Dwana Smallwood Performing Arts Center
More than Dance
Fresh Network member, JPDA, designed the Dwana Smallwood Performing Arts Center in Brooklyn.
The Center aims to use the arts, primarily dance, as a means to empower youth within New York’s inner-city communities. They endeavour to mould elite dancers and artists who will be able to develop, grow and compete on the world’s stage. The centre is a springboard for creating community identity and encouraging creative activity within an underserved population.
Located on the upper floors of an industrial building in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighbourhood, the centre anchors itself to the street through a vibrant sculpted concrete entry portal and illuminated marquee. Cast ripple and spiral panels hint at the energy and dynamic spirit of the public programs. The library reception area creates an oasis of calm for reading and stretching, as well as social space for connecting with friends and neighbours. Three-dimensional milled panels extend the rippling circular motif into the program spaces. The centre combines flexible dance studios, performance spaces and administrative functions and serves as a significant cultural resource for the community.