S.P.A.R.E. Spaces

Settlement Performing Arts Residency Experience 

At Jacob Riis in Long Island City, Queens 



Located inside Queensbridge Community Center at Jacob Riis Neighborhood Settlement House in Long Island City, Queens. Selected S.P.A.R.E. Spaces residents will be given free access to gymnasium with stage, and/or access to multiple classrooms for practice and development of new works. 

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

The Queensbridge Residency Space is 5200 Sq. Ft. including the gym and the stage.

The Queensbridge Residency Space is 5200 Sq. Ft. including the gym and the stage.

How It Works

Through this residency, selected artists will have FREE access to either the Jacob Riis Queensbridge Gymnasium at the Queensbridge Community Center or Ravenswood Social Room in Long Island City for rehearsal and/or performance in exchange for volunteer projects completed in the community. The artists will work with other educators and staff within a pre-established framework at Jacob Riis to create and/or contribute to a volunteer-run program; options range from helping out with pre-existing art and non art-related programs that you can view here, to developing an entirely new program with support of the AVC and Jacob Riis—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.  

The Ravenswood Social Room is approximately 1600 sq. ft (66'x24') 

The Ravenswood Social Room is approximately 1600 sq. ft (66'x24') 

This residency is ideal for artists who are in need of rehearsal space for the development of new performative works, and who are interested in discovering how they can use their time within and beyond their practice to connect with and give back to a community. It is the AVC’s hope that this experience will have a positive, inspirational, and productive outcome on both the community AND the artists’ personal creative output. Support will be given to both you as an artist and you as an active volunteer member of this community.

 The Artist Volunteer Center, Jacob Riis, and the chosen artist(s) will work together to determine the length of the residency based on the volunteer project that is set up. Therefore, artists with both long and short-term projects are encouraged to apply: 

Volunteer Projects and space usage can run the entire length of the residency or for just a part of the time. 

Take a look at the info below on how to apply! Still have questions? contact: jason@avcenter.org



  • Jacob Riis Community Center at Queensbridge is located at 10-25 41st Avenue in Long Island City, NY, 11101. The gym space is approximately 4000 sq. ft (65’x61’) adjoined to a stage that is approximately 1,200 sq. ft (28’x42’).
  • Queensbridge hours of availability for scheduling rehearsal time are M-F 8AM-2PM, andSaturday 1-4PM
  • Ravenswood Social Room is located at 35-40 21st St, Long Island City, NY, 11106. The Social Room is approximately 1,600 sq. ft (66'x24'). Ravenswood hours of availability for scheduling rehearsal time are M-F 9AM-2PM
    • Of note: these are mixed-use spaces with community programs happening throughout the day, as well as occasional thru traffic of community and staff. Artist residents will need to be flexible and accommodating in their use of the space.
    • The use of these spaces is entirely free of cost.



  • How you choose to volunteer in return for space usage will be determined in conversation with the artist, the AVC, and Riis. 
  • You can create your own volunteer project or choose from a preexisting one.
  • A few examples of what an hour of “volunteering time” might look like are teaching a series of 1 hour 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, etc.! Riis has lots of existing volunteer needs here
  • If you are applying as a group, the volunteer hours can be divided up amongst the group’s individual members.



  • Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and dates of the residency will be determined by the project needs and the availability of the space. Residency length is approximately three months, but the artist can apply to have this length of time extended.


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 Jacob Riis.         
    • 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


  • All artists who are selected must sign up as a volunteer at Jacob Riis here, and are subject to fingerprinting and background checks given that they will be volunteering around children.
  • In certain cases, applicants can reapply for additional sessions once they have been selected.
  • There will be opportunities to perform the completed works at Jacob Riis for the community.


We understand this sure is a lot of info and it is a unique program so we welcome any and all inquiries regarding this residency. If you have questions, pleas email jason@avcenter.org. And thank you for your interest!