WHAT IS GALAPAGOS ART SPACE?
Galapagos Art Space is a 9,000 sq ft Obie Award winning cultural venue located in DUMBO, Brooklyn.
We have a 1,600 sq ft lake inside our building, with island seating on the lake, and the lake is surrounded by a beautiful, operatic style mezzanine.
Yes, we said lake. We have a lake inside our building.
Galapagos was built to LEED certified status and was one of NYC‘s first 'green’ cultural venues.
gorgeous photo by: Eric Provost
HOW DO WE FUND GALAPAGOS ART SPACE?
In order to operate, Galapagos does not accept government grants or public funding of any kind.
We believe that if the work we present is strong, communicative, and effective, audiences will support us. Since opening in Williamsburg in 1995 we’ve proved that a cultural venue operating an independent, evolved model for supporting the performing arts can indeed flourish.
Government and the philanthropic community have important roles to play in creating venues of opportunity that serve the artistic community and the public interest. In turn, venues have a responsibility to create stable, effective business models strong enough and created with enough detail to enable them to operate independent of subsidy once they're open.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
For the last fifty years New York City has attracted the one smartest kid from everywhere.
These young savant thinkers brought with them the untested and soon-to-be transformational ideas that allowed our little islands of the coast of America to evolve separately from the mainland species. The value and function of this progressive and inclusive mechanism profoundly changed not only post war New York City, but arguably the United States as a whole.
Yet despite the largest (and only most recent) collapse of public and private funding ever experienced by the cultural ecosystem, there remains an entrenched and institutionalized resistance toward change in the business models that underpin that ecosystem. Operating with tired financial thinking and the instability of the tin-cup mentality, many cultural organizations – if indeed not the majority – operate as unsustainable entities whose missions are routinely compromised by the cyclical turbulence within the government / private funding cycle. We'll never attract the best and brightest to culture if we continue putting forth unstable conditions that cyclically result in crisis.
A direct result of this – and one that cannot be underestimated – is that culture is losing its ability to attract and incubate its next generation of savant thinkers and visioned leaders.
These best and brightest are in many cases bypassing culture entirely as they find ways to satisfy their longing to contribute by moving enthusiastically into the social-entrepreneurship, venture philanthropy, micro-finance, internet technology, app-building and social network creation spaces that are redefining what contribution and career means across wide swaths of our economy.