Jody Gottfried Arnhold Donates $5 Million To Transform The Iconic Harkness Dance Center At 92Y

The 92nd Street Y the world-class cultural and community center that has been connecting people around the globe through the arts, entertainment, and conversation for 145 years today announced that board member and dance educator Jody Gottfried Arnhold and her husband John have committed $5 million toward an exciting and ambitious plan to physically transform the Harkness Dance Center, enabling it to expand and enhance programming and serve an ever-growing patron base.

The Harkness Dance Center is where legends like Martha Graham, Alvin Ailey and Merce Cunningham pushed boundaries and developed the art form; where modern-day pioneers continue to create and debut dance's most exciting work; and where tomorrow's stars are incubating today. Through the Center's educational and professional development programs, students of all ages and levels learn a variety of dance genres from modern, ballet and hip hop to hula, flamenco and swing from experienced, professional faculty members.

Arnhold is the Founder of the world-renowned Dance Education Laboratory (DEL), a nationally recognized program which leads the way in dance education by providing professional training and support so that educators can experiment, create, learn and innovate. Harkness Dance Center is the historic home of modern dance, and a leader in dance education, teacher training and curriculum development through the Dance Education Laboratory, said Arnhold. I'm proud to support the Center's physical expansion with this gift, which will allow even more students, educators and audience members to benefit from all that 92Y has to offer in dance.

Jody's generous gift will ensure that the Harkness Dance Center's already vibrant programming can continue to grow and bring communities together, said Laurence Belfer, Chairman of the Board of the 92nd Street Y. We could not be more excited for Jody's tremendous contribution to the dance communities we serve here in New York, across the country and around the globe.
The Arnhold gift will allow for the creation of a new flexible studio space which will greatly expand the footprint of historic Buttenwieser Hall. As part of this transformative gift, 92Y has announced the search for a new visionary director to nourish dance across the institution. This role will focus on shaping 92Y's dance programming and education for the next generation of dancers and audiences and reimagining the world of dance at 92Y.

Jody Gottfried Arnhold, founder of Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) at 92Y, is a luminary in dance education and an advocate for dance. She taught dance in NYC public schools for over 20 years, created the Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Program at Hunter College, is the visionary benefactor behind the Doctorate in Dance Education at Teachers College Columbia University, and is Executive Producer of the New York Emmy nominated documentary, PS DANCE! Dance Education in Public Schools, created to raise awareness and advocate for her mission, Dance for Every Child. Jody supports and mentors countless dance teachers many of whom now lead the field. She champions and supports many NYC dance companies, including Ballet Hispanico, where she is Honorary Chair.

Jody serves on the Advisory Committee for Arts Education at New York City Department of Education and was Co-Chair of the Committee that created the Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Dance K-12 . Jody is on the Board at 92Y, Hunter College, Ballet Hispanico, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Harkness Foundation for Dance, and on the Advisory Committee of Dance/NYC. She has received National Dance Education Organization's Visionary Award, Education Update's Distinguished Leader in Education Award, and Teachers College Distinguished Alumni Award. Jody has received the Floria V. Lasky Award, Dance Films Association Dance In Focus Award, and the New York State Dance Education Association Outstanding Leadership Award. She has been honored by Lincoln Center Education, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Jose Limon Dance Foundation, Dancewave, and NYC Arts in Education Roundtable for her contributions to dance and dance education. She holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, an M.A. in Dance Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and is a Certified Movement Analyst.

92nd Street Y is a world-class, nonprofit cultural and community center that fosters the mental, physical and spiritual health of people throughout their lives, offering: wide-ranging conversations with the world's best minds; an outstanding range of programming in the performing, visual and literary arts; fitness and sports programs; and activities for children and families. 92Y is reimagining what it means to be a community center in the digital age with initiatives like the award-winning #GivingTuesday, launched by 92Y in 2012 and now recognized across the US and in a growing number of regions worldwide as a day to celebrate and promote giving. These kinds of initiatives are transforming the way people share ideas and translate them into action both locally and around the world. More than 300,000 people visit 92Y annually; millions more participate in 92Y's digital and online initiatives. A proudly Jewish organization since its founding in 1874, 92Y embraces its heritage and welcomes people of all backgrounds and perspectives. For more information, visit

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