Chashama helps create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive world by partnering with property owners to transform unused real estate. These spaces are used for artists, small businesses, and for free community-centric art classes. 
  • Awards 11 million worth of real estate to artists
  • Subsidizes 300 artist work spaces
  • Provides over 215 free art classes
  • Gives 200 artists free space to present
  • Supports over 75 businesses with free space
The New York art world would not be what it is without the support that artists have received from Chashama.  So many artists have benefited from Chashama. There are so many artists that I admire who have had a connection to Chashama somehow, either because they have shows at Space to Present or because they have a studio through Chashama.”
Nancy Elsamanoudi, Chashama Studio Artist
Chashama was founded in 1995 by Anita Durst to celebrate the legacy of theatre visionary Reza Abdoh. Chashama’s initial focus was on the production and presentation of new theatre. Recognizing that a lack of affordable space was the biggest threat to sustaining a diverse cultural environment in New York City, we began to work toward securing studio and presentation space in Midtown Manhattan for struggling artists by partnering with Property Owners that provide unused space to Chashama. In the first decade, we secured seven locations on 42nd street between 6th and Broadway, presenting over 700 shows.

Since then, we’ve moved from midtown Manhattan to the 5 boroughs and beyond, giving artists work and presentation spaces, as well as providing free art workshops in under served communities. Currently, we present 150 events a year, have workspace for 120 artists, and have developed 80 workshops in under served communities.
Can I get a tax deduction for donating space?

Unfortunately, no

How can I intern at Chashama?

Email info@chashama.org with the subject line: Internship Opportunities and your request will be directed to the correct department

How can I volunteer at Chashama?

Email volunteer@chashama.org with the subject line: Volunteer Opportunities

How do I apply for presentation space?

Learn more about applying for our Space to Present Program here. When you apply online you will receive an email confirming receipt of your application. Your application remains valid and on file for two years.

How do I apply for workspace?

Learn more about applying for our Space to Create Program here.  When you apply online you will receive an email confirming receipt of your application.  Your application remains valid and on file for 3 years.

How do I donate space?

Contact Anita Durst at anita@chashama.org

How long can I have presentation space for?

Artists are granted space for 1-4 week periods; when applying, please stipulate if a specific term length is necessary for your project.

How long can I rent workspace for?

There is no time limit on your workspaces – as long as the space is available and all contract terms are abided by.

How much is rent for a workspace?

$1.50-2.00 per square feet per month. (Note: Price is based on location and amenities.)

I am a group/curator/nonprofit. Can we still apply for presentation space?

Yes. Include a representative sample of the works you’d like to exhibit. If you are a group, one person must act as your sole representative and be responsible for communicating with Chashama and overseeing logistical coordination of your presentation.

I applied for a presentation space. When can I expect to hear back?

You can expect to wait three months or up to two years for a presentation space. Applications are accepted year round.

I applied for a workspace. When can I expect to hear back?

You can expect to wait three months or up to three years for a workspace.  Applications are accepted year round, and you will be prompted to update your application each year, for up to three years.

Is there a fee to use a presentation space?

No! Space to Present is free, however we do require a fully refundable deposit ranging from $200 to $500. In some spaces general liability insurance is required. 

What are the sizes of the workspaces?

Workspaces range from 90 square feet to 700 square feet. (Note: Most of our spaces average 400 square feet or less.)

What does Chashama do?

Chashama supports artists by giving them space to create and present their work. Chashama was founded in 1995 in response to the lack of affordable space for emerging artists in New York to create and present their work. Since then Chashama has activated over 80 unused properties, providing space to create and space to present to 15,000 artists. Chashama partners with property owners to repurpose unused commercial real estate into space for artists’ dreams to become reality.

What does Chashama mean?

Chashama (pronounced: sha-SHAH-ma) means “to have vision” in Farsi.

What does Chashama provide when I am granted a presentation space?

Chashama provides assistance with marketing promotion across our social media networks and some art listing platforms. Otherwise, Chashama’s assistance functions strictly in an advisory capacity. Artists must be capable of installing and de-installing their own projects. Additionally, artists must keep their presentation space open for a minimum of 30 hours per week with a gallery sitter.

Where are your workspaces located?

Brooklyn, Manhattan, Bronx, Matawan, NJ and Pine Plains, NY!

Where can I find new opportunities to apply to exhibit my work?

Our space specific Requests for Proposals will be announced in the Newsletter, on our Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and on the Open Calls section of our website.

Where is Chashama located?

Our administrative office is located at 675 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10017. We have spaces all over New York City, check out our most up-to-date locations here.


We thank our supporters, partners & members who make artists’ dreams come true:

Current Funders
M&T Bank
National Endowment for the Arts
New York City Council Member Ben Kallos
New York City Council Member Carlos Menchaca
New York City Council Member Keith Powers
New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson
New York City Department of Cultural Affairs
New York City Department of Transportation
New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature
Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation
The David Rockefeller Fund
The Manhattan Borough President's Office
The Marie and John Zimmermann Fund
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund
United Breast Cancer Foundation

Past Funders
Alliance of Resident Theaters
American Chai Trust
Bloomberg Philanthropies
Carnegie Corporation
Con Edison
Dramatists Guild Foundation
Foundation for Contemporary Arts
Lambent/Tides Foundation
Lily Auchincloss Foundation
Mertz-Gilmore Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts
New York City Council Member Christine Quinn
New York City Council Member Daniel Garodnick
New York City Council Member Jessica Lappin
New York City Council Member Leroy Comrie
New York City Council Member Robert Jackson
New York City Council Member Sarah Gonzalez
Peg Santvoord Foundation
Robert Sterling Clark Foundation
Steinberg Charitable Trust
The DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the Kennedy Center

Fordham Bedford

Property Donors
Adam America Real Estate
Atlantic Development Corp.
Brause Realty, Inc.
Brookfield Properties
Buchbinder & Warren Realty Group
C&K Properties
Cammeby's, LLC
Dunn Development Corp
Durst Organization
Ekstein Development LLC
Extell Development Company
Flagship Properties, LLC
Fordham Bedford Housing Corp
Forest City Ratner
George Comfort & Sons, Inc.
GFP Real Estate
Greater Jamaica Development Corp.
Harbor Group
HEC Real Estate
J & M Realty Services Corp.
Jack Resnick & Sons
JRT Realty
L+M Development Partners Inc.
Lower East Side Housing Coalition
New York City Economic Development Corp.
Newmark and Co. Real Estate
NYC Department of Transportation
Oliver's Realty Group
Port Authority of New York
RAL Companies
Rockrose Development Corp.
RXR Realty
Salt Equities
St. Tropez Condominium
Stonehenge Management, LLC
TF Cornerstone
The Janus Property Company
The Rizzuto Group
Vanke US
West Side Federation for Senior & Supportive Housing


Tony Bechara
Chicago Title Insurance Company
Darcy Stacom, CBRE

Fidelity National Title
Mutual of America

The Durst Organization
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver, & Jacobson LLP
M&T Bank
One World Observatory/LEGENDS
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP
U.S. Immigration Fund
Weiler Arnow Investment Co.

AECOM Tishman
Broadway HD
Chatham Financial
City National Bank
The Donaldson Organization
Marla & Daniel Gabay
GFP Real Estate
Lotus Equity Group
RCG Longview
Rockrose Development LLC
STUDIOS Architecture
Turner Construction
Two Trees Management Co LLC
John Morning
The Tobers
W.B. Mason

In-Kind Support
Ben Burman
Bindlestiff Family Cirkus
Bohemian Restaurant
Bombay Sapphire
Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy
Café Un Deux Trois
Carole A. Feuerman Foundation
Coney Island USA
The Durst Organization
Eclectique Industries
Rachel Fleit
Gavin Steinberg
Gerard Segovia
Harlem Brewing Company
Jenny Lynch
Magic Hat Brewing Company
MEBL|Transforming Furniture
My/Mo Mochi
New York Botanical Garden
Ousia Restaurant
Poletic Justice
Primary Stages
Raventos i Blanc
Rosalyn Coleman
Sorelle Firenze
Vanderbilt Tennis Club
You Are So Lucky, Inc.


Cynthia Rich

Small Business
Fidel Vasquez

Yael Ginosar
Helen Iranyi
Gideon Lazarus

Judi Polanco
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675 3rd Ave,
32nd floor,
New York, NY 10017

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