Abrons Arts Center And Spaceworks Partner To Bring Affordable Artists Studio/Rehearsal Space Rental Online

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Spaceworks, the nonprofit organization that builds and operates below-market creative workspace across New York City, is partnering with Abrons Arts Center, a home for contemporary interdisciplinary arts in Manhattan's Lower East Side neighborhood, to bring 10 studios online for dance, music, and theater rehearsals starting at $10/hour.

"We are very excited to partner with Spaceworks," said Jon Harper, Director of Operations at Abrons. "This partnership will make it much easier for artists to book rehearsal spaces at Abrons, furthering our goal to provide our communities with accessible, affordable space."

Situated at 466 Grand Street (at Pitt Street) on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Abrons Arts Center is a core program of the Henry Street Settlement. Through performance presentations, exhibitions, education programs and residencies, Abrons mobilizes communities with the transformative power of art. Through this partnership, artists across New York City will be able to rent 10 studios at Abrons through Spaceworks' online booking platform: 5 studios for dance and theater rehearsal, and 5 music studios with pianos.

"We are pleased to launch our first space in Manhattan in partnership with Abrons," said Anisha Steephen, Interim Executive Director at Spaceworks. "Our goal is to activate affordable creative spaces citywide, so that artists of diverse experiences and mediums can pursue their craft. Abrons is an important asset to the LES community. We're honored to partner with and support an institution that is integral to NYC's creative culture."

According to Craig T. Peterson, Artistic Director at Abrons Arts Center, "Affordable space for artistic research and development of new work continues to disappear at an alarming rate in New York City. It is critical that organizations like Abrons and Spaceworks do everything we can to provide access for artists to incubate bold ideas and build new work. This partnership underscores the collective action needed to not only safeguard creative spaces but to make them easily accessible to artists."

These studios will be rented at below-market rates, priced at $12-$15 per hour for the music studios, and $15-25 per hour for the dance/theater studios. Grants from the New York State Council on the Arts and Dance/NYC will provide eligible dance artists with access to a $10 less per hour rate in Abrons' dance/theater studios. All available music studios, as well as dance/theater studios 302 and G05, are wheelchair accessible. To book space, interested artists can sign up for membership at spaceworksnyc.org. Once they become a member, artists will be able to reserve space online during Abrons' operating hours.

"Artists have long been a fundamental part of New York City's DNA, and we want it to stay that way," said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl. "To help keep NYC's artists thriving, we must address issues of affordability, as we've committed to doing in the CreateNYC cultural plan. It's great to see organizations like Spaceworks and Abrons Art Center coming together to take on this challenge too, and helping our city continue to retain and inspire creators for generations to come."

CreateNYC was released to the public in July 2017 as New York City's first-ever comprehensive cultural plan. Following months of public engagement that engaged with nearly 200,000 New Yorkers, the plan provided a long term framework for promoting greater equity, access, diversity, and expanding opportunities for all residents to participate in the City's vibrant cultural life. Spaceworks' partnership with Abrons Arts Center aims to further the plans' goals by increasing access to affordable creative workspace.

Spaceworks is a not-for-profit developer and operator of long-term, below-market creative workspace across New York City. Spaceworks works in partnership with artists and cultural workers to create access to space for expression and entrepreneurship.

Spaceworks was founded as an initiative of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in 2011 and became an independent 501(c)(3) organization in 2012. Since then, the organization has developed four spaces in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx with both private developers and public agencies. Spaceworks also provides space management services to cultural institutions such as The Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and Abrons Arts Center to create greater accessibility to underutilized artistic spaces across New York City.

Spaceworks' current sites in operation are home to 48 artist studios, 28 rehearsal studios, and 4 shared office spaces for cultural organizations. Its growing membership network includes more than 8,000 artists of all disciplines and backgrounds. To date, Spaceworks sites have hosted more than 120,000 hours of rehearsal and community partner programming. Visit spaceworksnyc.org to learn more.

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