Creative Real Estate

For the issue of Creative Real Estate, MADE HERE explores performing artists rehearsing in bank vaults, taking over Best Buy stores, and living in converted warehouses.


Performing artists have always breathed life into New York, and as the city evolves, so does their role within it. From the birth of Off-Broadway in the ‘50s, to the controversial performance art of the ‘80s, to the East Village squatters in the ‘90s, to the Williamsburg, DUMBO and Bushwick migrations – artists have been an integral factor in the cultural dynamism of the city’s fabric. Despite their crucial role in neighborhood renewal and sustainability throughout the five boroughs, New Yorkers in the performing arts have a storied history of struggling to support their commitment to create complex live art in one of the fastest-moving and competitive cities in the world.


The three episodes are: Seeking Space, Artistic Homes and Uncommon Sites.

Discussion Topics

Episode Feedback

Cool Spots

Rehearsal Space

Renting a Venue

Impact on Work



Click for relevant news, organizations, and research.

How does real estate impact your ability to create? What is your favorite neighborhood performance space? Why? Give us a tour of your rehearsal, performance, or live/work space!

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episode 2: Artistic Homes

Securing permanent space in New York City changes the work and lives of performing artists. From lobbying congressmen for funding to fixing leaky ceilings, artistic homes require a new set of skills and impact the artistic process in subtle and striking ways.

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But Where Are We Gonna Do It?

An article on theater rentals in the five boroughs from New York Innovative Theater Awards.

Gauging Artists’ Contribution to Property Values

The City Room Blog reflects on the New York Times article about Elizabeth Streb’s studio and questions the relationship between artists and property values.

The Appraisal – Williamsburg Artist and Builder Find Common Ground

A look at how choreographer Elizabeth Streb and a real estate developer worked together to allow Streb’s studio to remain even as million dollar properties are built around it.

Bill T. Jones and Dance Theater Workshop

Bill T. Jones and Dance Theater Workshop are in talks to merge to Bill T. a much needed home and DTW the funds to retire $2.4 million in capital debt.

3-Legged Dog refuses to roll over for MTA

3-Legged-Dog is fighting the Metropolitan Transit Authority to ensure that this media and theater group remains at 80 Greenwich St.

NY TImes: Keeping it Small at The Chocolate Factory

Since its founding, seven years ago, the Chocolate Factory in Queens, is a relatively small space, with great artists passing through its doors. The Theatre has "a very canny way of understanding how culture fits into the imaginative and social lives of audience members".

Ohio Theatre & 3-Legged Dog Partnership

The Ohio Theater after losing their Soho home has announced a 3-year residency at the downtown 3-Legged Dog Art & Technology Center.

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The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council

Provides vacant real estate as "swing space" for artists, awards grants, and offer professional development.

NYC Performing Arts Spaces

A comprehensive online resource for NYC arts space.

92nd Street Y

Harkness Space Grant Program

Brooklyn Arts Exchange

70 hour space grants for Brooklyn based artists


Space residencies and subsidies for studio/rehearsal space

Fourth Artist Block (FAB)

Organization to establish and advance the East 4th Street cultural District, between 2nd Avenue and Bowery.

New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA)

Offers support via their fellowships and "affordable workspace program" to NYFA grantees.

New York State Council on the Arts/NYSCA

Subsidized rehearsal space program for dance studios.

The Field

Residencies in dance include extensive rehearsal studio time, consultation/development services, and workshop production support.

The Point Subsidy Program

Dedicated to the cultural and economic revitalization of the Hunts Point section of the South Bronx. They provide discounted or free performance and/or rehearsal space.

Manhattan Plaza

The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development subsidizes the rents of Section 8 tenants; to be eligible a couple's income cannot exceed $54,270 and a family of four can earn no more than $67,837. The wait list is very long but write to the main office requesting an application.

The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts

The EFA Studio program is a competitive studio program that offers subsidized studio space for artists within a community of artists in Midtown Manhattan. Cost of each studio varies by size and location in the building. Subsidies are available to members on a need basis. The amount of subsidy that each artist receives is based on income. Studios range in size from 200 square feet to 430 square feet and a price range of $350.00 - $1900.00.

Mark Morris Dance Group

Located in Brooklyn, near BAM, Mark Morris Dance Group has high quality floors, a great sound system and light; however, they are a little pricey. MMDG has six fully-equipped studios available for rent ranging from a subsidized rate of $10/hr to a workshop rate of $60/hr.

Topaz Arts Inc.

In Queens near the Northern Boulevard is Topaz Arts, has dance rehearsal space available. A 25' x 48' with a marley-laid sprung heated floor; the 13'-high ceiling is accented with a skylight and the room is equipped with full-length mirrors, and audio/video equipment.

Clemente Soto Velez: Cultural and Education Center

Clemente Soto Velez: Cultural and Education Center houses 53 visual artists and 16 performing arts and educational organizations. They also rent out their two theaters, two art galleries and rehearsal space. To be considered for the housing, send artist's information to CSV Cultural & Educational Center or contact to rent their facilities.


OurGoods is a barter network for the creative community. We facilitate the barter of skills, space, labor, and art objects. They are an innovative model for supporting the work of artists, matching barter partners, providing accountability tools, and offering technical assistance resources.

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Creative New York

The Center for an Urban Future's 2005 report "Creative New York" explores the economic contribution of New York's vast creative sector.

Culture Builds New York: The Economic Impact of Capital Construction at New York City's Cultural Institutions, 2003-2010

When the cultural institutions of a great city are themselves actively building new and expanded facilitates, it marks a high point of civilization. As this 2009 report shows such is the case in New York City now and for the past two decades.

Survey of NY's Performing Artists and Cultural Facilities (2009)

A survey of cultural facilities in the five boroughs to assess the impact of the economic downturn on the two groups.

Harnessing Brooklyn’s Creative Capital

The Impact of Self-Employed Creative Professionals on the Borough’s Economy

Arts as an Industry: Their Economic Impact on New York City and New York State

This 2007 report shows that the arts industry has grown as a part of the economic life of New York City and is an integral part of the economy of the entire state of New York.

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Episode Feedback

What did you think about the episodes?

  • Kate Stannard said:

    Made Here project is a fantastic way of creating a community and supporting inspiring infrastructure for NYC Artists, as well as educating other artists, students and academics outwith the city. Genius! This is a great resource I have emailed the info out to all my students. Fantastic!

    05/29 - 05:42 PM

  • Maedhbh Fiona Mc Cullagh said:

    I just wanted to say that I have been glued to the website for MADE HERE this past hour. It’s a truly inspiring documentary and fascinating to watch. This work creates an important legacy of what is happening right now and it is a gift to the community. Congratulations to you all.

    05/30 - 03:23 PM

  • Anna Kohler said:

    I really enjoyed the videos, lovely work, witty and funny and I can’t wait to see more.

    05/31 - 10:16 PM

  • Ann Rosenthal said:

    Congrats on Made Here!  It’s really great and fantastically well filmed/produced.  I can see that once all of these films are made it will make a more than compelling case for the importance of artists in this city…and why they should be better supported forever!

    06/03 - 05:16 PM

  • Marya said:

    I love this. well made. important. thanks for adding to the conversation!

    06/04 - 09:20 PM

  • William Cusick said:

    I saw the first episode today.  It’s sooo good!!  It’s really exciting to see such an intelligent and well conceived documentary series on NYC theater artists.  And I love the theme song.

    Great stuff!

    06/08 - 11:29 PM

  • Cesar Augusto said:

    Amazing website with the kind of support I need. Keep going guys!!

    06/16 - 01:35 AM

  • Anne said:

    Thanks for providing a great platform to all artists! All artists face the same basic problems at some point in their career and this website offers valuable advice on balancing a family, finding a space and working in a crap-job in order to supplement your income.  Thanks!

    06/28 - 05:55 PM

  • Amos said:

    very cool….grazie!!!

    06/28 - 07:00 PM

  • shyam said:

    Love it! Thank you for such these awesome conversations. After years in New York, I’m working on a specific set of projects in solitude in Chicago, where the pressure to make rent is a little less intense. I’m looking forward to coming back to the city soon, though! There’s nowhere like New York.

    07/22 - 04:43 PM

  • Alexis said:

    Check out this essay about the history of the plot of land on which the Ohio Theatre stands and also discusses the relationship between artists and real estate developers:

    Re-examining the Soho Effect
    From a freed slave to a theater company; how the poor and creative made 64-68 Wooster Street more valuable.

    07/28 - 04:02 PM

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    Thank you!!

    08/10 - 06:09 PM

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  • maryobeora said:

    oooooh!  I do not even know how I got here, but this is GREAT! I am a theatre loving
    Architect and this is site is built beautifully.  THank you.

    09/21 - 06:52 PM

  • Mieke D said:

    Thank GOD you’re taking on this task of generating dialogue about what it MEANS to be an artist and how to make it happen on the daily. This particular segment brings together some amazing voices of artists struggling (successfully) to remain relevant in the avant garde arts world while also engaging in community-building, political activism, race & class at the same time. As perfomer-turned-community organizer, I would love to see more in depth investigation into how artists define their activism, the communities they collaborate with, and the concrete effects they wish to have. I would also like to hear more from artist-activists working on the ground in marginalized communities. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! AND KEEP PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES!

    09/27 - 09:46 PM

  • Talaha said:

    Good site!

    08/01 - 12:13 PM

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  • Stephanie said:

    I was disappointed by the recnet vote to secure funds for a parking lot study. After the City Council/Mayor Johnson supported 60 businessmen to sell parcels of land belonging to the citizens to benefit Maloofs,the new arena and the NBA,this sellout is a double blow to Sacramento. As city parks languish,local Public Health is underfunded,services vanish,scools languish etc etc, the new area should not be the foremeost consideration to the CityCouncil and the Mayor. What is required is real leadership. We voted no before. This is akin to manufactured consent a term coined regarding the manipulation of business intersts and corporations to force consent on the public. The new area will not rescue us. It will place the community in a greater default.

    10/16 - 01:50 AM

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  • How does real estate impact your ability to create?
  • What is your favorite neighborhood performance space? Why?
  • Give us a tour of your rehearsal, performance, or live/work space!
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