Wednesday, January 10, 2018

PS122 is now Performance Space New York, returns to 1st Avenue starting tonight

[Photo from Dec. 1 by Steven]

Performance Space 122 (PS 122) has changed its name to Performance Space New York as it returns to its its newly renovated home on First Avenue and Ninth Street for the inaugural performances in the refurbished space.

The announcement came yesterday in a series of posts on Instagram...

Heart of East Village, 150 First Avenue, Fourth Floor, New York, NY 10009

A post shared by Performance Space New York (@performancespacenewyork) on

The New York Times has a preview of the new space in this article.

The rebranding process, as the new name indicates, involves an effort to make Performance Space more welcoming to a wider audience. In its grungier former life, which began in 1980 when a group of artists took over an abandoned schoolhouse on First Avenue, the space fostered a certain sense of community, but it didn’t quite scream “come in.”

And some thoughts from new executive artistic director Jenny Schlenzka...

"If our audience could be a representation of the city, that would be a huge success," she said, noting that downtown dance and theater audiences tend to be predominantly white. But the idea of separate audience-building initiatives doesn’t interest her. "I've been in these meetings about 'Oh, we need to diversify our audience,' and it’s always, 'Let's do a side program' or 'Let's do a community day.' But I don’t want a community day. I want the community to be the main program."

Performance Space New York hosts its first show here tonight with the start of the annual (and last) Coil festival. Find that program here.

The East Village Series runs from Feb. 17 to June 30, and "will examine the history of Performance Space and its neighborhood, reflecting on forces that have shaped them: gentrification, the AIDS epidemic, and punk and club culture."

Ms. Schlenzka likened it to “the way that in psychoanalysis, you have to know your past to free yourself to conquer the future.”

Nostalgia, she added, is off limits: “We have this amazing past that in my opinion not enough people know about. But it can drag us down, and that’s a fine line to navigate.”

Find more about the East Village Series here.

Aside from Performance Space New York, the 122 Community Center will house the Alliance for Positive Change, Mabou Mines, Painting Space 122, and a fifth tenant to be announced.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Here's the sidewalk bridge-free corner of 9th Street and 1st Avenue — and the 122 Community Center

Come along on a tour of the under-renovation 122 Community Center on 1st Avenue


Laura Goggin Photography said...

Good news. It's been a long wait!

Anonymous said...

Leave the Impeach Bush and avocado mural art please!

And the old day care center? Bueller, Bueller?

cmarrtyy said...

Love this place. Welcome back. MuchMuchlove! But you have to do a better job of reaching out to the hood... special performances... Discounts - seniors, teachers, students.

Anonymous said...

This place has moved out of my stable of local interests. It's been off the LES artistic market for too far long, and itself, as a vibrant venue that reflects the old nabe, will be adrift, I fear. If the entryway remake is any indication (and it is) -- how gaudy, how derivatively midtownish -- it doesnt bode well for the indigenes.

But we'll see.