A geographic graphic with a photo of the ART/NY staff celebrating.

Mission | Values | History


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 the years, 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 the nation's only revolving loan fund for real estate, to technical assistance programs for emerging theatres—which have made our 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. 


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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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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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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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 Values


A.R.T./New York values equal opportunity for all member companies, all kinds of audiences and all forms of expression in the theatre. We celebrate the diversity of our membership.


A.R.T./New York values a healthy future of theatre in New York City. We work to provide services that support our members’ visions by championing bold thinking, harnessing technology and artistic exploration.


A.R.T./New York values the whole ecosystem of the theatre industry and believes that we are stronger together than apart. Our programs work to nurture relationships and build connectivity in the field.


A.R.T./New York values all aesthetics and size companies. We shape our programs to allow opportunity for all members to gain value and for all individuals within an organization to find ways to engage with us.


A.R.T./New York values the process and understands that the journey is as meaningful as the end product. We believe in creating an environment where it is safe to discover.

Therefore, A.R.T./New York expects its members to embrace and reflect these values in their behavior (written or spoken) with staff, consultants and other members.



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


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).


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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).


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.


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.


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. 


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.


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. 


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.


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.


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.


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. 


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.


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.


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.


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


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. 


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.


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.


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.


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. 


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.