ChaShaMa Named Artist-in-Residence

ChaShaMa Named Artist-in-Residence

ChaShaMa, named Roosevelt Island Artist-in-Residence by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, subject to board approval, brings depth and connections to the art community.

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

ChaShaMa didn’t so much win the Roosevelt Island Artist-In-Residence grant as RIOC won them. ChaShaMa’s positive impact is immediate, and it’s as big a deal — if not bigger — than winning FIGMENT NYC..

ChaShaMa and the Roosevelt Island Artist-In-Residence Grant

A year ago, consistent with the Island of Art idea, RIOC president Susan Rosenthal asked for board approval to fund an artist-in-residence. ChaShaMa won a competition judged by three independent artists.

It’s worth $38,000 per year to ChaShaMa but potentially much more for local artists

Let’s start with this: Before ChaShaMa was named Artist-In_Residence, they subsidized 200 artist studios. Their mission closely matches that of RIOC’s grant.

And ChaShaMa estimates awarding $8.6 million in real estate to artists. RIOC’s grant seems tiny in contrast, but for the Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association (RIVAA), it’s huge.

ChaShaMa Named Artist-in-Residence and the community wins big…

…because, since 1995 when Anita Durst started the effort to help artists, they’ve cultivated art loving business owners willing to help.

Durst, as in the Durst Organization, which owns 16 million square feet of space in 18 Manhattan buildings.

The thing naming ChaShaMa’s Artist-In-Residence so promising for Roosevelt Island is their agreement to develop and promote local artists.

RIOC creates the studio, but ChaShaMa manages it. It joins more than a dozen in Manhattan alone.

The Artist-In-Residence also brings in curators and other art world professionals to guide artists in the free studio.

Connections given local artists in this process are invaluable, and that includes exposure from special events to promote the studio.

Valuable Partnerships

ChaShaMa is named Artist-In-Residence, but RIVAA plays a big role as their partner, sharing $15,000 of the annual grant. To earn that, RICAA helps RIOC with Fall For Arts, the Motorgate Gallery and other Island of Art efforts.

RIOC also assists ChaShaMa in picking artists who will benefit from the free space.


Under Susan Rosenthal’s guidance, the Island of Art drive accelerated, and now provides more than many residents expected. Naming ChaShaMa, partnered with RIVAA, Artist–In-Residence is a giant step forward, far more valuable than the grant itself.

It pushes Roosevelt Island higher on the Manhattan art map.

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