QTPOCIA+ driven, centered, and celebrated.
We recognize that the avant-garde has always been shaped by intersectional identities; we hold space for intersectionality within our history and work as it arcs to the present day.
“Avant-garde” and “experimental” are never singular.
The avant-garde is not an exclusive club; it has many global missions and definitions and belongs to everyone.
Equity is care.
To experiment fearlessly, artists, cultural workers, and our communities all need care.
“Emergence” is durational.
There is no time-limit on being “emerging.” To emerge is to grow, and growth is an ongoing process, not limited to one generation or stage of life.
Thinking and feeling simultaneously is the future of art.
Upholding somatic labor alongside intellectual labor as equally contributing to creative care.
Rehearsal and process is speculative, world-building work.
The journey is where the joy is, teaching and learning are critical, and the “final product” is not the arrival point.
Artist archives are instructive.
Stewarding the care of artists and their legacies is crucial; we commit to remembering artists as our ancestors, and learning from their contributions across space and time.
Slowness is radical and kindness is a catalyst.
In the face of a world that too often conflates speed and progress, cultivating creative intentionality with tenderness can be transformative.
One of New York City’s oldest nonprofit alternative art centers, The Kitchen is dedicated to offering artists opportunities to create and present new work within, and across, the disciplines of dance, film, literature, music, theater, video, and visual art. The institution fosters a community of artists and audiences, offering artists the opportunity to create—and for audiences to engage with—work that pushes the boundaries of artistic disciplines and strengthens meaningful dialogues between the arts and larger culture.
The Kitchen was founded as an artist collective in 1971, by Woody and Steina Vasulka, and was formalized as a 501c3 in 1973. It has, from its infancy, been a space where experimental artists share progressive ideas with like-minded colleagues. It was among the very first American institutions to embrace the emerging fields of video and performance, while presenting visionary new work in established disciplines such as dance, music, literature, and film. This unique combination generated an environment immediately conducive to groundbreaking and cross-disciplinary exploration, helping to launch the careers of many artists who have defined the global avant-garde.
Among the artists who have presented significant work at The Kitchen are Muhal Richard Abrams, Laurie Anderson, ANOHNI, Robert Ashley, Charles Atlas, Kevin Beasley, Beastie Boys, Gretchen Bender, Dara Birnbaum, Anthony Braxton, John Cage, Lucinda Childs, Julius Eastman, Philip Glass, Leslie Hewitt, Darius James, Joan Jonas, Bill T. Jones, Devin Kenny, Simone Leigh, Ralph Lemon, George Lewis, Robert Longo, Robert Mapplethorpe, Sarah Michelson, Tere O’Connor, Okwui Okpokwasili, Nam June Paik, Charlemagne Palestine, Sondra Perry, Vernon Reid, Arthur Russell, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Spiegel, Talking Heads, Greg Tate, Cecil Taylor, Urban Bush Women, Danh Vō, Lawrence Weiner, Anicka Yi, and many more.
The Kitchen acknowledges that its site has shifted over time from Greenwich Village, where it began in Mercer Arts Center, to a loft in SoHo on Wooster Street, to its home on 19th Street in Chelsea that it’s held since 1986, and now to the temporary location of Westbeth Artists Housing as our building renovation is underway. Since its founding, The Kitchen has presented programming both within its sites and at partner venues around New York City. These sites traverse Indigenous space, Black space, Latinx space, working-class space, immigrant space, queer space, activist space, rebellion space. These diasporic histories have had deep impacts on avant-garde art production at large and The Kitchen's own experimental institutional work. We strive to bring light to these groundbreaking contributions as we carry this next chapter of our institution forward with care. This is a collaborative, thoughtful process taking place across all facets of our work here, and we look forward to continuing to create experimentation-forward space for all with these values as a guiding force.