The merger was announced Dec. 2 by the respective boards of the two arts organizations, which will align under the new entity New York Live Arts. Jones will serve as executive artistic director, and DTW's Carla Peterson will continue as artistic director, with Jean Davidson as chief executive officer and executive director. Not only will the merger allow for a broader spectrum of programming, it will also provide the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company a permanent residence. The deal is yet another creative move made by arts organizations in recent months to ensure their futures as the economy recovers.
New York Arts Live will announce its first season in spring 2011, at which time Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company is expected to take up residence at DTW's Chelsea home (the Bessie Schönberg Theater) on West 19th Street. As part of the merger, Jones company will present a two-week season at the Schönberg Theater every other year, in additional to touring engagements.
"We are doing something that supposedly can't be done," Jones said in a statement, "fusing a presenting organization with a company founded and led by an artist. But the DNA of our organizations is in fact very compatible. Once the two are combined, our new company will be ideally poised to animate the performance space and invite the community to participate in the world of ideas. That's what people will see, and experience, as New York Live Arts shifts into operation, and Carla and I start working together with the other artists we bring together."