Dear Friends,
Performance Space is reconstructing its mission statement in 2020.
Noting 40 years of existence, we are taking the opportunity to assess our organization in order to build deeper relationships with all of our constituencies.
For the year of 2020 a group of NYC-based artists and collectives has been given the mandate to run the organization together with our staff, board, and leadership. The artists have received keys to the spaces, have moved into our business offices, and will move into our theaters next month. They have full transparency into the organization’s inner workings and full artistic control of our programming including oversight of the website. Our total annual production budget is at the artists’ full disposal to pay themselves a wage and develop their programmatic platforms. The only requirement of their tenure is that the spaces must be utilized.
Shifting our model is shifting our future: toward new institutional structures, new coalitions, new partnerships, new priorities. We know artistic practice is changing, that the world is changing, and that we need to be ready to adjust. We are betting on an artist-recalibrated institutional mission as a catalyst for futurist art practice
Our stratified economic and political climate generates an urgency to open boundaries and widen access. With the artists and staff working together within the belly of the beast, we hope to devise future modeling for more lateral working partnerships and reform the mission statement to reflect this changing world. The entire Performance Space staff has been and will continue working in close collaboration with the artists during 2020 and beyond.
The cohort of artists formed last fall and was developed over six months from an artist-led think tank. They are: Janice Amaya, members of BRUJAS (Arianna Gil, Dada Coz, Sarah Snider, Antonia Perez, and Ripley Soprano), Jonathan González, Monica Mirabile, and New Red Order (with core contributors Adam Khalil, Zack Khalil, and Jackson Polys). Sarah Michelson, inceptor of the 02020 concept, will work throughout the year as ecologist in service of the group and staff in a continually developing role and relationship.
The title of the yearlong project is 02020. The cohort will announce their initial plans via our website in mid-February.
Please be in touch.
Jenny Schlenzka and Sarah Michelson

Stages Series (Sep – Jan 2020)

What happens if we engage positions that have historically been excluded from the Western stage and invite artists to initiate unique community gatherings, intimate one-to-one exchanges, parties, and dinners? What happens if we let go of the traditional stage entirely?
For the Stages Series, Performance Space New York invites artists to move away from the proscenium mode, and to look beyond the stage as a delineated elevation for a chosen public. We are calling for a rethinking of the dominant form and aesthetics which have informed the stage for centuries. We will create space to experience works that decenter critique in favor of ritual and community.
We are interested in performance as a “doing” towards the future, performance as a process of identifying more generous platforms, performance as a means of digging deep within ourselves and taking the temperature of the world today.
Finally, the Stages Series is an attempt to slow down, to take stock of where we are, and ultimately, where we hope to be as a community.
Let us be ready to let go.

No Series (Jan – May 2019)

From January through May you are invited to join artists and activists who locate power and creativity in refusal.
No to the expectation to perform.
No to being representable.
No to fixed identities.
No to being exhausted.
No to being normalized.
No to having to relate to the dominant culture.
No to the capitalist yes.
No to constantly having to say no.
Yes to being together.
Yes to caring for each other.
Yes to making something out of nothing.

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