at Round Top, Greene County


The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) generously granted Stephen Petronio Company $500,000 to conserve a 77-acre parcel of land surrounding the Petronio Residency Center, adjacent to the Catskill Preserve, designating it as a forever wild open space to be named the Doris Duke Preserve at Round Top, Greene County. This novel undertaking will enable SPC to safeguard the sustainability of the Petronio Residency Center while protecting in perpetuity an important haven for biodiversity.

The grant facilitates SPC’s ability to obtain full and enduring ownership of the expansive property that cradles the Petronio Residency Center—where it works to nurture generations of contemporary dance artists—while simultaneously expanding the footprint of protected land along the Catskill corridor and significantly advancing regional conservation efforts in the Hudson Valley.

Photo by Alon Koppel.

“The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s grant to Stephen Petronio Company is nothing short of transformational for us as an organization,” said Stephen Petronio, founder and artistic director of the Stephen Petronio Company and the Petronio Residency Center. “The goal for the Petronio Residency Center is to serve as a creative haven for early-stage choreographic development and support the future of dance, and this funding amplifies and enlivens our growing focus on environmental stewardship and a soon-to-launch category of environmental programming. Sustaining a dance producing organization with a modest administrative staff and a core group of dancers while at the same time growing PRC to ensure the next generation of dance is a significant undertaking in the best of times. We see PRC as both an opportunity and a responsibility, to artists and the natural world, and are so excited by all that we will be able to continue to do thanks to this incredible funding. Our gratitude goes to DDCF and longtime SPC supporter The Howard Gilman Foundation, which provided additional crucial support in this effort.”

“The Petronio Residency Center sets the standard for providing a vital service to choreographers in an extraordinary setting, and the Hudson Valley sets the standard for America’s rich natural landscapes,” said Sam Gill, President and CEO of DDCF. “Supporting these two treasures simultaneously is an incredible testament to Doris Duke’s name and legacy.”

The Doris Duke Preserve at Round Top, Greene County has been established through a permanent land conservation easement, held in perpetuity by the Greene Land Trust. The most distinctive characteristic of an easement as a conservation tool is that it enables specific conservation goals on the land while keeping ownership and management with the existing landowners and allowing for uses harmonious with conservation objectives. This mechanism enables an experienced land conservation organization, such as a land trust or government agency, to work with a landowner in order to achieve conservation purposes.

The parcel was officially renamed the Doris Duke Preserve at Culture Dances with Nature, a naming ceremony on September 12, 2021 at Petronio Residency Center. The event included a performance by the Stephen Petronio Company of a “Bloodlines” work by choreographer Trisha Brown as well as the debut of landscape installations by artists Paula Hayes, Portia Munson, Kiki Smith and Cindy Sherman.


Photo by Alon Koppel.


Petronio Residency Center is both an opportunity and a responsibility, to artists and the natural world, where dance and nature intersect, sheltered in the restorative and inspirational power of the incredible beauty that surrounds the center, high up in the Northern Catskills along the edge of the majestic Catskill Forest Preserve. And coming out of the pandemic, ensuring PRC has a new sense of urgency, preserving this location that will allow a continued and thriving creative process, where artists can feel secure and inspired. PRC has been built by and for artists – through support from many artists, patrons and friends, building an impactful and sustainable future for artists and the environment, and we are so grateful to everyone who has joined us on this journey.

Photo 1 by Dancing Camera.
Photo 2 & 3 by Alon Koppel.