Collaborative Project

CSPA Supports: Round TWO

The CSPA congratulates the second recipient of a CSPA Supports MicroGrant:  Elizabeth English and A Collection of Shiny Objects in Brooklyn, NY for their original theater production of Goods & Services (The Walmart Project).

Goods & Services is a collaborative, semi-devised object theater piece that explores Americans’ relationhship with the buying and selling of consumer gods with a focus on the phenomenon of the “Big Box” store.  The project will be developed and presented at the Henson PATCH (Puppetry at the Carriage House) in April 2012.  The project will then move on to New York City early in 2013, with a goal of touring afterwards.

The theme of the project revolves around issues of American consumer culture, the buying and selling and life cycles of objects, and by extension the nature of the community formed by consumers and Walmart employees.  The project reflects three facets of sustainability simultaneously: the environmental impact of consumer culture through theme, the economic impact of the “Big Box” store (and community impact), especially as it manifests in the current climate of economic crisis through story, and new models of sustainable creative space through process.

The recipient of Round Two of CSPA Supports has been selected by a small panel of adjudicators including Ian Garrett, Sarah Peterson, and Miranda Wright, based on the CSPA’s articulated grant guidelines.  We are looking forward to Round Three!

More about A Collection of Shiny Objects here:


CSPA Supports

CSPA Supports is a micro-grant program for artists working in any facet of sustainability.  Awards range from $200 to $1,000.  Our next deadline is January 1st, 2012.  Guidelines may be found at



Public Office for Architecture (POA) is a collaborative project situated at MoKS, Center for Arts and Social Practice in Mooste, Estonia.  POA is an artistic practice conceived as a a nomadic architecture office.  POA involves and engages the public with the built environment through architectural and artistic dialogue and intervention.

“MIT japan 3/11 initiative”

This post comes to you from Cultura21

By Benjamin Smith

November 14th, 2011

“In the aftermath of the disaster suffered in Japan, MIT launched the MIT Japan 3/11 Initiative, a multi-year collaborative project focused on disaster-resilient planning, design and reconstruction. Back from the first MIT Japan 3/11 workshop which took place this summer, Shun Kanda and Jim Wescoat will discuss the process and challenges in planning and implementing alternative strategies for disaster-preparedness. Shun Kanda is a Tokyo native and the Director of Architectural Studies for the MIT-Japan Program. James L. Wescoat, Jr. is Aga Khan Professor in the School of Architecture and Planning at MIT.”

MIT Japan 3/11 Initiative:

The “Zones of Emergency: Artistic Interventions – Creative Responses to Conflict & Crisis” Fall 2011 lecture series investigates initiatives and modes of intervention in contested spaces, zones of conflict, or areas affected by environmental disasters. The intention is to explore whether artistic interventions can transform, disrupt or subvert current environmental, urban, political, and social conditions in critical ways. A crucial question is how can such interventions propose ideas, while at the same time respecting the local history and culture.

More information at the Zones of Emergency Blog:

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

Open Call: Amplify Action

“Amplify Action: Sustainability through the Arts” will be presented in Spring 2012 by the Skylight Gallery, a department of BSRC’s Center for Arts and Culture. The exhibition is conceived to demonstrate how arts, culture and media are powerful catalysts for social change, and aims to engage neighborhoods in a dialogue about sustainable living, making healthy consumer choices, and taking environmental action. Works in the exhibit will directly and indirectly examine the different components of sustainability such as, but not limited to: ecology, economy, equity, environmental consciousness, resource conservation and efficiency, agriculture, architecture, infrastructure, environmental justice and health.


The exhibition “Amplify Action: Sustainability through the Arts,” is a collaborative project of the Pratt Center for Community Development, Pratt Institute’s Initiative for Arts, Community and Social Change (IACSC), and the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation. The project is a part of the Arts Implementation Fund of the Pratt Center, recently established through a generous grant from the Rockefeller Foundation’s NYC Cultural Innovation Fund. The projects of the Arts Implementation Fund, in partnership with community based organizations in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Cypress Hills create projects that support the execution of visual and performance art works created by local artists, artist groups, and artists abroad that promote a civic dialogue about community sustainability.


More Information:

Online Application:

Dance Partners for CPR

Reprinted from New York Press:
“The Space Age” by Andy Seccombe, February 11, 2009

Daniel S. Burnstein

It’s hard to imagine New York bereft of artists.

Few absences would dull the city’s reputation more convincingly. And yet a bleak economic climate, ever-escalating rents and living expenses make the likelihood far from intangible.

From crisis comes camaraderie however, as demonstrated by a new nonprofit performance space in Williamsburg, the Center for Performance Research (CPR) which opened its doors this week.

The facility has a variety of selling points: It’s the first environmentally conscious space of its kind in Brooklyn; it aims to promote community engagement and education; and it’s co-founded by two of the city’s most respected names in dance, Jonah Bokaer and choreographer John Jasperse.

The three-year collaborative project opened for operations Feb. 2 and welcomed its first renter, the Trisha Brown Dance Company. And for Jasperse, the facility has arrived at a critical time.

“I truly feel that this is a last stand in terms of artists really being able to work affordably in New York City,” he says, having observed the displacement of artists since his arrival in the 1980s. He explains that it’s no longer a just a question of artists moving from Manhattan to Brooklyn to avoid rent increases—the situation is more urgent. “It’s really gotten to a density where there’s a question about whether artistic process can really remain local,” he says.

Bokaer echoes such concerns, outlining how CPR’s name itself embodies the much needed resuscitation of the city’s arts centers. “Part of the reason why we called it CPR is the acronym can be read as a response to crisis,” he says. The gentrification of areas like Williamsburg has displaced artists and longtime residents and Bokaer describes how the “condo craze” has made the area a treacherous one for local creatives. Even since his involvement establishing CPR began in 2006, many local arts spaces have had to close due to soaring rents. In fact, the facility’s location is surrounded by the new generation of real estate. “You look around this one block radius, there’s nine condo developments,” he says.

Amidst the hyper-evolution of New York real estate, the aim of the facility is to provide “a new model for sustainable arts infrastructure in dance and performance” and the green-friendly nature of the 4,000-square-foot space is a key element of that. Located on the ground floor of Greenbelt, a building designed with specific environmental initiatives in place, CPR is zoned as a community facility. The building’s upper four floors are residential, the sale of which subsidize CPR’s nonprofit space.

Greenbelt is in fact Brooklyn’s first private green development to qualify as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold project, LEED being a certification program that ensures the creation of high performance green buildings. Bokaer outlines how it has been developed according to strict guidelines, with longevity, minimal emissions and low energy costs in mind.

“A theater or performance space usually uses light, sound and video, which all consume an enormous amount of energy,” Bokaer says. “We’re going to be saving probably about an eighth of the power of a normal theatrical facility.”

Engaging with CPR’s philosophy of providing an affordable, sustainable facility, a variety of ensembles has expressed interest in the venue. Artist Robert Wilson will be developing a work there for the Guggenheim in April, CPR is currently in discussions with the new media enthusiasts at Bitforms Gallery and Israeli artist Iri Batzri may also use the space. So too, Jasperse will prepare projects at the facility and Bokaer plans to develop “a duet studying memory” there, a commission for the National Academy of Sciences.

“I think our appetite for what performance research will look like is pretty vast,” Bokaer says, explaining that the $6-$15 hourly rental fees at CPR are an obvious draw. “It’s a public program so we’ll probably have a great diversity of renters.”

The financial structure behind CPR is also an anomaly. Bokaer’s Chez Bushwick Inc. and Jasperse’s Thin Man Dance Inc. are the parent companies of CPR and have made the facility economically viable (along with funding from the Department of Cultural Affairs).

“It’s very rare for dance organizations to partner in general but also in terms of real estate,” says Bokaer. CPR is unique in this manner as it’s unusual for dance and performance organizations to own their facilities. Indeed, the Trisha Brown Company recently closed its studio and the Paul Taylor Dance Company will lose its Soho facility (and home for 20 years) in April to an expanding Banana Republic store.

“There you have historical legends of American modern dance who do not have adequate work space,” says Bokaer. “That’s another reason this is a dynamic project because [CPR] puts that issue in the foreground and it says ‘Dance needs space. And it needs permanent space in New York.’”

Undoubtedly CPR represents a new model for performance centers and how dance companies operate, deterring from traditional American models which tend to be characterized by a single choreographer with a singular vision. “I think that a dance company can be a different thing now,” says Bokaer. “It can be a cultural organization, or a space, or it can have a larger generative power.”

Jasperse, who’s been a friend of Bokaer for almost a decade, affirms the importance of the partnership, explaining that neither of their organizations could have established CPR individually. “I firmly believe we’re going to demonstrate the power of this kind of model,” he says. “We’re taking a risk. But hopefully we will serve as an example that defies certain ideas of where real estate and arts organizations are necessarily headed in the city.”


Go to the Green Theater Initiative