Former principal dancer for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dwana Smallwood has also collaborated with Oprah Winfrey to develop educational and dance programs for women in South Africa.
The Dwana Smallwood Performing Arts Center aims to use the arts, primarily dance, as a means to empower youth within New York’s inner city communities. They will endeavor to mold elite dancers and artists who will be able to develop, grow and compete on the world’s stage. The center will be a springboard for creating community identity and encouraging creative activity in neglected inner city areas.
Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture has been selected to design the new home for the center in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. Combining dance studios, performance space and administrative functions the center will be a significant cultural resource for the community.