Downtown Art (DTA), led by artists Ryan Gilliam and Michael
Hickey, has been working to make art and build community here on the Lower East Side for over twenty
years. In June 2016, we opened our new home at 70 East 4th Street with three floors plus outdoor space to support projects and artists working to address issues of equity, increase diversity, and engage communities creatively.
DTA has an extensive history of collaborations with young people – creating over 115 performance
projects involving more than 1600 teens.
The company regularly receives support from the NYC Dept of Cultural
Affairs, the New York State Arts Council, and several small private foundations. Ryan has been recognized as a leader
in the field, serving on the boards of NYC arts service and advocacy
organizations and honored as a ‘Local Hero’ by the Alliance of Resident
Theaters/NY and Bank of America.
Although DTA is a small organization, it has made a difference in
the LES community -- a contribution recognized by more than $5 million in public support from city government toward the renovation of the
company’s new home.
Examples of recent DTA projects which range from artistic creations to
community celebrations include –
- 'Bending the Arc’ and ‘Birmingham 1963’, a
series of original theater works performed by teens which address racism in the U.S.
- co-founding Lower East Side History Month
which every May engages over 85 community organizations to celebrate the
diversity of our neighborhood through festivals, exhibits, performances, and
- providing below market space to South American, Filipino, and Arab American theater artists, the Laundromat Project and People's Climate Arts, FABnyc, Theater of the Oppressed/NY, training in Undoing Racism for artists, presentations by Groundswell - Oral Historians working for Social Change, and others
- transforming a vacant, dilapidated building into a new arts center
This new space on 4th Street will not
only be a home for Downtown Art projects, but will be host to other
community-oriented arts organizations and projects. Our ‘shared space’ program, which provides
below market rate cultural space to artists and organizations around a curated
focus on equity and diversity, meets a powerful need in the field.
Your support really makes a difference at DTA - and we're really skilled at making each dollar go a long way. Through your contribution - you will help us build a hub for community and art, connect young people to their creativity, and provide affordable creative space for artists and projects from across our city who are addressing issues of
diversity and equity.