Gibney Community activates the arts to address social justice issues.

All Community programs are being held online due to Covid-19. More information specific to each program can be found below.

During this time, our team has also created several resources for self-care, including the Gibney Cares Podcast, our Take Care video series, and Grounding & Energizing Self-Care Activities. We have also compiled a library of resources for artists and community members, available here.

Community programs bring a range of social issues in the spotlight, with a focus on gender-based violence and its prevention. As a result, Gibney Community ignites dialogue, raises awareness, and forges long-lasting partnerships.

Move to Move Beyond

Move To Move Beyond brings free movement workshops annually to individuals and families who are on journeys to healthier futures.

The centerpiece of Community Action is a robust program of movement workshops that addresses trauma, launched in 2000 in partnership with Sanctuary for Families. The program has since expanded to include Safe Horizon, Barrier Free Living, Sakhi, Community Health Action of Staten Island among many other New York City organizations. Community Action offers free workshops annually to individuals and families who are on journeys to healthier futures.

The central dynamic of an abusive relationship is one person having power and control over someone else. A collaborative workshop environment, paired with our four-part program model, encourages choice, self-expression, trust-building, and sharing.

Gibney Company members receive specialized training in order to design and facilitate workshops that draw from their artistic practices and address the needs of survivors.

The workshop format is consistent but flexible enough for the dancers to bring their own personalities, areas of expertise, and creativity to the work. Workshops are tailored to the unique needs of each shelter.

Offered during support groups under the supervision of a social worker, workshops underscore clinical themes, address group dynamics, and explore common issues. Ultimately, Community Action workshops offer tools that are applicable to a person’s everyday life.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the NYC Safe Horizon hotline at 1–800-621–HOPE (4673) or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE (7233). Both hotlines operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

“Movement gives me wings and a sense of freedom.”

Workshop participant
Community Action

Four Part Model

Our workshops follow a unique four-part progression that reflects the Company’s artistic process:

1. Look Inside: Reflect. Movement and creativity foster reflection and self-awareness that lead to greater self-confidence.

2. Speak Through Movement: Express. Movement and creativity encourage choice and decision-making. These activities help participants listen to their inner voices, express their feelings, and assert their identities.

3. Work Together: Collaborate. Moving and creating in a group is an enriching experience with valuable social and artistic rewards. Working together validates the experiences of every member of the group and helps to banish feelings of isolation and fear.

4. Take Care™: Dancers share state-of-the-art tools for stress reduction and self-care drawn from extensive training in dance, bodywork, and somatic practices.


96% of clients reported the workshop helped them relieve stress.

96% of clients reported that the workshop improved their physical health and well-being.

100% of clients reported that they would like to participate in another workshop.

The most common emotion reported before the workshop started was ‘sleepy’, followed by ‘nervous’. After the workshop the most common emotions were ‘confident’ and ‘creative’, followed by ‘strong’.

Hands are for Holding®

Hands Are For Holding® is a school-based program that uses dance to address bullying, equity, and choice in everyday interactions.

Appropriate for grades 4-12, the program addresses the social emotional health of young people through discourse, resource sharing and a high-quality professional dance performance. Choreographed dances combined with participatory opportunities create a well-rounded educational experience that invites students to witness, and practice, active choices to create and foster healthy relationships throughout every moment and interaction. The dances provide a dynamic point of entry for meaningful dialogue within a safe space. Led by community educators, the program fosters discussion of relevant topics such as signs of bullying, the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships, social isolation, boundaries and consent, and technological abuse among many others.

In support of the safety and health of the next generation, this program provides tangible tools, actions and take-aways designed to foster respectful relationships, clear communication and youth leadership. Offered in partnership with Day One and Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence, Hands are for Holding® has reached over 34,000 New York City young people in the last five years, across all five boroughs.

“The assembly opened up a dialogue amongst our students that was invaluable.”

Teacher, Williamsburg Charter High School


Hands are for Holding® offers assemblies and residencies at schools in all five boroughs of New York City, and to schools all across the country online.

In Person

Duration: 45-60 minutes
Availability: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 10:00 am-2:00 pm
Number of students: Min. of 30 students – max. of 250 students
Cost: $500.

Accessibility is an important value to us and we can work with your organization’s budget.

Book Now

Please contact Emily Tellier at to book an in-person assembly or residency.


Hands are for Holding® Online Workshops offer:

  • Space for young people to discuss healthy and unhealthy relationships, especially in the new context of COVID-19, using dance to start these conversations
  • Best practices on how to support a friend
  • Interactive self-care exercises that are grounding and energizing
  • Resources for young people to seek help and support

Duration: 60 minutes
Maximum Number of Students/Participants: 55
Platform: Zoom
Cost: $250 fee per workshop (reduced online fee)
Further reduced rates for the 5 and 9-part series:

  • 3-part workshop series: $750
  • 5-part workshop series: $1,100
  • 9-part workshop series: $2,000

We are happy to work with your school to make this offering adaptable to your format of remote teaching.


Please contact Emily Tellier at to schedule your own Live Video Workshop.



Institute For Community Action Training (ICAT) helps participants mobilize the arts as a vehicle for social change.

Spend a weekend learning time-tested tools to start, build, and expand your own arts and social justice program! Applications are open to performing artists, activists, and social service professionals.

Read More

ICAT participants will leave with:

  • In-depth knowledge of our four-part program model (details below)
  • A working understanding of intimate partner violence and other prevalent social issues
  • Techniques to effectively engage target populations and communities
  • Tangible workshop aids and resources (sample exercises, session structures, and Take Care Cards™)
  • Tips/tools for creating successful partnerships
  • Necessary skills for starting/expanding your own arts and social justice program

For more information, please contact:
Yasemin Ozumerzifon, Senior Director of Community Action Gibney 280 Broadway (Entrance at 53A Chambers St) New York, NY 10007
Phone 646 837 6809

“This was a great workshop that left me feeling prepared & ready to take action in my community.”

ICAT participant


The Moving Toward Justice Cohort is designed to support high potential projects that use art as a tool for activism and social impact. With a focus on entrepreneurship, social engagement, and mobilization alongside artistry,

Moving Toward Justice Cohort members will work in community to evolve their practice and create pathways toward addressing some of the most complex issues of today.

2019-2020 COHORT

Gibney is thrilled to welcome the Moving Toward Justice Cohort 2.0 for the 2019-20 season!

Advocacy & Research

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October is an internationally recognized time to spread knowledge about the issue of domestic violence and support survivors on their journeys towards healthier futures.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Join Gibney each April for its observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, including participation in Denim Day, a public response to an Italian Supreme Court ruling, which overturned a rape conviction because the victim was wearing tight jeans.

Artist in Residence

The Community Action Residency is awarded annually to a mid-career artist who has done significant social action work. The Residency provides flexible support for the artist’s work over the course of a full year. The CA AIR receives ongoing support, access to program resources and staff, and opportunities to create and present socially-informed work in a variety of media.

Past CA AIRs: Nana Chinara (2019-20), Maria Bauman (2017) Jill Sigman (2016).