ABOUT ASTOR PLACE
Astor Place is constantly in motion. Where East and West Villages come together, it is the nexus point of an exciting, vibrant, and artistic community. Surrounded by historical theaters, meeting halls, and Cooper Union academic buildings—as well as many small businesses that are part of the Village Alliance—Astor Place inhabitants have been the driving forces behind arts, culture, and political engagement in NYC. With year-round public open space and activities, it is the heart and anchor of the neighborhood and historically an important Lenape meeting place, called “Kintecoying,” or “Crossroads of Three Nations”.
The plaza has long served as a site for political protest and negotiation of rights, from the 1849 Astor Place Riot, a violent marker of class inequity, to Frederick Douglas’ 1863 delivery of “The Proclamation and a Negro Army” at Cooper Union. Numerous seeds of revolution have fomented in Astor Place throughout its history, including the Chinese Students Alliance’s dissent against China’s actions in the Sino-Soviet war and the recent 2020 Black Lives Matter protests. Neighbor to organizations such as MoRUS, Loisaida Center, ABCnoRIO, the Public Theater, and Performance Space, Astor Place is also a thoroughfare for those engaged with the East Village’s vibrant art community. These organizations inherit a legacy of cultural rebelliousness that has defined the history of the neighborhood: from Beatnik poets of the 1960s to Nuyorican writers and musicians of the 60s and 70s and the street art movement of the 80s, Rashid Johnson’s Red Stage is situated within a powerful lineage of visionary and transgressive creative moments.
For more information on the area, please visit Village Alliance.
Lead project support for Red Stage is provided by Max and Monique Burger, Burger Collection Hong Kong; Molly Gochman; The O’Grady Foundation; and an anonymous donor. Red Stage is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. The project would not have been possible without site support and collaboration from the NYC Department of Transportation’s Temporary Art Program (DOT Art) and the Village Alliance.
Major Creative Time programming support for 2021 has been generously provided by Arison Arts Foundation, the Charina Endowment Fund, The David Teiger Foundation, the Destina Foundation, The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation, the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, Open Society Foundations, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, and The Willem de Kooning Foundation. We are also grateful for the support of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) in partnership with the City Council; and the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.