About Us

  • What does Chashama do?
  • Chashama supports artists by giving them space to create and present their work, while fostering community development through the arts. The organization presents more than 150  artists events every year in several spaces throughout NYC. Join our newsletter to stay up-to-date on our programs and new opportunities.
  • What does chashama mean?
  • Chashama (pronounced: sha-SHAH-ma) means "to have vision" in Farsi, a Persian language.
  • Where is Chashama located?
  • Our administrative office is located at 675 Third Avenue (at 42nd Street), and we currently manage live, work and presentation spaces in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Pine Plains, NY.
  • How did Chashama start?
  • Founded in 1995 by Anita Durst and created to celebrate the legacy of theatre artist Reza Abdoh, chashama’s initial focus was on the production and presentation of new theatrical works.  Recognizing that a lack of affordable space was the biggest threat to sustaining a diverse cultural environment in New York City, Ms. Durst began to work toward securing studio and presentation space in Midtown Manhattan for struggling artists.
    Since then, chashama’s mission has expanded, encompassing both visual and performance-based artists, providing subsidized live, work and presentation space throughout New York City. Partnering with landowners and government entities that provide vacant spaces, chashama has successfully revitalized over 80 properties, providing invaluable space to create for over 12,000 artists.
  • I am a property manager interested in having Chashama use our spaces. Who do I contact?
  • Please contact our Artistic Director, Anita Durst, at anita@chashama.org
  • How can I intern or volunteer with chashama?
  • Current internship opportunities and application instructions can be found on our Internships page.
    Learn more about our volunteer opportunities for upcoming special events on our Volunteers page.
  • Does Chashama offer Fiscal Sponsorships?
  • We currently do not offer Fiscal Sponsorships.

    Workspace Program

  • How many studios do you have?
  • Currently we have 102 artist studios.
  • What are the sizes of the studios?
  • The sizes of our subsidized studios range from 150 - 400 square feet.
  • How much is studio rent?
  • Prices are based on amount of square footage, amenities offered at each space and range from $150/month - $650/month.
  • What mediums are acceptable to use in the studios?
  • Our studios are communal environments and do not have studio doors. Welding, work that requires use of fire or heat guns, or work that creates noxiouos fumes or air-born particulate matter is not allowed. If your work samples are of this type of work, please describe how your future projects may differ when applying.
  • How do I apply for an affordable studio space?
  • Artists can apply for a studio space by submitting an application online. Studio applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Email submissions are NOT accepted. All applicants must be residents of the United States or have a valid visa not expiring before the end of the residency, be 18 years or older, and able to demonstrate need for a studio. Applicants may not be residents in another studio program at the same time as their chashama residency.
  • I submitted an application for a studio. When can I expect to hear back?
  • Because our spaces are temporary, the number of studios available is always in flux. Applications are placed on a waitlist for studio space as soon as they are received and artists will be notified when space becomes available. 
  • What happens when I am accepted into the studio program?
  • Artists are required to sign an agreement upon entrance to the studio program and will receive an orientation of the studio space.  Studios are rented on a month to month basis. Artists can cancel their studio residency at any time with 30 days advance notice.

    Presentation Program

  • How do I apply for a free presentation space?
  • Artists can apply for presentation space online. There are seasonal application deadlines. Artists may submit as many applications as they like. Each will be considered separately and in the order they are received.
  • How long can I have a presentation space for?
  • Artists are granted space for 1-3 week periods; when applying, please stipulate if a specific term length is necessary for your project.
  • What happens when I am granted presentation space?
  • Chashama will provide technical assistance in an advisory capacity; artists must be capable of installing, teching, and de-installing their own projects. chashama provides assistance with marketing and promoting your show across our social media networks. Participating artists are required to pay a fully-refundable $150-$200 deposit on the space and artists selected for presentations are responsible for staffing their exhibits during the gallery's hours.
  • I submitted an application for presentation space. When can I expect to hear back?
  • Applicants are contacted if and when space becomes available for a project. Individual projects and presentations are scheduled at least one month in advance. After submitting, applicants are contacted upon receipt of their application; however, this does not signify either acceptance or rejection into the program. Applications are programmed and processed on a first-come-first-served basis and there is often a waitlist. While this model is unique in the art world, it helps us serve as many artists as possible.
  • I am a curator / non-profit / group of artists. Can I/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.
  • Can I rent one of your spaces for an exhibition or event?
  • Yes. Our spaces are available for rent and dates are subject to availability. Please contact Janusz Jaworski at janusz@chashama.org for rental rates and for more information.
  • Five Images and Two Sketches!? How is this possible?
  • We recognize that language in the "Application Materials" requirements section is a bit confusing/misleading right now--we're working on updating our site, thanks for bearing with us!

    In the meantime, hopefully this helps clarify the matter some:

    You can upload Five Images. These images should be representative of what you would like to present. All images should be JPG, PNG, and TIFF files of a maximum 1200px in any direction. Each image must be titled with your Last Name, underscore, First Name, and image number. Example: "Smith_John01.jpg"

    The inclusion of a sketch is entirely optional! Include a sketch (or 2) detailing how your project will be installed or staged within a space, if you believe that your proposed presentation will be aided/best understood by a sketch's inclusion. However, if you feel that your your proposed presentation is best represented by filling all five available image slots with images of your works, then by all means, do so!
    More on Sketches & the use of Floorplans:
    If you have a particular space in mind, you can download the floorplan from the chashama website and design your sketch around that specific space. If there is a floorplan available for a space, it will be linked to at the very bottom of a particular space's description, available here. (Please note, floorplans for lobby spaces are not available.) If your exhibit design is adaptable to any space, you can submit a more general sketch.
chashama nurtures artists by transforming unused property into work and presentation space.

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