Past & Future

For over three decades, Performance Space 122 has been a hub for contemporary performance and an active member of the cultural community in NYC and across the globe. Under the curato¬rial vision of Mark Russell (1985–2005) and Vallejo Gantner (2005–present), PS122 has developed a set of programs designed to sustain the creative process for artists throughout their career and provide extraordinary experiences for our audiences, in all their diversity. Our goal is to inspire critical thinking and connect performance with the larger cultural eco-system of both New York City and the world, and by doing so re-establish the value of live performance. Through partnering with peer organizations as well as contemporary institutions who share our belief in the cultural importance of live performance, PS122 currently commissions and presents artists in all disciplines in spaces all over the city during an annual fall & spring season and COIL festival in January.

Founded in 1980 by Charles Dennis, Tim Miller, Charles Moulton, and Peter Rose, in what was then an abandoned public school building, Performance Space 122 is proud to have brought forward not only artists, like John Leguizamo, Jonathan Ames, Eric Bogosian, the Blue Man Group and Annie Dorsen who have gone on to make waves in commercial arenas on Broadway or at HBO, but also artists who have triggered national debate about political and ethical issues, like the original “NEA four”, Ethyl Eichelberger (HIV/AIDS activist) and Young Jean Lee, as well as artists who have radicalized aesthetic form like Meredith Monk, Spalding Gray, Richard Maxwell, Tina Satter, Andrew Schneider, Rabih Mroué (Lebanon), Cuqui Jerez (Spain), and Mariano Penscotti (Argentina).

In 2013, PS122’s East Village home began a much-needed interior renovation supported by the City of New York, Department of Cultural Affairs and Department of Design and Construction. We are invigorated by the prospect of this multi-year journey and the re-opening of our custom designed theater spaces. These column-free, larger spaces raise the roof to feature a two story high ceiling allowing for more agency for artists and more expansive experiences for our audiences.

In preparation for our grand re-opening in the summer of 2016, PS122 has launched “Give Performance Space” (GPS) – a major fundraising campaign to spur PS122’s growth during one of the most exciting periods in our history. GPS will increase our capacity to better serve the artists and audiences of New York City during a four-year transition period that includes two years of planning and outfitting and our critical first two seasons in our new home. GPS will provide capacity-building funds to allow us to take full advantage of our beautiful new spaces and lay the groundwork for long-term sustainability. GPS is critical to our success artistically, financially and organizationally as a growing leader within the cultural ecology of New York City.

  • RT @mariscalf: Museums should enhace social interactions with their local communities, otherwise we are just gentrifiers @newmuseum @ps122…

  • RT @lauraknicoll: @lostnotebook @PS122 yes + artists at the decision making table + an underlying belief that all humans are creative + bas…

  • How do we embed a responsibility in the institution that is not funding directed? #generativecity

  • We have to put our hearts into a change but we are not going to live to see it #generativecity

  • Switch the conversations away from the towers and back to the street. #generativecity

  • There is a dispersion of creativity because of the lack of affordability in NYC. #generativecity

  • RT @ETakeshita: Have "non-profit arts" been aloof? @newmuseum @PS122 #generativecity

  • RT @lostnotebook: @PS122 key to generative cities = formula of radical hospitality, horizontal culture & many opportunities for unexpected…

  • If we're using the phase "outreach", we've already lost. #generativecity

  • RT @FourthArtsBlock: good programs take time - how do we balance desire to fill space and time w the time to listen, research and even fail…

  • RT @ETakeshita: Need to build reciprocal relationships btw art and social sector - need to build trust + takes time @PS122 @newmuseum #gene…

  • Becoming radically welcoming means we need deep self reflection as an institution. #generativecity

  • The arts can be an accelerator of social change. #generativecity

  • Generative institutions need to acknowledge the innovators living around them. #community #generativecity

  • We don't have to limit our programming to the assumed condescension of what we think the Lower East Side wants. #generativecity

  • RT @ETakeshita: As build big bldgs are we building virtual gated communities? @newmuseum @PS122 #generativecity

  • These buildings aren't as solid as we think. #generativecity

  • RT @ETakeshita: Artists aren't lost and don't need (or want) to be found @sarmoti #generativecity

  • Unexpected creativity is part of the zeitgeist of NYC. #generativecity

  • Cross pollination and the intersection of the arts is difficult when you don't occupy spaces next to each other. #generativecity

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