Significant Damage to the Atlas Performing Arts Center Facade
[Dateline: WASHINGTON, DC, December 23, 2020] — At 12:32 AM on December 23, 2020 Joy of Motion Dance Center (JOMDC) staff was alerted via Twitter that an automobile crashed through the facade of the Atlas Performing Arts Center around 10:00 PM, where Joy of Motion is a Resident Arts Partner and tenant. This caused significant damage to the Marley Studio A space at Joy of Motion’s H Street location, as well as the Actor’s Lobby at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. Unfortunately, this is not the first accident of this nature in our neighborhood.
The full scope of the damage and the circumstances around the accident itself are yet to be determined. We are thankful that the studio and theater were free of staff, faculty*, and dancers at the time of the collision and that no other members of the public were injured. The teams at Atlas and Joy of Motion will be working together to clean up, rebuild, and advocate for measures that will ensure the safety of our H Street community in the coming weeks. Joy of Motion will be releasing updates to the community, along with plans for restoration, as they become available as a part of the ongoing commitment to institutional transparency.
Douglas Yeuell, Atlas’ Executive Director, and Roy A. Gross, Atlas’ Director of Operations, were alerted and did an exemplary job at securing the building promptly and efficiently. “Joy of Motion is immensely thankful to have such an amazing, responsive, and attentive team at the Atlas during these extraordinary times” says Interim Executive Director, Krystal Odom.
This collision comes at a particularly challenging time for the organization and the performing arts community. Before COVID-19 closure mandates, 80% of Joy of Motion Dance Center’s income came from students registering for in-person classes. To keep the organization as financially viable as possible Joy of Motion made drastic cuts to their budget and spending. The Atlas is currently home Joy of Motion’s only studio location.
Joy of Motion is extremely grateful for the outpouring of support and well-wishes they have received in the last 24 hours from the wider H Street community, our ANC Commissioner-Elect Robb Dooling, and the students, artists, faculty, and families that call Joy of Motion their home for dance. “When I first moved to DC, Joy of Motion made me feel more at home and less alone. Donating during these hard times is the least I could do to pay that back!! Thank you for all the happy memories so far! Looking forward to having more in the future,” said Molly Casca, an adult student at Joy of Motion. More information about how to donate and support Joy of Motion can be found at the end of this release.
For 44 years, Joy of Motion has been dedicated to creating a singular space for learning, growing, and most importantly, dance, in the Greater Washington region. Bringing artists, students, and the community together through meaningful dance experiences is what we do, but now that legacy is in danger.
Following the challenges of 2020, we need your support to succeed — you, our truly exceptional community of artists, advocates, and allies in dance. Joy of Motion is moving forward with new energy for equity and inclusion as it continues to nurture creativity in everyone. The passion of Joy of Motion’s community, YOUR passion, enlivens us. Your support is critical now more than ever as we seek to redefine and now, physically rebuild, our organization
You can “break the wheel” and create a place for dance that is truly for everyone by visiting jomdc.org/dance_forward Your gift today makes a difference. Contributions made through December 31st will be instrumental in helping us continue operations as we seek to rebuild our space and Dance Forward with Joy today, tomorrow, and beyond.
Venmo, paypal, and credit cards accepted in the donation window here. For more ways to support, scroll down ⬇️
Our staff found out about the accident at our studio on Twitter this evening and is still getting up to speed. In the meantime, is 2020 over yet? 😭 #dcdance #hstreetne #danceforwardwithjoy pic.twitter.com/EgB65dxnH8
— Joy of Motion Dance Center (@JOMDC) December 23, 2020
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*An earlier version of this post sought to imply that faculty were included in staff/dancers & we apologize if that didn’t come across that way!