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Mission | Values | History

Mission

Founded in 1972, A.R.T./New York assists over 400 member theatres in managing their theatre companies effectively so they may realize their rich artistic visions and serve their diverse audiences well. Over nearly five decades, A.R.T./New York has earned a reputation as a leader in providing progressive services to our members—from shared office and rehearsal spaces to technical assistance programs for emerging theatres—which have made the organization an expert in the needs of the New York City nonprofit theatre community.

A.R.T./New York supports nonprofit theatre companies in New York City by providing four core programs: Funding, Training, Space, and Connections. 

Funding

A.R.T./New York helps NYC theatres finance their creative goals through grant programs, strategic cash flow loans, and ongoing advocacy efforts to defend arts funding at the state and city level.

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Training

What is a Form 990? What goes into a killer press release? A.R.T./New York helps theatre companies hone their skills by providing educational workshops, one-on-one consultations and a library of resources.


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Space

A.R.T./New York operates subsidized office and rehearsal spaces in Brooklyn and Manhattan and provides affordable performance space in Hell's Kitchen in Manhattan.

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Connections

A.R.T/New York helps theatre companies get connected to the people they need to make your work happen: colleagues, employees, volunteers, audience, vendors, advisors and more.

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A.R.T./New York Updated Values Statement Procedure

Most recently updated/approved: December 8, 2020

Mission and Purpose of this Values Statement: 

  • We are reviewing these values and using this as a model as we make internal and external changes and programming and service decisions.

  • In the past we have lived these values internally in some departments, but we have not shared these publicly. We intend to continue to share these values and our process publicly to hold ourselves accountable.

  • These values are aspirational. We have not yet achieved or lived all of these values in our actions, but it is our plan and mission to live up to these and adopting them publicly mandates that we achieve these in order to be accountable to our members, stakeholders, staff and board.

  • These values do not only govern how we behave to outside stakeholders and members but also govern how we relate to one another as internal staff and board.

  • These values are ever changing. This is a living document. We will update and change as we change as an organization and as this industry evolves. 

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A.R.T./New York supports non profit theatre companies in New York City by providing four core programs: Funding, Training, Space, and Connections

Our Organizational Values are the lens through which that support is provided. We recognize that in some cases these values reflect deep commitments that are already ingrained in the services we provide. In other instances, these values are aspirational, and would serve as guiding principles to impact our future work. ______________________________________________________________________________

Organizational Values - Updated 2020 

 

Opportunity – A.R.T./New York is committed to responding to our members’ needs by removing barriers and providing the opportunities necessary to ensure a vibrant future in an ever-changing theatrical landscape.

Community – A.R.T./New York actively builds and supports New York’s nonprofit theatre community and encourages collaboration and the sharing of knowledge. We believe we are stronger together, and strive to create and hold inclusive space for collaboration, mentorship, and sharing of resources.

Innovation – A.R.T./New York courageously breaks boundaries, celebrates creativity, and drives change, both within our organization and in the theatre community at large. 

Empowerment – A.R.T./New York equips our community with tools to define their own vision and success, enabling them to sustainably grow and evolve while challenging the status quo. 

Justice and Equity – A.R.T./New York envisions an inclusive, diverse, and just field, breaking down inequities in the industry by centering anti-oppression, anti-racism, and accessibility in all of our services, funding, and programs. 

Accountability – A.R.T./New York owns our responsibility to model transparency in intention, process, and practice. We serve our community best through mutual trust, and we invite stakeholders across all levels of power to hold us accountable to our values.

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Approval Process: 

  • The Staff Ethics and Accountability Committee (EAC) discusses changes, needs and makes proposed edits to the statement.

  • Staff EAC Co-chairs facilitate discussions with staff, and staff makes edits until there is a consensus on a draft.

  • This draft is brought to the EAC Board Committee for suggested edits and approval.

  • Once approved, this is brought to the full board at the following Board Meeting for approval. 

  • Once approved, the new statement is added to the website for viewing.


Background: This statement had been in the works for over a year (2019-2020)

  •  In 2019, the internal DEI committee took this task under advisement to make changes to be more equitable across the institution, but due to challenges internally and meetings skipped or avoided, this update was put on the back burner. 

  • In the Spring of 2020 the Senior Manager of Programs helped to lead the charge by revising a few drafts and holding meetings with members of the Board.

  • The board voted on this statement at the July 2020 Board Meeting but it was denied in order to further discuss and ensure that, when published, it would be clearly stated that it is an aspirational work in progress.

  • In October of 2020, the Staff Ethics and Accountability Committee formed and took on this project.

  • This topic was discussed in the facilitated working sessions with Alex Meda to sort out grievances and get a scope of expectations for the draft. 

  • The Board voted to approve this current statement at the December 2020 Board meeting. 

  

History

Below are a few highlights from our more than 40 years in business. The names of current programs are in bold.

1972

Forty-nine Off Off Broadway theatres, including AMAS Musical Theatre, Classic Stage Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, Playwrights Horizons, Repertorio Espanol and Theatre for the New City join together to form the Off Off Broadway Alliance (known as OOBA).

1978

OOBA receives a special Drama Desk Award in recognition of our service to, and the achievements of, the Off Off Broadway theatre community.

1982

The name Off Off Broadway Alliance changes to Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York, more popularly know as A.R.T./New York.

1984

The Robert Sterling Clark Foundation awards a special grant which allows A.R.T./New York to usher its members into the computer age. In addition to installing computer terminals at some of our largest member theatres, A.R.T./New York hires a designated IT professional to train the staff, trouble-shoot, and solve problems.

1986

The Real Estate Project provides a full-time real estate broker on staff to work with members seeking office, rehearsal and performance spaces in a very “tight” market. The knowledge A.R.T./New York gains from this real estate project prepares the organization to address the field's future real estate needs in 1993 and again in 2000 and 2003.

1990

Thanks to a grant from the Katherine Dalglish Foundation, A.R.T./New York launches The Chelsea Theatre Festival and offers month-long discounts to over a dozen theatres in the Chelsea neighborhood.

1991

ITT Corporation provides major underwriting for the first citywide Passports to Off Broadway campaign offering half-price tickets to participating theatres. The project was promoted by an all-star radio campaign and promotions with the City, IBM, and Chase Manhattan Bank.

The Elizabeth Steinway Chapin Real Estate Loan Fund is created, with a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, to provide low-interest loans of up to $200,000 for the purchase and/or renovation of performance spaces. This is the only such loan fund in the country and has made over $4 million in loans to 42 theatres (to date).

1992

Thanks to a three-year grant from the Joyce Mertz Gilmore Foundation, A.R.T./New York launches the Nancy Quinn Fund for the fastest growing sector of our membership, theatres with budgets below $100,000. The Nancy Quinn Fund makes $50,000 in grants to dozens of theatres while dozens more participate in workshops on fundraising, audience development, publicity and financial management.

1993

Due to the popularity of our workshops, A.R.T./New York expands our training curriculum to support theatre companies of all sizes, under the banner head of the Nancy Quinn Technical Assistance Program.

1996

A.R.T./New York launches The Theatre Leadership Institute, with an initial grant from the Emma Sheafer Charitable Trust. Today, the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Theatre Leadership Program provides long-term individualized consulting to theatres experiencing rapid growth, changes in leadership, or other issues unique to the field. 

1998

The JPMorgan Chase Fund for Small Theatres is created for companies with budgets between $100,000 and $500,000. Theatres in this group are often in the midst of rapid growth, but find that growth hampered by lack of available funding.

2000

A.R.T./New York purchases the LuEsther T. Mertz South Oxford Space, a 19,000 sq. ft. Federal Style building in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. The building provides subsidized office space along with two rehearsal studios, a performance/meeting space, an outdoor garden, and shared kitchen and gallery space. 

2001

After the attack on the World Trade Center, A.R.T./New York provides unprecedented citywide financial aid including nearly $3 million in cash grants to theatre companies with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In April 2001 A.R.T./New York receives a $1,000,000 grant for The Bridge Fund (now know as Cash Flow Loans), which allows A.R.T./New York to make low-interest cash flow loans of up to $50,000.

In November 2001, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awards $2.7 million for A.R.T./New York to re-grant to theatres that experienced financial and structural losses as a result of the attacks. Within three months of the attack, $254,000 was awarded to organizations most adversely affected through grants from the September 11 Fund and Altria.

A.R.T./New York’s advocacy on behalf of our members includes the publishing of a white paper entitled New York City’s Not-for-Profit Theatres in a Post 9/11 Era and an additional $250,000 in financial support from the City of New York.

2002

A.R.T./New York is awarded a special Obie Award in recognition of our services on behalf of the theatre community.

A.R.T./New York signs a 20-year lease on Spaces at 520, a 32,000 sq. ft. shared office and rehearsal space facility in midtown Manhattan. This space provides affordable office space to 20 companies, as well as five rehearsal studios, a kitchen, shared office equipment and storage. Hundreds of theatres rent subsidized rehearsal studios, which operate 7 days a week.

At the behest of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, A.R.T./New York administers The New York City Theater Grant Program, which awards two-year artistic programming grants.

2003

A.R.T./New York administers the New York Times Company Foundation Fund for Mid-Size Theatres which awards general operating grants to companies with annual budgets between $500,000 and $5 million.

2004

With support from the Lutyens-Bel Geddes family foundation, A.R.T./New York creates the Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes Design Enhancement Fund, to enable set, lighting, costume, sound and video designers to work on a scale commensurate with their talent. 

2006

New York City grants A.R.T./New York funding to begin work on two theatres spaces at at a mix-use complex on West 53rd Street and 10th Avenue in Manhattan.

2008

After three years of careful planning A.R.T./New York signs a lease on two theatres and related spaces. The A.R.T./New York Theatres become the most ambitious project the organization has undertaken in its history.

A.R.T./New York receives a Mayor’s Award for Arts & Culture.

2009

A.R.T./New York is awarded one of The Rockefeller Foundation's Cultural Innovation Fund awards. This $150,000 grant enables the organization to research and develop new, sustainable business models allowing nonprofit theatres to survive and thrive in the “new normal” brought on by the 2008 fiscal crisis.

The City of New York places the A.R.T./New York Theatres in the Department of Design and Construction's "Design Excellence Program," offering us access to the world-renowned architect Toshiko Mori and highly sophisticated resources. By covering the costs of building the theatres, the program also enables us to focus our campaign on creating a long-term working capital fund.

2010

A.R.T./New York is awarded a special Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre.

2011

As a result of its Rockefeller Foundation Cultural Innovation Fund grant, A.R.T./New York publishes a white paper, Theatres for the 21st Century, which explores new financial and artistic models for the field. The paper also discusses a new collective resource-sharing model called ArtsPool proposed by A.R.T./New York’s Director of Finance Guy Yarden and his colleague Sarah Maxfield, which would enable nonprofit arts organizations to cut costs through a system of shared administrative services.

With support from theThe Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, A.R.T./New York creates the Creative Space Grant, an in-kind grant of free rehearsal space at A.R.T./New York's Space @ 520 and LuEsther T. MErtz South Oxford Space. 

2012

A.R.T./New York publicly launches its five-year, $22.5 million Campaign for the A.R.T./New York Theatres, which includes a multi-million dollar Rental Subsidy Fund that will enable the organization to offer its members below-market rental rates for these state-of-the-art performance spaces.

A.R.T./New York receives a second multi-year Rockefeller Foundation Cultural Innovation Fund grant and additional support from The New York Community Trust to build out the model and business plan for ArtsPool.

2013

A.R.T./New York receives one of only three arts grants in the inaugural season of The Scherman Foundation's Katharine S. and Axel G. Rosin Fund to further develop ArtsPool.

2015

Construction officially begins on the A.R.T./New York Theatres, with a completion date targeted for  2016. 

After a multi-year development process, ArtsPool’s financial, compliance, and workforce development services are built out. The agency launches as an independent company with its first three members: A.R.T./New York, Big Dance Theater, and The Harbor Lights Theater Company.

2016

A.R.T./New York partners with NYSCA to create the NYSCA-A.R.T./New York Creative Opportunity Fund (A Statewide Theatre Regrant Program). A.R.T./New York's first ever statewide funding program, the Creative Opportunity Fund provides two types of grants that support either organizational growth or the development of new work for small theatres with budget of $500,000 or under. 

2017

After a soft opening in late 2016 with New Georges' production of Alligator, A.R.T./New York celebrates the Grand Opening of the A.R.T./New York Theatres in January 2017.

 

Header: The A.R.T./New York 2017 Holiday Party. Photo by Chellise Michael.