The Kitchen is a non-profit, interdisciplinary organization that provides innovative artists working in the media, literary, and performing arts with exhibition and performance opportunities to create and present new work. Using its own extensive history as a resource, the organization identifies, supports, and presents emerging and under-recognized artists who are making significant contributions to their respective fields as well as serves as a safe space for more established artists to take unusual creative risks.
The Kitchen has been a powerful force in shaping the cultural landscape of this country for more than three decades. Founded as an artist collective in 1971 by Woody and Steina Vasulka and incorporated as a non-profit two years later, in its infancy The Kitchen was a space where video artists and experimental composers and performers could share their ideas with like-minded colleagues. It thus was among the very first American institutions to embrace the then emergent fields of video and performance art, while also presenting new visionary work within the fields of dance, music, literature, and film. The resulting combination was an environment uniquely conducive to experimentation and cross-disciplinary explorations that helped launch the careers of many artists who have defined the American avant-garde, including Vito Acconci, Constance de Jong, Gary Hill, Kiki Smith, Charles Atlas, Lucinda Childs, Elizabeth Streb, Bill T. Jones, and board members Laurie Anderson, Philip Glass, and Meredith Monk. Today, The Kitchen is an internationally acclaimed arts institution still widely known for its commitment to experimental work as it continues to provide instrumental support for the early and mid-career development of the current generation of artists.
The Kitchen assigns teaching artists to local high schools, offering hands-on experiential learning opportunities to the students through in-school arts programs directed at language-skill development and improved literacy. The program provides space, structure, curricula and teaching artists for up to 30 weeks of workshops per year, per school. Throughout the semester students also attend Lunchbreak performances, special weekday afternoon shows at The Kitchen where they meet and interact with artists in post-performance discussions.