Lumberyard, a state-of-the-art performing arts center in Catskill, N.Y., that since 2018 has attracted renowned artists and dancers from New York City and beyond, will be sold as its parent organization, the American Dance Institute, rethinks its mission, the institute announced on Friday.
Lumberyard has served as an important incubator for dancers preparing to bring new works to the city, offering residencies and much-needed technical rehearsal space. But as demand for the space has fallen during the pandemic and the priorities of donors have shifted, the institute’s leaders concluded that maintaining the campus was impractical.
“It’s bittersweet for sure,” Adrienne Willis, the institute’s artistic and executive director, said in an interview. “But I’m really excited for what could come next.”
The institute, which is based in the city, will shift its focus to other programs, Willis said, including an initiative aimed at better integrating artists and audience members who have autism. The group also runs an arts education program for incarcerated youth. It plans to continue to advise arts groups seeking affordable rehearsal space.
Lumberyard was one of the institute’s flagship projects. Boasting more than 20,000 square feet of production and performance space, the center opened to much fanfare. It hosted renowned groups, including the dance troupe Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company and Elevator Repair Service, a theater ensemble. In 2017, the Brooklyn Academy of Music joined forces with Lumberyard to commission and nurture new dance works.
The Lumberyard campus, including its main performance and rehearsal studios as well as a neighboring waterfront development site, will be listed at $11.5 million.
Willis said the institute hoped to find a buyer that would continue its mission.
“We put a lot of energy and time into proof of concept,” she said. “This is something that’s needed.”