For more than four decades, Building for the Arts (BFA) has set the stage for communities to thrive through creative cultural efforts, presenting vibrant arts initiatives that make it possible for people and places to achieve their greatest potential. Founded in 1976 as 42nd Street Development Corporation, our initial vision was to transform the once-derelict west end of 42nd Street into a home for the performing arts. Today, BFA is a leader in building communities across NYC through artist services, affordable theatre programming, and a highly effective music education program. Having played a key role in the successful development of 42nd Street, our new name more fully embodies our current work: we truly are building for the arts.
BFA operates Theatre Row, a vibrant and affordable theater complex that provides a home in the Theater District for nonprofit theatre companies without a home of their own. We partner with more than 100 companies each year, offering theater rentals, rehearsal studios, office space, ticketing, and tech support to more than 3,000 artists. Furthermore, we provide a lively, accessible venue to 165,000 diverse audience members annually. Our recently announced Kitchen Sink Residency will provide five smaller, diverse companies a two-year commitment of space and support, as well as a sustained artistic home base, to create and present a new, never-before-produced work.
In further service of our mission of building NYC communities through the arts, we’ve developed Music and the Brain, a teacher training and music literacy program in underserved schools. Since 1997, we have trained over 400 teachers who, in turn, have taught more than 400,000 students. Today, we partner with 136 schools in NYC (260 nationwide). This highly scalable program provides each teacher with a one-of-a-kind, neuroscience-based music literacy curriculum; teaching materials, including books and recordings; and a full keyboard lab. Beyond that, we empower every teacher through small-group, intensive trainings; digital resources; and ongoing support. We help teachers to be their best—and we help their students build cognitive, attention, and fine motor skills to succeed academically and in life.
For more than four decades, Building for the Arts (BFA) has set the stage for communities to thrive through creative cultural efforts, presenting vibrant arts initiatives that make it possible for people and places to achieve their greatest…