For Immediate Release:
A Promise Kept
Affordable Space, Mortgage-Free, for Tomorrow’s Artists
Jonah Bokaer Arts Foundation Achieves a Mortgage-Free Second Facility in Williamsburg, and Pilots a Third Venue in Hudson
New York, NY (February 8th, 2019)
Jonah Bokaer Arts Foundation has paid the mortgage on its second arts facility, CPR – Center for Performance Research on January 29th, 2019 as planned. Bokaer’s nonprofit organization is now uniquely positioned to provide long-term affordable rehearsal space per its mission, meeting the needs of New York City’s burgeoning performing arts communities. The 4,000 square-foot ground floor facility in Williamsburg, publicly known as CPR since opening in 2009, is Bokaer’s second arts facility, housed within the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (L.E.E.D.) Gold Certified building of its kind, size, and type in Brooklyn. During the 10-year mortgage, management was licensed to Center for Performance Research, Inc. whose license terminated with the final mortgage payment on January 31st, 2019. Jonah Bokaer Arts Foundation’s relationship to CPR includes Owner and Founder, having designed a unique multi-year Business Plan structured to include CPR permanently: the plan has grown to sustain a $1,100,000 nonprofit budget, attracting 43 Foundation grantmakers. Bokaer has steered over $11,000,000 in earned and contributed funds to North Brooklyn. He lives, walks, bikes, and votes in the neighborhood, creating 14 diverse jobs in the area, which will remain stable. Future long-term stability includes Naming Gifts, and Endowment Planning.
“Along with my colleagues and philanthropists on this peerless Board for Dance, Jonah Bokaer Arts Foundation will ensure future generations a safe, affordable, high-quality home for dance and performance,” remarks Paul G. McCann, Board Chair, Jonah Bokaer Arts Foundation, “This achievement secures our mission, bringing great joy to our organization, and the thousands of artists within our community. My five years as Chair are fulfilled by this milestone – as is our mission.”
The story began in 2002, when Jonah Bokaer established his dance organization’s mission to reach larger than just his own choreography, by offering affordable rehearsal and performance spaces aimed at supporting the arts communities of New York City. At that time two dance programs were established by the organization concurrently. The first program, Jonah Bokaer Choreography, immediately found a strong niche in producing critically-acclaimed, iconoclastic dance productions often commissioned overseas, enjoying bookings worldwide since 2002. The second program, Chez Bushwick, has become known as New York State’s most affordable dance studio since 2002. Bokaer and his diverse Board (notably Chair Emerita Patsy Tarr, Vice Chair and biomedical entrepreneur Thomas H. Lee, MD, members of the Herschenfeld Family of real estate developers, and recent director Helen Yee Little who leads the organization’s Annual Gala) have joined forces to create a cross-sector method of supporting performance in Brooklyn, greater New York, nationally, and internationally. The Board and Staff’s results have surpassed the affordable price points required by the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Dance/NYC, whose generous grants must be renewed each year. Bokaer’s organization now serves more than 1,500 artists at just $8 hourly, offering over 5,000 hours of annual affordable space, including 15 annual residency awards.
Continuing this momentum, Jonah Bokaer Arts Foundation expands its footprint into Hudson, with Space 428 Hudson, a third venue. Active in Hudson since 2006, Bokaer purchased the local disused 1871 Saint Matthew’s Lutheran Church, an architectural gem in downtown Hudson, located adjacent to the Marina Abramovic´ Institute. A devoted Honorary Board Member, Abramovic´ is a longtime friend to Bokaer. With a careful allocation of four cash prizes for his choreography, the building was acquired and meticulously renovated, promising to eventually expand the success of Bokaer’s organization: first with Chez Bushwick, and second with CPR. Continuing Bokaer’s pioneering workshops in Hudson since 2006, which have included partnerships with Basilica Hudson, Second Ward Foundation, Hudson Hall, Peggy Polenberg Real Estate, Time Space Limited, and also underground venues, this exciting landmark will launch its public presence with an artist-driven program called The Hudson Eye, August 23 – September 3, 2019timed with the peak summer season of tourism in Hudson. Funded by anonymous philanthropists with a $50,000 Matching Grant, The Hudson Eye is free of charge, partnering with local artists, venues, small businesses, and an array of underground nightlife spaces – including experimental performers of all backgrounds. The Hudson Eye is a 10-day public program, ADA compliant, attracting luminaries in dance, art, music, performance, LGBTQ culture, public dialogue, and more.
Jonah Bokaer Arts Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization which oversees both the choreography and artspaces of Jonah Bokaer. Through the support of its Board, generous donors, and Foundation grants, the organization has triumphed in fulfilling its dual mission: which is to foster the development, research, and presentation of new performance works across disciplines, while establishing affordable artspaces for other artists, notably Chez Bushwick, CPR, and a pilot venue in Hudson. Jonah Bokaer Arts Foundation serves a community of 1,500+ local artists, supporting next generations of performing arts talent.
Jonah Bokaer Choreography has cultivated a new form of Choreography merged with Visual Art & Design. He is the author of 60 original works, produced in 34 nations, 27 of the United States, and 292 cities – including 41 Museum Exhibitions. Earned & Contributed funds from Jonah Bokaer Choreography between 2002-2019 have realized 3 permanent Artspaces, creating over 14+ diverse jobs, and $11M+ in revenue. He is Tunisian-American, is an LGBTQ leader, and exhibits / tours worldwide.
Public Thank You: Board of Directors & Staff:
Jonah Bokaer | Choreographer
Barbara Hoffman, Esq.
Paul McCann, Co-Chair
Randall Bourscheidt, Vice Chair – Artspaces
Charles Fabius, Vice Chair – Programming
Thomas H. Lee, Vice Chair – Business Development
Acting Treasurer, Joe Kluger
Outgoing Treasurer, Mary Carriero
Secretary, Helen Allen Smith
Michèle Gerber Klein
Thomas H. Lee, MD
Helen Yee Little
Helen Allen Smith
Richard A. Anderman, Esq.
Nicole Birmann Bloom
Wayne S. Blank
Anthony Roth Costanzo
Bert de Liefde & Denise Kuschiewski
Steven Johnson, Esq. – CPR Liaison
Martha Sherman, PhD – H.R. Liaison
Frederick W. Beinecke
Christophe de Menil
Diana Widmaier Picasso
Jonah Bokaer – Choreographer
Erik Bucci – Communications
Benjamin Coffin – Company Manager
Ryan Cummings – Senior Staff, Deputy Director
Charles Fabius – Senior Staff, Curator & Producer
Wendell Gray II – Artists Residencies Manager
Aaron Levi Garvey – Curator
Julie George – Senior Management Team: Europe & UK
Lena Khandros – Senior Management Team: Russia
David Lieberman – Senior Management: Americas, Asia, Australia
Sara Procopio – Education Manager
Hyun-Jung Seo – Communications Intern