S.P.A.R.E. Spaces

Settlement Performing Arts Residency Experience 

at Grand St. Settlement 




Located inside Lower East Side Preparatory School on Stanton St. in the Lower East Side, artists can apply for a space in a theater or a dance studio. Selected S.P.A.R.E. Spaces residents will be given free access to the space in exchange for volunteer projects on site (scroll down below to learn more about the volunteering aspect of the program)

Choose your site you would like to apply for, and scroll down for more info on how to submit your application: 

The Theater

The Grand St. theater is ideal for the rehearsal and production of new works

The Grand St. theater is ideal for the rehearsal and production of new works


The dance studio

This professional dance studio is perfect for dancers at all levels of their career to develop their practice.

This professional dance studio is perfect for dancers at all levels of their career to develop their practice.

How SPARE Spaces Works

Through the Settlement Performing Arts Residency Experience (S.P.A.R.E.) SPACES residency, selected artists will have FREE access to either the The Grand St. Settlement Theater or Dance Studio for rehearsal and/or performance in exchange for volunteer projects completed in the community.

What does "volunteer projects completed in the community" mean?

Let's back up a bit: The Artist Volunteer Center offers support services to artists who get out of their studio, get involved and help people. One of the driving concepts behind the S.P.A.R.E. Spaces program is that there are underutilized spaces around the city that could benefit artists (theaters, dance studios, gymnasiums, classrooms, etc.) and these spaces are located at facilities in need of high quality arts and non-arts related programming. The Artist Volunteer Center acts as a conduit to pair artists with communities, and the result is everyone wins:

The artist: Gets free rehearsal space for the development of new performative works, a unique and inspiring experience interacting with people young and old, and by participating in volunteer projects highlighting their skill set, or trying out new activities. Volunteering makes people feel good, and the hope is that this will lead to new ideas, motivations, productive outcomes, and more art, which the AVC will support in any way it can.

The community partner: Works with some of the best and brightest artists in the city to fill gaps in their programming by creating new workshops, events, or classes, or staffing existing needs. The community gets a chance to interact with the artists and learn from each other during their stay. The community can take part in or attend performances of the works created during the residency, when applicable. 

SO what does "volunteer projects completed in the community" mean?

The artists will work with other educators and staff within a pre-established framework at Grand St. to create and/or contribute to a volunteer-run program; options range from helping out with pre-existing art and non art-related programs, to developing an entirely new program with support of the AVC and Grand St.—If you have never done a community program like this before have no fear, we will work with you to find/create a project that both inspires you and benefits the community. Depending on how often you use the space, you could do a 1-3 hour volunteer component weekly, biweekly, or monthly. If you are applying as a company, collective or group, you can share the volunteer component. 

  • A few examples of what an hour of “volunteering time” might look like:
    • teaching a series of classes (dance, yoga, puppetry, etc.) to a group of young kids
    • teaching kids video editing
    • acting workshops
    • mentoring seniors
    • teaching english
    • crocheting
    • creating a horticulture project
    • make up your own! 




Residency terms last three months, however depending on space availability, residents can reapply to extend their time. Once the application is submitted, it is reviewed by the AVC to determine if it is complete. If so, the AVC passes the application on to the community partner, who ultimately decides if the artist is chosen. 



To apply please submit the following materials to jason@avcenter.org:

  • A current Resume/CV
  • A brief letter of interest:
    • Outlining your specific interest in working at Grand St.         
    • An overview of what you would intend to use the space for.
    • The time of day you would like to schedule rehearsals.
    • How long you would need the space. 
    • The type of volunteering you would be interested in.
    • Why you feel your work would benefit from this opportunity.
  • A work sample

Artists who are accepted will be asked for two letters of recommendation. 


  • Because you will be working with ll artists who are selected are subject to fingerprinting and background checks given that they will be volunteering around children.
  • There will be opportunities to perform the completed works at Grand St. for the community.

Still have questions? email jason@avcenter.org