The Barrow Group to Open New $4M Performing Arts Center in Midtown Manhattan

The new performing arts center will open at 520 8th Avenue in April of 2022.

By: Feb. 09, 2022
Enter Your Email to Unlock This Article

Plus, get the best of BroadwayWorld delivered to your inbox, and unlimited access to our editorial content across the globe.

Existing user? Just click login.

The Barrow Group to Open New $4M Performing Arts Center in Midtown Manhattan

Having spent more than a year offering its artist development and training programming over Zoom during the pandemic, The Barrow Group announces that it will open a new performing arts center at 520 8th Avenue in April of 2022. Aiming to play a role in revitalizing the hard-hit cultural scene in New York City, The Barrow Group's new 13,155 sq. ft. home currently plans a dynamic 60-seat theater, 5 sound-attenuated studios, offices, and a large community gathering space. Phased renovations are expected to begin in February 2022 and are estimated to cost $4 million in total.

At the start of the pandemic, The Barrow Group let go of its 10,000 sq. ft. arts center at 312 West 36 St, correctly intuiting that the pandemic would last more than a year. The company pivoted its training and artist development programs online and served more than 5,200 professional, beginner, and youth actors, writers, and directors, while employing 39 teaching artists. This swift response stabilized the company by generating over $1.9 million in earned revenue and giving The Barrow Group the resources and time to search for a new home.

Executive Director Robert Yu Serrell remarked, "One of The Barrow Group's central purposes is to empower artists, whether it be in an off-Broadway production, a reading, or a virtual workshop. This purpose and our commitment to accessibility, inclusion, and excellence guided us through the pandemic and is the backbone of our new performing arts center. With our new home, our vision is to help revitalize New York City's cultural landscape by enriching the lives of thousands of diverse artists through our in-person and online arts programs. We're deeply grateful to our Board of Trustees, and funders, for their support in helping The Barrow Group to accomplish this."

Co-Artistic Director Lee Brock said, "As New York City begins to reopen, we're thrilled that The Barrow Group will continue to serve a vital role in the theater community. We're humbled that so many artists came together online and that we were able to welcome new students from across the globe. We believe that social connection is essential to a healthy society and that the arts play a significant role in fostering community."

Co-Artistic Director Seth Barrish commented, "At the outset of the pandemic, we met with our teaching artists every week. The goal was to adapt our unique approach to performing arts training, which focuses on simplicity, clarity and spontaneity, to an online format. Much to our surprise, once we figured out how to do it, the close-up camera angles allowed for an incredibly intimate experience. We're going to continue to offer online workshops while we return to in-person programming in the new arts center."

Board Chair Vaughn Buffalo said, "The Barrow Group's new home at 520 8th Avenue is an incalculable upgrade - the larger and improved space will allow us to support more artists from all backgrounds and the long-term lease will enable us to set down roots, enriching people's lives for another three decades."

"The performing arts are a large part of what makes New York City great, and we are thrilled to have had the opportunity to partner with such an important cultural organization as The Barrow Group," said Stephen Powers, co-founder of OPEN Impact Real Estate, who brokered the lease on behalf of The Barrow Group. "We are proud to help The Barrow Group expand after such a difficult year by securing affordable new space in 520 Eighth Avenue, home to a number of performing arts organizations with a landlord that is committed to supporting the nonprofit and arts communities."

Alumni of The Barrow Group include Academy award-winner Anne Hathaway, Emmy Award-winner Tony Hale, Poorna Jagannathan (The Night Of, Never Have I Ever), OBIE award-winner Martin Moran, Emmy-nominated Alison Wright (The Americans), Sakina Jaffrey (Billions, House of Cards), Lola Kirke (Mozart in the Jungle), DeSean Terry (The Morning Show) Sarita Choudhury (Homeland), Michael Stahl-David (Narcos), and Payman Maadi (A Separation, The Night Of), to name a few.

Please visit for more information.

Photo credit: Jeremy Folmer