DNAWORKS is an arts and service organization dedicated to dialogue and healing through the arts. Founded in New York City in 2006 by Daniel Banks and Adam W. McKinney, DNAWORKS centers Global Majority and LGBTQQ2SPIAA+ voices and experiences to create more complex representations of identity, culture, class, and heritage through theatre, dance, film, writing, and art installation. DNAWORKS is based in Fort Worth, TX; New York, NY; and Pittsburgh, PA.
DNAWORKS has led its award-winning programming and performances, promoting dialogue-based social justice action and community building, with arts, educational, and community organizations in 39 states and 18 countries. The organization believes that art = ritual = healing = community and that this philosophy and practice lead to a more peaceful world.
DNAWORKS was founded to create performance works that are liberatory, adhering to the motto: “Slow life, slow art.” By moving mindfully and compassionately, DNAWORKS seeks to create resilient, healing spaces—for the company, its audiences, and the planet.
DNAWORKS develops and creates dance, theater, and film to promote dialogue-based social justice action and community building. DNAWORKS has presented its creative work for Bay Area Playwrights Festival, San Francisco, CA; Beta Dance Troupe, Haifa, Israel; Ferst Center for the Arts, Atlanta, GA; HERE, NYC; Hi-Arts, NYC; KC MeltingPot Theatre, Kansas City, MO; Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, Boise. ID; La MaMa’s Spoleto Open Festival, Italy; Miteu Festival, Ourense, Spain; National Dance Institute-NM, Santa Fe; Passing the Flame, DAH Teatar’s 20th Anniversary, Belgrade, Serbia; Playhouse Square, Cleveland, OH; Revolutions Theatre Festival/Tricklock Theatre, Albuquerque, NM; Saratoga Springs Arts Festival, NY; Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, NYC; South Dallas Cultural Center, Dallas, TX; and The Wild Project, NYC.
DNAWORKS has led programming at such notable institutions as Babson College, Brown-Trinity, Bryn Mawr College, California Institute of the Arts, Juilliard Drama Division, Marymount Manhattan College, New York University, NYU Tel Aviv, Rhodes College, Skidmore College, Texas Christian University, Theatre School at DePaul University, Tufts University, UNC Chapel Hill/PlayMakers Repertory Company, University of California Berkeley, University of California Riverside, University of Central Florida, University of Ghana-Legon, and Wellesley College, among others; and has worked with community organizations and congregations across the U.S. and in fifteen countries.
They have led workshops and trainings for such organizations as Academy for Jewish Religion, Academy for the Love of Learning, Artists Striving to End Poverty, Black Theatre Network, Curriculum Initiative, Hattiloo Theatre, Hillel Council of New England, Insight Fellowship/Shusterman Foundation, Jewish Community Center of Manhattan, Jewish Multiracial Network, JOINT/Lauder Foundation Summer Camp (Szarvas, Hungary), Littleglobe, Museum at Eldridge Street, Network of Ensemble Theatres, U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, and Wise Fool New Mexico. DNAWORKS has presented at such conferences as Alliance of Artists Communities, Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Conney Project on Jewish Arts, Dance Studies Association, International Association of Blacks in Dance, International Peace Research Association, Jews and Jewishness in the Dance World (Arizona State University), Jewish Outreach Initiative/Big Tent Judaism Conference, Schmooze, Theatre Communications Group, and Theatre Without Borders.
DNAWORKS has received funding from Alternate Roots, Asylum Arts, the Grambrindi Davies Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation, Hi-ARTS, Ignite/Arts Dallas, MAP Fund, Mid-America Arts Alliance, National Endowment for the Arts, Network of Ensemble Theaters, New England Foundation for the Arts, North Texas Community Foundation, Rainwater Charitable Foundation, Sallie B. Goodman Retreat at McCarter Theatre, Santa Fe Arts Commission, Stanley and Marion Bergman Family Charitable Fund, Tecovas Foundation, Texas Christian University, Trust for Mutual Understanding, and US Embassies and Consulates in Azerbaijan, Benin, Ghana, Hungary, Israel, Mexico, Poland, South Africa, and the U.K. In 2010 DNAWORKS received Black Theatre Network’s Presidential Pathfinder Award.