Arts & Entertainment

Art shows bring life back to New York’s empty storefronts

New York, USA, Oct 28 (EFE).- A non-profit in New York with ties to some of the Big Apple’s biggest property developers is filling the city’s stores and businesses that were emptied by the pandemic with sculptures, paintings, concerts, dances and other artistic displays.

ChaShaMa collaborates with property owners to provide the art community with unused commercial spaces at affordable prices.

More recently, the initiative has been temporarily renting the spaces for free to start-ups and other small emerging businesses, with support from New York city authorities, Anita Durst explains to Efe.

“Property owners donate their space to me on a temporary basis and I give it to artists. For work space, show space and storefronts,” she says.

“We now have 150 shows per year, theater, dance music, and then we do workspace for 200 artists in the same genres, and we do storefront startups.”

Durst adds that once New York reopened following Covid lockdowns, the empty commercial storefronts provided an opportunity to generate activity and to work with businesses that are owned by minorities and women.

Her family name is well known in New York, as she is the daughter of real estate magnate Douglas Durst, heir and chairman of the Durst Organization empire, which has developed and owns numerous properties across the city, including some skyscrapers in the Times Square area. EFE


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