By Michael Gioia
19 Sep 2012
Since its inception in 1980, The Joyce Theater Foundation has rented the Joyce from Ballet Tech for $1 a year under the terms of a lease due to expire in 2016. Under the agreement, The Joyce Theater Foundation is granted the option to purchase the property, including related trademarks, for $20 million.
The sale will be completed within a three-year period, and proceeds from the sale will support Ballet Tech's arts education program, which develops young New York dancers.
"Through this agreement we are achieving two important goals," said Ballet Tech president Feld in a statement. "This arrangement succeeds in preserving the Joyce as an asset for the dance community and expanding Ballet Tech's NYC Public School for Dance, providing future generations of gifted public school children the classical dance training their talent, New York City, and the art form deserve."
Linda Shelton, executive director of the Joyce Theater Foundation, added, "We are extremely grateful to Eliot Feld and the directors of Ballet Tech for their decision to sell The Joyce Theater to us, so that we can keep this beacon of dance and choreography shining in perpetuity. The security this gives our institution for the future will enable us to step up our service both to our audiences and to the dance community, with new and expanded commissioning programs and audience development initiatives."
In the late 1970s, under the direction of founders Cora Cahan and Feld, and with the support of LuEsther T. Mertz, Ballet Tech acquired and renovated a former movie house, transforming it into the Joyce Theater, a space where small to mid-sized dance companies could perform in NYC at a subsidized rent. Today, the Joyce is one of the premiere performance venues for dance and attracts an annual audience of more than 140,000.