young artists and producers often leave Greensboro after graduation because they lack opportunities to present their work. This facility will enable dancers and other artists to showcase their work cost-effectively in a professionally outfitted space. With an appropriately-sized stage, outstanding technical capabilities, and a ‘sweet spot’ of 400 to 500 income-generating seats, this facility will answer that need.”
The proposed project would provide a flexible downtown venue in which to produce dance, theatre, music, and a variety of other events with professional technical capabilities and seating for 400 to 500 patrons.
“Jan’s remarkable commitment will help us create something unique and special downtown,” said ArtsGreensboro CEO Tom Philion. “This new space will complement the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts, filling a gap for smaller arts groups as well as entrepreneurs, event producers, and the community. Just as importantly, it will achieve all this at a modest cost.”
Proposed plans include the 7,500-square foot performance space with moveable seating and staging, state-of-the-art sound and lighting equipment, and added facilities for patron comfort.
With this expansion, the Cultural Center would be better positioned to actively engage with LeBauer Park and its users. Furthermore, it would strategically connect the Cultural Center, City Center and LeBauer Parks, the performing arts center, the Historical Museum, the Children’s Museum, and the Central Library into a truly cohesive Downtown Cultural District.
“This is a tremendous opportunity that could be a win-win for the arts community and our city,” said Philion. “It’s the domino effect. Jan Van Dyke has a long-held dream of creating a unique performance space; the Cultural Center needs to be reimagined and reconfigured so it can thrive and serve our community in an evolving downtown landscape; and the City envisions the creation of a cohesive Cultural District. Jan’s incredibly generous gift has set all this in motion.”
Jan Van Dyke passed away on July 3, 2015 after a 2 1/2-year battle with primary peritoneal cancer. The Van Dyke Performance Space will exist in her memory.