History

Over the course of nearly 30 years, Gibney has evolved from a socially active dance company with a single dance studio to a two-location performing arts and social justice powerhouse.

Founded in 1991 as a dance company dedicated to social action, Gibney has emerged as a cultural leader operating 23 studios across two Manhattan facilities—a feat unheard of in recent years.

Yet, Gibney is so much more than space. The organization provides a holistic ecosystem designed to support artists at every stage of their career, from creative process through performance, to discourse and community engagement.

Next Phase Space Campaign

Three photos of the transition of a dance studio's construction.

Gibney’s $6.5M Next Phase Space Campaign celebrated a major milestone early 2018: the unveiling of 10,000 square feet of newly renovated space at Gibney’s 280 Broadway location.

The Next Phase Space Campaign was built on a four-part vision to:

Develop affordable workspace

The 10,000 square foot renovation, completed in February 2018, yielded six new studios, 25,000 hours of additional annual workspace for artists, and a 40% increase in Gibney’s available workspace. Gibney’s Earned Income Model, which leverages commercial and institutional rentals, ensures that this space will be offered to nonprofits at affordable rates, welcoming diverse artistic voices.

Make Gibney’s space accessible to all

Until September 25, 2019, disabled artists and community members were expected to make a reservation with the Department of Citywide Administrative Services 72 hours in advance and use an entrance around the block upon visiting Gibney. The construction of an elevator to connect the ground floor entrance of 280 Broadway (53A Chambers Street) with the second floor was a necessary, meaningful, and long overdue phase of the capital project.

Create a 21st Century home for the artistic community

Through this campaign, Gibney emerged a two-location performing arts and social justice powerhouse, comprised of 53,000 square feet, 23 studios, and five performance spaces. It will be a central, accessible home for New York City performance artists for years to come. Gibney now has the capacity to share unprecedented resources for the art form from residencies, high-tech “smart studios,” subsidized space, presenting opportunities, training, community action initiatives, digital technology resources, artist and audience development, and its resident company.

Fortify Gibney’s long-term sustainability

In tandem with its growing physical footprint, Gibney’s budget has grown from $500,000 in 2010 to over $7M today. While the expansion at 280 Broadway deliberately maximizes the efficiency and flexibility of Gibney’s space and earned revenue potential, it also introduces an unprecedented level of risk and operational management. A recently completed strategic planning process identified the establishment capacity building in terms of staffing and technology in addition to the establishment of a Working Capital Reserve as essential campaign priorities.

Gibney would like to thank the following for their generous support of Gibney’s Next Phase Space Campaign:

The City of New York & The Honorable Mayor Bill de Blasio, The New York City Council & The Honorable Speaker Corey Johnson, The Honorable City Council Member Margaret Chin, The Honorable Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and The Honorable Tom Finkelpearl, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, Howard Gilman Foundation, SHS Foundation, The Hyde & Watson Foundation, and Jerome Robbins Foundation.

Major support has also been provided by SeaChange Partners, Altman Foundation, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Suzanne Peck and Brian Friedman and Thompson Family Foundation.

GIBNEY COMPANY HISTORY

Gibney Company’s story began in 1991, when choreographer Gina Gibney founded her socially active dance company with a single dance studio to call home. Almost three decades later, throughout the organization’s many expansions, Gibney Company remains at the core of its work.

Gibney Company grew alongside and within the Gibney organization as it became home to thousands of artists and community members across two New York City locations, totaling 23 studios, 5 performance spaces, and 52,000 square feet of space. Within a few years of Gibney acquiring its second location 280 Broadway in 2014, Gina Gibney expanded the Company’s directorial team. Today, the Company is led by Artistic Director Gina Gibney with Directors Amy Miller and Nigel Campbell. 

Following its 25th anniversary in 2016, the organization re-envisioned Gibney Company in an intentional effort to empower its dancers as both artists and activists. Now known as Artistic Associates, Gibney Company members advance the quality of the organization’s artistry through impeccable performance and deepen its community engagement through dynamic change and advocacy for issues in the dance field such as diversity, mental health, and economic empowerment. Gibney Company Artistic Associates receive 52-week contracts, health insurance, on-site physical therapy, an annual artistic sabbatical, and paid vacation.

As Artistic Associates’ roles became more robust, the Company also began commissioning creation-based repertory in addition to performing Gina Gibney’s rich, evocative works. In the spirit of its namesake leader’s artistic sensibility, Gibney Company embarks on relationships with artists who are committed to exploring connections between the rigorous physicality of contemporary dance alongside responsive, humanistic storytelling. Since 2017, commissioned choreographers have included: Bryan Arias, Shannon Gillen, Shamel Pitts, Adam Barruch, Chanel DaSilva, Bobbi Jene Smith, Micaela Taylor, Stefanie Batten Bland, Peter Chu, Banning Bouldin, Mark Caserta, and Yin Yue.

As it prepares for its thirtieth anniversary in 2021, Gibney Company has reached another historic milestone, In January 2020, the Company received a transformative $2 million gift from Andrew A. Davis, a Trustee of the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund. With new possibilities for commissioning original works, Gibney Company will retain its longstanding spirit of experimentation while taking a leading role in shaping a more robust landscape for contemporary dance in New York, and beyond. The Company, which will double in size, will perform regular seasons in New York and tour nationally. Gibney Company will make its debut at The Joyce Theater in New York in November 2021.