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 endeavor to mold elite dancers and artists who will be able to develop, grow and compete on the world’s stage.
The center is a springboard for creating community identity and encouraging creative activity within an underserved population.
Located on the upper floors of an industrial building in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, the center anchors itself to the street through a vibrant sculpted concrete entry portal and illuminated marquee. Cast ripple and spiral panels hint at the energy and dynamic spirit of the public programs.
The library reception area creates an oasis of calm for reading and stretching, as well as social space for connecting with friends and neighbors. Three dimensional milled panels extend the rippling circular motif into the program spaces.
The center combines flexible dance studios, performance spaces and administrative functions and serves as a significant cultural resource for the community.