Chashama, Inc.

Rating: 4.92 stars   50 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture

Location: 675 Third Ave New York NY 10017 USA

Mission: chashama empowers artists in New York City with space to create by transforming unutilized real estate into work and presentation space.
Results: chashama, which means “to have vision” in Farsi, was founded in 1995 by Anita Durst, to celebrate and honor the legacy of theater artist Reza Abdoh. The organization initially focused on the production of theater performances in vacant properties along 42nd Street in Manhattan. Durst began fielding many requests from artists asking to use the spaces during off-nights. Recognizing that the lack of affordable studio and presentation space was a great threat to sustaining a diverse, dynamic, and provocative cultural environment in New York City, Durst’s vision was to find a way to connect artists and performers with untapped reserves of temporarily vacant commercial real estate. In response to artists’ need for space, Durst gained access to other buildings on the same block, creating a strong presence on the block of 42nd Street between 6th Avenue and Broadway. chashama sponsored nearly 700 gallery shows and performances during its first five years. In 2007, chashama expanded into studio spaces at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, 37th Street in Manhattan, and on 126th Street in West Harlem, and has operated with a strong presence in these neighborhoods ever since. chashama also programs exhibition, gallery, and performance spaces all over New York City, including Queens and the Bronx. One of the flagship spaces of chashama when we had many spaces along 42nd street in midtown manhattan. Now is the site of a through-block between the Conde Nast and Bank of America buildings where performances may be put on from our performances program Since 1995 chashama has supported the work of over 12,000 artists in New York City through subsidized studio space, and free exhibition, rehearsal and performance space. We have brought cultural programming to neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs, including areas where the arts are not already well represented. In 2013 we programmed 150 public events in 21 venues, and supported 130 studio artists. In 2014 we are programming 26 venues, supporting 126 studio artists, and are on track to present a similarly large number of public events. chashama connects artists with vacant real estate - redistributing the untapped resources available in our urban landscape by partnering with private and public property owners. By structuring a mission around this goal, chashama has become a major force in the NYC arts community by supporting the work of an increasing number of emerging artists every year.
Target demographics: artists
Direct beneficiaries per year: 537 artists gain access to free and subsidized gallery, rehearsal and performance space
Geographic areas served: New York City
Programs: affordable work and presentation space.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 13-3862422
212-391-8151
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

My experience in the spaces this organization manages has been uniformly positive. Open Studios events, gallery exhibits, performances in theater spaces, display windows and site specific venues have all introduced me to levels and kinds of art I might not otherwise have become aware of, as I have often encountered them in the kinds unexpected places chashama programs with artists and art.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

chashama is doing incredible work transforming vacant spaces throughout the city into spontaneous, exciting venues for experimentation! I was immediately intrigued passing by a performance happening in a storefront window. Stumbling upon chashama helps me remember the spirit of NYC and the magic of stumbling on the unexpected. The weird, the beautiful, the thought-provoking - I think they do it all and they do it well!

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have attended multiple events that were curated by chashama, and each time I had a blast. The art was beautiful, the performances were captivating and the chashama staff were fantastic. I had a lot of questions about getting my own space and the staff members I was able to speak to were super helpful and easy to talk to. I have now applied for my own space and am considering an upstate residency. Go chashama!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I can't think of any changes I would make.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

Fantastic events, outreach and artist support. Truly a cornerstone of the New York art community.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I enjoy being introduce to art and artist that I probably would never have know of . and I find myself searching out all of the spaces in my travels when time permits.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my enjoyment

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

friendly and helpful

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

Chashama has many interactive storefront displays and exhibits in the midtown Manhattan area. I have immensely enjoyed watching reactions of passers-by, especially the space they currently have on West 44th Street. Chashama has a wonderful effect on midtown Manhattan to delight tourists and cause people who work in the area to think of larger life-affirming issues during their daily commute. Thanks Chashama!

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the opportunity chashama provides to young artists, providing them with space and the ability to collaborate with other artists. I also enjoy the fact that chashama hosts fundraisers, such as the New Orleans event planned for Saturday 2/13/2010.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

The storefront exhibitions I have seen have been smart and unexpected. They seem to be really exciting opportunities for the participating artists.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the storefront exhibitions.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

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