CPR – Center for Performance Research is an artist-driven initiative, co-founded in 2009 by Jonah Bokaer | Chez Bushwick and John Jasperse | Thin Man Dance, Inc. CPR’s mission is to support the development of new works in contemporary dance, performance and related forms, and to promote awareness of and appreciation for contemporary performing arts. CPR is particularly interested in supporting artistic processes that integrate visual design, installation, and technology.
Located in a 4,000-square-foot mixed-used arts facility in Brooklyn’s first L.E.E.D.-certified green building of its kind, CPR provides affordable space for rehearsal and performance, innovative arts programming, education, and pedagogical engagement with the communities of New York City and abroad. CPR addresses the critical need for space in New York City’s creative landscape and is committed to building arts infrastructure that nurtures contemporary performance. At the same time, CPR provides a sustainable model for livability in New York City with a focus on community involvement and environmental responsibility.
CPR is the result of artistic vision and market forces coming together. The two founding organizations’ ongoing commitment to providing outstanding resources to performing artists in order to foster the development, research, and presentation of new work played a central role. This met with the innovative desire on the part of Developer Derek Denckla/Propeller Group and Architect Gregory Merryweather to harness the vibrancy of the real estate market to support the local arts community. Denckla and Merryweather envisioned a mixed-use residential building—“The Greenbelt”—that would house a non-profit community arts facility on the ground floor. John Jasperse was approached about joining the project; Jasperse subsequently approached Jonah Bokaer/Chez Bushwick, Inc., who had previous plans to launch a capital campaign toward the formation of a permanent facility. The resulting partnership formed CPR – Center for Performance Research. The Greenbelt is a certified L.E.E.D. Gold project, the first private green development to do so in Brooklyn. CPR will bind together a commitment to the sustainability of community arts organizations with the environment of New York City, offering a benchmark approach to urban planning for the arts.
The project also represents something more abstract: artistic freedom. “The belief is that the center is a response to crisis,” Mr. Bokaer said. “The crisis being that it is really hard to live and to make work here.” As Mr. Jasperse put it: “The idea of freedom just has to be at the center of it because it’s just four walls and a door without that. And the other side is that it’s a cooperative endeavor. It’s not just Jonah and me. It’s an entire community of artists that are going to need to engage in this project with an eye toward some kind of mutual responsibility.”
-Gia Kourlas, NYTimes.
Read the full NYTimes report on CPR’s opening here.