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Spaceworks Expands Its Mission to Support Local Artists and Cultural Workers

Spaceworks Expands Its Mission to Support Local Artists and Cultural Workers

Published on October 19, 2018

Spaceworks Will Continue to Bring More Affordable Cultural Workspace to Neighborhoods in Response to Challenges of Access and Affordability

Spaceworks Invites the Public to Their Gowanus Headquarters as Part of the Free Event Gowanus Open Studios 2018, October 20 & 21

Spaceworks, the nonprofit organization that builds and operates subsidized creative workspace for New Yorkers, enters a new chapter as it expands its mission and vision to actively support local artists and cultural workers in creating work in their neighborhoods while resisting cultural displacement. Today Spaceworks also announces its participation in Gowanus Open Studios (GOS) 2018. As part of the event, Spaceworks invites the public to their Gowanus headquarters for a glimpse at the vital work that can be created when artists — across disciplines and backgrounds — aren’t constrained by prohibitive costs. The event speaks to the values outlined on Spaceworks’ relaunched website, envisioning a New York where access to space for expression is not a luxury, where the development of art spaces can serve and provide space for — rather than pricing out and uprooting — existing communities and neighborhoods.


Spaceworks Organizational Focus

Spaceworks has built long-lasting partnerships with local artists and cultural organizations in order to support their sustainability. In response to their expressed needs, Spaceworks builds and operates subsidized workspace. To date, Spaceworks has completed five workspace projects in Brooklyn and Queens, where the organization operates 33 solo practice studios, 4 co-working spaces, and 19 rehearsal studios.

Under Executive Director Risa Shoup, the organization has engaged with BDAC/Ebony Noelle GoldenPURPOSE Productions, and Race Forward’s Racial Equity in the Arts Innovation Lab to evaluate its approach, in order to address the impact of systemic racism and displacement caused by new real estate development. The organization strives to support the economic well being of cultural workers, particularly artists of color, LGBTQIA artists, disabled artists, and those living on low to modest incomes.

The organization is currently restructuring its programming around its three core focus areas: Making Space, Operating Space, and Caring for Cultural Workers.


The Website Redesign

The redesigned site includes a social space, where artists can create a profile and connect with creatives across disciplines and boroughs. The new site will lead to connections in real life, too, as members now have the ability to list upcoming events and performances on Spaceworks’ public calendar. 

Gowanus Open Studios

Spaceworks program partner Arts Gowanus’ celebration of the dynamic Brooklyn community’s artistic output offers the perfect introduction to the rare service Spaceworks offers: the provision of subsidized space to create in NYC. 

Gowanus Open Studios 2018, a free event, takes place from 12pm-6pm on Saturday, October 20 and Sunday, October 21. Spaceworks artists’ studios will be on view at the nonprofit’s Gowanus headquarters (540 President St, Studio # Suite 2E, Lower-Level, Brooklyn, NY).

GOS is an enlivening annual weekend event that turns a Brooklyn neighborhood into a labyrinthine art exhibit, providing the public with the opportunity to wander between the creative dens of over 300 artists in total, glimpsing the unique environments in which their visions are constructed. Touring individuals can stop and talk with artists about their work and processes. Spaceworks’ fostering of artistic community is reflected in their partnership with Arts Gowanus for the Open Studios event — with the public getting a view of the potentials of affordable art-making in an inclusive environment, and with Spaceworks artists having yet another platform to share their work and ideas.

For additional information, please visit

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