A cultural anchor in the Brookland/Edgewood neighborhood, Dance Place is a theater, dance school, and community cultural center in one – an extraordinary combination. The thriving arts campus typically hosts a 36-week presenting season, with performances by national and international touring artists as well as established and emerging DC-based companies, while its world-class school offers everything from youth to adult dance training. Now, along with its presentation series, its six-week, tuition-free, youth summer camp, and the Dance Africa DC festival, programming has moved online, at least through the end of the year. Some participants lack access to the technology that makes all of this available – a problem for many nonprofits during COVID-19. But Dance Place is actively working to be a Northeast DC and dance community resource for accessible programming – invaluable to community members seeking support and inspiration in troubling times.
Headquarters: DC-Ward 5
Where They Operate: DC-Citywide; DC-Ward 5; MD-Montgomery County; MD-Prince George's County; VA-Arlington County; VA-Fairfax County; Brookland/Edgewood
Age Groups Served: Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24); Adult (25-49); All
Population(s) Served: All; Students; Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members
Schools They Work In: Bennett Babies; Brookland Middle School; Bunker Hill Elementary School; DC Prep; Eagle Academy Public Charter School; French Maternal School; Georgetown Day School; Hearst Elementary ; Hope Community Public Charter School; Inspired Teaching Public Charter School; Lee Montessori; Luke C. Moore High School; Mundo Verde Public Charter School; Norwood School; Noyes Elementary School; River Terrace ; River Terrace Education Campus; Ross Elementary ; Ross Elementary School ; Smothers Elementary School; St. Anthony's Catholic School; Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart; Timberlane Elementary School; Westlawn Elementary School; William E. Doar Jr. Public Charter School
- Audience members served annually:
13,000 audience members attend high quality, diverse performances in our indoor presentation series and Art on 8th community programs.
- Artists employed by us annually:
1,000 artists are provided with paid performance opportunities through our indoor presentation series and outdoor "Art on 8th" series; in addition, we employ a roster of 40 teaching artists and 20 interns
- Performances offered annually:
37 weekends of performances each season featuring an average of 70 local companies, 12 national touring companies and 2 international artists
- Number of people served annually by arts outreach programming:
Dance Place offers performances and classes at schools and community centers reaching 10,000 students and 12,000 audience members of all ages and abilities
- Audience members served annually:
Awards & Recognition
2021-2024 Dance Place receives a Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Leadership Grant for Arts Organizations for $350,000
2018-2021 Dance Place receives a four year endowment to commission new dance works from Howard and Geraldine Polinger Family Foundation in honor of Founding Director emerita, Carla Perlo
2018- start of Dance Place's involvement in the two year Bloomberg Philanthropies Arts Innovation and Management Grant program
2018- Founding Director, Carla Perlo receives the Ernie Award from Dance/USA
2017- Dance Place is awarded the Excellence in Performing Arts Award by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities
2017- the Kresge Foundation profiled Dance Place as a leading example of best practices in creative place making
2016- Dance Place celebrates the opening of the 8th St Arts Park, the final phase of our arts campus in Brookland/Edgewood
2015- Co-Director Deborah Riley receives the Pola Nirenska award for lifetime service to the field of dance
2014- Founding Director Carla Perlo awarded the DC Mayor's Arts Award for Excellence in Service to the Arts; Dance Place is awarded a $500,000 grant from the Kresge Foundation for "Harvesting Leading Practices" in creative placemaking; Dance Place re-opens our well loved facility after our major renovation and expansion project.
2011—Received the DC Mayor’s Arts Award for “Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education” in recognition of our extensive programs for youth and selected as one of 12 national grant recipients by Leveraging Investments in Creativity, funded by the Ford Foundation
2010—Awarded our first grant from the US Commission of Fine Arts
2006—Founding Director Carla Perlo receives DanceMetro DC’s Alan Kriegsman Award for lifetime achievement and service to the DC Metropolitan area
2003— Founding Director Carla Perlo receives the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington’s Outstanding Founders Award
2002—Director Deborah Riley receives the Pola Nirenska Award for Distinguished Artistic Leadership
2001— Began partnership with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to present emerging DC companies in the Local Dance Commissioning Project
1997— Founding Director Carla Perlo named “Washingtonian of the Year” by Washingtonian Magazine
1994— Created our Energizers out-of-school time programs to respond to the needs of local youth with creative education programs, dance classes and first time job training
1990-1994—Served as national coordinator for DanceAfrica, America, bringing African dance and culture to festivals throughout the U.S.
1988 – Received the DC Mayor’s Arts Award for Excellence in Service to the Arts
1985— Selected as a founding partner in the creation of the National Performance Network
1981—Received first NEA (National Education Association) grant and began performing series
1980— Opened The Dance Place at 2424 18th Street, Northwest, in the heart of Adams Morgan
1978- 1980 — Incorporation of DC Wheel Productions and presentation of educational performing arts programs in schools throughout the Greater DC Metropolitan area
- New leadership sought for DC's Dance Place
Sat Apr 9 2016, The Washington Post
Dance Place founding director Carla Perlo and co-director Deborah Riley have announced that they will retire next year.
- An Arts Park is coming Brookland
Mon Apr 4 2016, Washington City Paper
The studio, and the future park, are managed by Dance Place
- DC's Dance Place celebrates 35 years of building the field
Sat Jan 23 2016, The Washington Post
It is still the heart of the region's dance life, as it has been for 35 years.
- With $4 million re-do, Dance Place co-directors set the barre higher
Sat Sep 13 2014, The Washington Post
Carla Perlo and Deborah Riley, co-directors of Dance Place, lean back in their comfortable new theater seats...
- A dancer who made life's transience last
Sun Oct 14 2012, The Washington Post
Review of the Eric Hampton Tribute held at Dance Place October 13th and 14th.
- $3 million or higher
- The current budget for Dance Place is: $1 million to $3 million
- $500k to $1 million
- Less than $500k
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