Lumberyard, one of the nation’s leading contemporary performing arts institutions, serves the performing arts community and its audiences by providing multi-faceted opportunities for artists to develop new work. Unwavering in its commitment to assisting artists throughout the creative process, ADI/Lumberyard operates with a collaborative and generous spirit, one driven by this support for artists and appreciation for the audiences who value their work.


Lumberyard’s history goes back to 1999 when, thanks to founder and benefactor Solange MacArthur, it began as American Dance Institute (ADI), a dance school based in Rockville, Maryland. In 2010, after looking closely at the challenges facing the American contemporary dance field, ADI changed course to focus on artist-centered programs that include residency and performance opportunities. This new direction resulted in what is now Lumberyard’s stellar reputation for providing this much needed support, with the Incubator residency program, introduced in 2011, especially praised.  Lumberyard also serves emerging artists through its Solange MacArthur Award and Future Artists Initiative.

In summer 2016, Lumberyard responded to artists’ requests for residencies to culminate with a New York City performance season by launching Lumberyard/NYC, an initiative undertaken in collaboration with New York City theater spaces, which, to this day, not only supports artists but also serves audiences who, at affordable ticket prices, have the chance to see a wide range of contemporary dance.

Curatorial Approach: Incubating Artists

Lumberyard’s mission of offering generous support for the creation of new work is perhaps best represented in Incubator, its residency program which both characterizes this artist-centered focus and defines the organization’s curatorial approach.   Aptly named for its commitment to incubating artists rather than the particular works they create, Incubator is a combined residency and presenting program that provides accomplished mid-career artists and their collaborators with the technical resources and staff to develop new work. Incubator also provides housing, meals, development funds, public showings or premiere performances, professional photography and video documentation, and if, requested by the artists, provides audience feedback sessions, too. In the five years since its inception, the program has helped strengthen more than 20 new works and has extended Lumberyard’s artist-centered mission to include subsidized seasons at New York City venues, a new direction that benefits dance presenters as well.

Lumberyard invites artists to participate in Incubator, with selection based on the following criteria:

  • Work must be contemporary, daring, forward- thinking and new
  • Work must demonstrate artistic excellence
  • Work must be at a sufficient stage of development to merit using Lumberyard’s technical resources.

Incubator Artists

Zvi Dance

Steven Reker/ Open House

Morgan Thorson

Okwui Okpokwasili

Cynthia Hopkins

Susan Marshall/Sö Percussion

David Dorfman Dance

David Gordon

Vicky Shick

Cynthia Hopkins

Raja Feather Kelly/the feath3r theory

Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion



Board of Trustees

Greg Caplan
Heather Hostetter
Stephanie Junger-Moat
Jessica Mailloux Kelly
Kimball Stroud, Board President
Dr. Christine Wheeler
Adrienne Willis

Artistic Advisory Board

Brian Brooks
Jane Comfort
David Dorfman
Doug Elkins
Dan Hurlin
Jodi Melnick
David Neumann
Jawole Willa Jo Zollar


To showcase a broad spectrum of contemporary performance, Lumberyard adopts a team curatorial approach. With varied backgrounds and aesthetics, our curatorial team is uniformly committed to supporting artists who challenge our audiences, the art form, and themselves.
*indicates curatorial team members

Adrienne Willis, the Executive and Artistic Director of Lumberyard, is a leader in nonprofit management whose professional background includes multi-faceted positions in theater, strategy, and communications. Her passion for developing new works by emerging playwrights led to her ten-year career as a New York City-based director, producer, and designer for such pioneering theater companies as Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Zipper, and Collective Unconscious. Willis’ experience in theater management also brought her to Mass MOCA, Lucille Lortel, and the Westport County Playhouse.  In 2000, Willis initiated and directed Jason Wells’ Watch Your Step, a touring theatrical production about landmines that became an official project of Veterans for America (VFA)/Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation (VVAF), a non-governmental organization that founded the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Ban Landmines. In 2006, Willis moved to Washington, DC, to serve as Director of Strategy and Communications for VFA/VVAF. In addition to setting the groups's programmatic direction, she also secured significant high-level press coverage for the organization’s efforts to address the needs of U.S. troops and their families and co-directed the VFA National Guard Program and Wounded Warrior Outreach Program. In 2009, her successful career in strategic planning and communications led her to launch Willis Strategies, LLC, a Washington, DC based firm that specialized in branding, messaging, and media coverage for corporate and non-profit clients. In 2010, her expertise came to the attention of American Dance Institute, now known as Lumberyard. At that time, she became Executive Director of the organization. Since her appointment, Willis has led the Lumberyard during a phase of unprecedented growth -- moving Lumberyard’s home base from Washington, DC to New York City and played a leading role in the organization’s purchase of a four building complex in Catskill New York. She has been instrumental in developing and implementing initiatives that have resulted in Lumberyard’s well-deserved reputation for its artist-centered programs that offer generous residency and presenting opportunities.  Willis hold a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.S. In Global Affairs from New York University.

Karen Lombardo, 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. Prior to forming KHL, Lombardo was Executive Vice President of Gucci Group for Global Human Resources. At Gucci from 1985 to 2010, she helped turn the family-owned business into the third-largest luxury group in the world. As the Executive Vice President of Gucci Group, she implemented strategic initiatives that led to the recruitment and development of executive teams for brands such as Bottega Veneta, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and Boucheron. She helped to bring more than 200 top decision-makers to Gucci during her leadership of the company’s global HR operations. Coaching and leadership training were integral parts of her role.

Dan Hurlin received a 1990 Village Voice OBIE award for his solo adaptation of Nathanael West’s A Cool Million, and his suite of puppet pieces Everyday Uses for Sight Nos. 3 & 7 (2000) earned him a 2001 New York Dance and Performance award (a.k.a. “BESSIE). His 1992 solo Quintland earned sculptor Donna Dennis a New York Dance and Performance award (a.k.a. “BESSIE”) for visual design, and in 1998, he was nominated for an American Theater Wing Design award for his set design for his music theater piece The Shoulder (music by Dan Moses Schreier). Other performance works include No(thing so powerful as) Truth, (1995); Constance and Ferdinand (1991) (with Victoria Marks); The Jazz Section (1989) (with Dan Froot); Two toy theater pieces, The Day the Ketchup Turned Blue (1997) from the short story by John C. Russell, and Who’s Hungry?/West Hollywood (2008) (with Dan Froot). His large puppet piece Hiroshima Maiden, (2004) with an OBIE award winning score by Robert Een, premiered at St. Ann’s Warehouse and was awarded a UNIMA citation of excellence (Union Internationale de la Marionette). Most recently he finished Disfarmer, (2009) which also premiered at St. Ann’s Warehouse and tours internationally. As a performer he has worked with Ping Chong, Janie Geiser, Annie B. Parson & Paul Lazar, and Jeffrey M. Jones, and directed premieres of works by Lisa Kron, Holly Hughes, Dan Froot and John C. Russell among others. He has received individual artist fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Hampshire State Council on the arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, Creative Capital and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. Dan has served on the faculties of Bowdoin, Bennington and Barnard College, Princeton University and is currently the Director of the Graduate Program in Theater at Sarah Lawrence College where he teaches both dance composition and puppetry. He was the director of the Puppet Lab at St. Ann’s Warehouse for nine years, served on the board of the Jim Henson Foundation, and currently serves on the board of the MacDowell Colony. Dan was the recipient of the 2004 Alpert Award in the Arts for theater and most recently was named the 2009 United States Artists Prudential Fellow in Theater.

Alison Schwartz was previously the Co-Founder & Editorial Director of Lulu, the first mobile app dedicated to millennial women. Alongside the CEO, Schwartz developed the business from an original idea to a multinational business serving six million users with a team of 29 professionals in six countries. As Editorial Director, she determined the company’s editorial scope, tone and strategy for Lulu’s app, website, blog, marketing materials and other published media. Prior to that, Schwartz worked as a literary agent at ICM in New York, where she worked on nonfiction projects for young women in their 20s and 30s.


Ruth is the current producer for the Sarah Lawrence College theatre program. She has also worked as production manager for the 2011 Under the Radar Festival for the New York Public Theatre and was director of production for the Westport Country Playhouse from 2001-2009. Ruth has produced and managed companies including Mabou Mines, Shakespeare and Company, Classic Stage Company, The Working Theatre, The Colorado Festival of World Theatre, East Coast Arts Theatre, the Berkshire Public Theatre, The Jerash Festival in Jordan, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and New York Theatre of the Deaf. Ruth is a member of the AEA.

Jason Wells has served as Master Electrician for the Sarah Lawrence College Theatre Program, The Westport Country Playhouse, Barrington Stage Company and The Weston Playhouse. For the last seven years he was Head Electrician at The Yale School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre. His lighting designs include the world premieres of Fred Ho’s “Black Panther Suite” (Northeastern University Center for the Arts) and Chad Raines’ “Missed Connections” (Yale Cabaret). A playwright, Jason’s work has been seen in The Delaware 10 Minute Play Festival, The Philadelphia Fringe and Yale Cabaret. His play “Watch Your Step”, created with Adrienne Willis, was performed in Atlanta, GA, New York City, and Washington, DC. Jason is a company member of A Broken Umbrella Theatre in New Haven, CT and a 2001 graduate of Sarah Lawrence College. 



Public Relations

Julianna has over 15 years of experience providing full-service public relations consulting and marketing for small businesses. Before joining ADI in 2010, Julianna worked for CNN for five years as the Director of Public Relations responsible for all of the proactive press for the network and it¹s anchors, crisis communications strategies, and staff management. Prior to CNN, she worked as a manager of public relations/public affairs for Time Magazine. She has also worked for two specialized boutique PR firms focusing on communications for nonprofit organizations as well as government agencies including the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Education, and the United Nations. Julianna also served as the Director of PR for an internet company that was acquired by AskJeeves.com. 


Accounting for Change is the brainchild of Amy McPherson. Since launching her vision of an accounting firm tailored to the needs of nonprofits in 2006, Amy has helped over 30 organizations become more effective forces for change in the world, working with client budgets ranging from $100,000 to $80 million.

In addition to an MBA with honors from the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University, Amy has extensive experience in accounting and management of federally-funded grants and contracts. She is extremely familiar with federal requirements and the complicated processes of crafting and implementing effective systems that meet those requirements- all without overwhelming the staff at the organizations she is helping.

Pamela and Michael Bjerknes – Founders and Directors Emeritus, American Dance Institute.


No opportunities are available at this time.


Lumberyard offers internships to those interested in pursuing careers in arts administration careers by providing them with opportunities to learn about and participate in the tasks of a thriving arts institution.

No internships are available at this time.

No volunteer opportunities are available at this time.

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