GOSH!ABOUT: Chashama Gala

Chashama Annual Gala 2016

Editor in chief: Najaam Lee
Contributing Location Writer: Mitchell Acks
Photo credit: BFA, Guest Of A Guest

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Chashama held their annual gala at the former Conde Nast Building of Frank Gehry-design dining hall at Four Times Square on June 8, 2016.

This event was a major success. With 400 attendees, 150 performers, donations and Live online auctions, Chashama raised over $400, 000. for their organization, which will go directly to toward the upkeep of Chashama’s Work-space program, one of the largest subsidized studio rental programs in NYC; maintaining the housing/residency programs that provide artists housing and studio space in return for community arts programs. Specifically, these funds support the Bronx Artist Housing Initiative (Bronx, NY) and ChaNorth (Pine Plains, NY). Money raised also allows Chashama to keep its Presentation Program free of charge for artists, so that they can more fully realize their creative visions without budgetary restrictions, and lastly to the talented staff of Chashama, visiting curators, and workshop leaders.

Anita Durst, Founder and Artistic Director was dressed as a human candelabra in a white dress adorned with lit candles. Her dad, Douglas Durst, came casual in a t-shirt labeled “rebel”. Other notable real estate guests included Alexander Durst, Bill Shanahan of CBRE, Gabriel Hernandez, Design Republic, Christopher Hofstedt, Managing Dir. R.E. Finance at BNY Mellon, Harris Bulow, Eastern Consolidated and David Beahm.
Artists, Flambeaux Fire and Muffinhead headlined the gala, which features Chashama’s ongoing commitment of giving artists free or affordable space to create and present their works.

Chashama honoured Dustin Yellin, artist and founder of Pioneer Works, a non-profit institute for art and innovation in Red Hook since 2010. His seminal Psychogeographie, have been commissioned for public exhibition at Kennedy Center in Washington DC and Lincoln Center in New York City for the New York City Ballet Series.


Chashama, which means “to have vision” in Farsi (Persian language), partners with property owners to activate unused real estate for artists to develop, create and present. Currently, Chashama manages over 125 artist studios, six galleries, five curated office lobbies, two performance venues, and provides affordable artist housing. A connector of art and real estate since 1995, Chashama has placed more than 12,000 artists into over 60 locations around New York City, becoming the largest provider of affordable space for creative use.
To learn more, visit www.chashama.org



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