American Dance Institute Building New Catskill Home

NEW YORK — The American Dance Institute (ADI) is looking to grow in vision and capacity. Assuming the name Lumberyard, after its building on the Hudson River waterfront, the organization plans to expand to support the development of new works across the performing arts—including, but not limited to, contemporary dance. The organization has also added senior staff, who will work from the Lumberyard’s NYC headquarters, and consultants who will help maximize Lumberyard’s contribution to the field. These changes are the latest steps in the transformation of the organization, under the leadership of Executive and Artistic Director Adrienne Willis, into a national one that evaluates the needs of artists throughout their creation process and fills gaps in the structures that exist to support them.

Willis said, “Our expanded focus better reflects the artists we currently support and the changing, multidisciplinary direction of the contemporary dance and performance fields.  By dissolving boundaries, we can deepen the critical support we provide to artists working to shape the future of contemporary performance in the United States.”

This year, ADI broke ground on Lumberyard, a former lumberyard in Catskill, NY, that the organization is converting into a four-building campus for the development and presentation of contemporary performance. The Lumberyard campus will provide housing and studio space for artists.

The new hires Lumberyard announced include:

  • Jilian Cahan Gersten (Director of Development), most recently Vice President of Development at BRIC, a multi-arts presenter in Brooklyn.
  • Alison Schwartz (Chief Operating Officer), who was previously the Co-Founder & Editorial Director of Lulu, the first mobile app dedicated to millennial women.
  • Karen Lombardo (Management Consultant), the President of KHL Consulting LLC, a specialized consulting firm that works with companies on the executive level to ensure that they have the structures in place to reach their goals.
  • Martha Cooper (Marketing Consultant), an arts marketing consultant with more than twenty years of experience in the nonprofit sector, including the position of Director of Marketing at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc., The Joyce Theater, American Ballet Theatre, The Performing Arts Center at Purchase College and Friends of Hudson River Park.

When Lumberyard’s new headquarters open in the former Dunn Builders Supply complex in Catskill in Spring 2018, they will allow the organization to drastically expand its activities, especially its Incubator program, which gives artists time and space to ready new works for national or New York premieres. The complex consists of a 30,000 sf. main building and three large adjacent barns along Catskill Creek, and will include a large, column-free flexible theater, a large dance studio, a lobby, administrative offices, housing for up to 20 resident artists, a chef’s kitchen, an artist lounge and a public courtyard.