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.
Steven Reker/ Open House
Susan Marshall/Sö Percussion
David Dorfman Dance
Raja Feather Kelly/the feath3r theory