The exterior of El Barrio’s Artspace PS109, a former public school recently converted into live-work spaces for artists (photo by Christopher Lopez, courtesy Artspace)

With the grand opening of El Barrio’s Artspace PS109 — New York’s newest artist housing initiative — happening this Saturday, we thought it would be a good time to explore the challenges of affordable artist housing in the city. This is your chance to learn more and ask all the questions you have about the topic!

Join us at El Barrio’s Artspace PS109 on Wednesday, September 30, from 7 to 8:30pm, to learn about the challenges and successes of artist housing around the city. The event is free and open to public, but please RSVP to secure your space.

We think it’s important to address the lack of affordable artist housing in New York. To that end, we’ve invited speakers who will share their thoughts on and professional experiences with the issue, while audience members will be invited to share their own stories about how housing challenges impact their life and work.

The panel will be followed by a Q&A and a short workshop to share tips and practical advice for applying for affordable artist housing.

Participants include:

  • Kelley Lindquist, President of Artspace
  • Kristin Sakoda, Deputy General Counsel for NYC’s Department of Cultural Affairs
  • Monica Williams, artist and resident at El Barrio’s Artspace PS109
  • Moderated by Hrag Vartanian, Hyperallergic Editor-in-Chief

Full bios can be found below.


El Barrio’s Artspace PS109
215 E 99th Street, East Harlem, Manhattan
Wednesday, September 30, 2015, 7–8:30pm
Refreshments provided by Perrier
RSVP here

You can find all updates here.

Hyperallergic ArtTalks invite leading voices in the arts to participate in intimate gatherings, with the goal of sparking discussion, debate, and further action on an evolving idea or project.

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Kelley LindquistPresident of Artspace

Kelley Lindquist has been president of Artspace Projects since 1987. Under his leadership, Artspace has grown from a staff of one and an annual budget of $40,000 into the nation’s leading nonprofit developer of space for artists, with a staff of 75, a budget of $18 million (2013), and a total revenue of more than $30 million on its annual consolidated financial statements. The amount of consolidated annual revenue continues to increase as additional development projects are added to the Artspace portfolio. 

Artspace’s portfolio of properties includes 38 major completed projects, all of which operate in the black. More than 1,500 affordable live/work residences for artists and their families are part of the more than two million square feet of space that Artspace has developed, owns, and operates. This residential, studio, office, and performance space represents an investment of more than half a billion dollars in America’s arts infrastructure.

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Kristin Sakoda, Deputy General Counsel for NYC’s Department of Cultural Affairs

The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) is the largest arts funder in the US outside of the federal government, with a primary mission to provide public funding to New York City’s nonprofit arts and cultural field. As Deputy General Counsel of DCLA, Kristin works closely with the Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel to advise the Commissioner, executive management, and agency staff on a wide range of legal, strategic, governance, and policy issues affecting the agency’s priorities and cultural constituents. Involved in numerous aspects of the agency’s operations, Kristin is responsible for a varied portfolio that includes legal matters, legislation, arts administration, special projects, and programmatic initiatives. Her work at the agency touches on activities ranging from capital projects at cultural facilities and city-owned institutions to public art and affordable workspace for artists. Kristin’s role at DCLA helps facilitate New York City’s support for an astonishingly rich landscape of nonprofit arts and cultural organizations large and small.  For more about DCLA, visit

In addition to her work at DCLA, Kristin’s background includes an arts practice as a songwriter and a prior career as a professional performing artist in dance, music, and theater. Credits include Mamma Mia!​ (original Broadway), Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party​ (Off-Broadway), Rent (second national tour), and the Urban Bush Women and Robert Moses’ Kin modern dance companies.

Kristin has a J.D. from NYU School of Law and a B.A. from Stanford University.

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Monica Williams, artist and resident at Artspace’s El Barrio PS109

Monica L Williams is a NYC-based curator, cultural producer, and theater director whose work has been presented at leading performing arts institutions across the United States, including the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the world famous Apollo Theater, and the John F. Kennedy Center. She received training in theater and cross-sector art at Wright State University and New York University. With ingenuity, she applies the aesthetics of theater to cultivate new ideas, explore suspension of time, place, and memory, and blur the lines of what is real vs. imagined to examine human engagement within community. African Diasporic values, traditions, and practices are explored in her work and offer a framework for collaboration in youth development, audience engagement, and community transformation. She is the founder of Creative Legacy Projects, whose latest incubation, #LOVEHUSTLE, invites global conversation about art, love, and the pursuit of dreams. Find her on Instagram or Twitter: @tfalovehustle or @monicadirects.