This residency has literally changed our lives! A sold- out show in NYC?!?  A NY Times review??!  A dream come true!

-The Syncopated Ladies, 2014 resident artist

The CUNY Dance Initiative (CDI) is an unprecedented model for collaboration between the City University of New York (CUNY) — the nation’s largest public urban university system — and the NYC dance field. A residency program that opens the doors of CUNY campuses to professional choreographers and dance companies, CDI supports local artists, enhances the cultural life and education of college students, and builds new dance audiences at CUNY performing arts centers.

Despite New York City’s status as the dance capital of the United States, rising real estate prices are challenging the city’s ability to serve as a creative incubator, with appropriate rehearsal spaces in waning supply. CDI was developed in response to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s 2010 report, “We Make Do,” which cited how destabilizing the shortage of affordable rehearsal space in New York City is to the dance community. A successful pilot project supporting residencies and performances on four CUNY campuses in 2013 prompted CDI to expand its scope. Since its official launch in 2014, CDI has subsidized and facilitated a total of 107 residencies — from emerging choreographers to established dance companies — at 13 CUNY colleges in all five boroughs.

CDI is spearheaded and administered by The Kupferberg Center for the Arts at Queens College:

  • Jeff Rosenstock, Executive Director, Kupferberg Center for the Arts
  • Julia Del Palacio, Manager of Strategic Partnerships, Kupferberg Center for the Arts


  • Alyssa Alpine, Director
  • Jamie Benson, Social Media Manager