Art Needs Space
Artists have no place to work.
They have no place to rehearse, paint, move, sing, or perform.
Broadway has been shuttered for 8 months; university art studios are empty, live performances cancelled, leaving 62% of artists without work. According to the Rand Institute “the vast majority of artists have likely lost some or all of their income.”
We’re on a mission to enable artists of all mediums to find affordable space to create and share their work with the world.
How We Got Here
We’d been searching for weeks. The living room just wasn’t going to cut it anymore. In a cramped New York City apartment, we hunched over a computer looking for rehearsal spaces. We were trying to put on a two-man show. Like many young actors, we were sick of waiting for acting opportunities, so we decided to make one for ourselves.
The only problem: we didn’t have the space to do it.
We tried rehearsing in the aforementioned living room. Impossible. We searched for space on Facebook. Sketchy. We looked at renting out designated rehearsal studios in Manhattan. Expensive.
To our surprise, we realized there was no central place to search for rehearsal or performance spaces. After digging through countless websites created before the release of the iPhone, and surviving some rough negotiations on Facebook, we knew:
There has to be a better way.
We turned to fellow artists, and found the problem was far more widespread than we first thought.
When you make your own work, whether writing a play, composing a song, or choreographing a dance, finding a space to create and perform is a massive challenge. And if you do find a space, odds are it will cost an arm and a leg to rent. And you need those arms and legs to paint or dance or dramatically gesture to stage left.
Traditional ways of renting space directly from theatres or galleries are too expensive. For example, renting an Off-Broadway theatre can cost up to $25,000 a week. And to find one, you have to pore through old websites, go back and forth over email, or do all that just to schedule a phone call.
And there are countless spaces collecting dust. With coronavirus shutting down businesses left and right, there has never been more open space in the history of New York City.
Art is an integral part of Ian’s life. He grew up in Dallas, Texas, home to the largest arts district in the country, so finding him at a live show or at an art museum was to be expected. He’s been working in fitness for the past five years and approaches programming for clients in a gym setting very similarly to creating art. Travel and new experiences are an important part of Ian’s life, so when he isn’t in the gym or behind a computer, he’s planning his next adventure.
Art has been a central part of Tommy's life since he was very young. Before starting Artra, he worked at a tech startup in Boston, where he learned first hand what makes a company great. He is excited to bring what he's learned to build something that will help artists. When he’s not working or creating, you’ll find him in the Adirondack mountains, spending time with his family, or reading a dusty history book in the corner sipping on Earl Grey.