A group of young students sit on a colorful carpet in their music classroom as their teacher leans in towards her class with a smile on her face.

Our Mission

We expand access to the performing arts by providing creative space, learning opportunities, and hubs for artistic connection.

Our Vision

People connecting and growing through the transformative power of the performing arts.

Our Values

Inclusion: Embrace diversity within the mosaic of our community

Collaboration: Elevate a multiplicity of ideas and establish trusting relationships

Respect: Ensure authentic and consistent regard for the experiences, thoughts and opinions of all

Impact: Enact the change we seek to make in the world and celebrate moments of triumph

Creativity: Model and encourage avenues for innovative expression and exploration

What We Do

Building for the Arts operates Theatre Row, an Off-Broadway multi-theater complex that serves as an affordable home for performing artist organizations, and a lively, accessible venue for diverse audiences. Through the American Playwriting Foundation, BFA presents the Relentless Award – the largest annual cash prize in American theater to a playwright in recognition of a new play. Music and the Brain brings a music literacy curriculum, whole-class keyboard instruction, and ongoing professional development to schools in under-resourced communities, empowering students to succeed academically and in life. 

Our Roots

Since its founding in 1976, Building for the Arts has been at the forefront of creative placemaking with a vision to transform the once-derelict west end of 42nd Street – filled with peep shows and other pornographic venues – into a vibrant community and home for nonprofits. We anchored the transformation of this neighborhood by developing the theaters, restaurants, and apartments known as Theatre Row. 

Artistic close up photograph of vintage microphone