CitySpace Invites Artists to Apply for Free Venue Access to Rehearse, Perform

CitySpace announced the launch of its 2024 Pay It Forward program, aimed at supporting artists and organizations across Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties. This initiative provides free access to CitySpace’s Blue Room, a performance and incubator space situated in Easthampton’s historic Old Town Hall.

Interested applicants can submit their proposals at through May 6.

Pay It Forward offers artists short-term residencies and access to the venue for public performances and rehearsals between July and December 2024. Selected artists will receive a stipend of up to $1,000, along with proceeds from ticket sales generated by their public performances. Moreover, recipients will benefit from workshops, peer-learning cohorts, and personalized coaching sessions aimed at enhancing their artistic practice and fostering new skills, connections, and innovative ideas.

Open to performers of all disciplines, Pay It Forward seeks to empower the vibrant artistic community within Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties. While open to all artists and creative organizations in the three counties, Pay It Forward focuses on supporting under-resourced artists and encourages BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) artists, LGBTQ+ artists, artists living with disabilities, and organizations that serve such artists.

Having piloted the Pay It Forward program alongside the unveiling of the Blue Room, CitySpace has witnessed the transformative impact of the program firsthand. Kim Chin-Gibbons, a 2022 pilot program recipient with her progressive rock band Sunset Mission, and recently appointed CitySpace artist advisory committee member, noted that “this program allowed us the time to really develop everything, not just to our liking but the necessary whole of what we are trying to do. We got to have rehearsals all day long, run tech, and shoot a music video. It was wonderful.”

Officially launching the program in 2023, Pay It Forward offered more than 1,250 complimentary hours last year to artists for theater performances, concerts, rehearsals, and more. Queer Community Theatre founders and 2023 Pay It Forward recipients Emily Fuller and Erin F. attested to its significance to their sold-out production of Bar Dykes, stating, “without the Pay It Forward program, we absolutely would not have been able to make this production the success that it was.”

Pay It Forward 2024 is made possible by the funding from the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts’ Valley Creates, Greenfield Saving Bank, Peak Performance Roofing, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Delap Real Estate, Finck and Perras, and Tandem Bagel.