Since its first season in 2005, The Chocolate Factory Theater has supported the development and presentation of new work by a community of local, national and international artists working in dance, theater, and interdisciplinary performance. The Chocolate Factory’s programs have drawn many thousands of new visitors to its 5,000 square foot industrial facility in Long Island City, Queens. The organization recently purchased a permanent facility in the neighborhood.
Mission & History
The Chocolate Factory Theater exists to encourage and support artists in their process of inquiry. We engage specifically with a community of artists who challenge themselves and, in doing so, challenge us. We believe that by supporting the labor of these artists, we contribute to elevating New York City as a thriving and more equitable marketplace of ideas.
As an artist-founded, artist-led and artist-focused organization, The Chocolate Factory embraces artistic practice as an integral part of the artist’s whole life, an essential component of the life of our community and a key element of a larger national and international artistic dialog. As such, we host artists as our equal partners with shared autonomy, trust and appreciation. While we seek to make big ideas and extended relationships possible, we commit to working at a small, intimate and personal scale, with few artistic compromises or boundaries.
We achieve all of this by creating a vessel for artistic experimentation through a residency package serving the whole artist—salary, space, responsive and flexible support for the development of new work from inspiration to presentation. We invest in a local, national, and global community of forward-thinking artists working at all stages of their careers.
Each year 9-10 lead artists and their collaborators receive more than $50,000 in support including salaried residencies, commissioning funds, dedicated access to our space, equipment, and more culminating in NYC, national and world premiere performances. We literally hand over the keys and offer a remarkable degree of flexibility. We give dedicated multi-week creative residencies and pay every lead artist and performer a weekly salary on the books.
We provide high-quality photo and video documentation (by Peter Richards) for every artist we support. These documents are added to our growing online archive and can be viewed online their entirety at vimeo.com/chocolatefactory.
The Chocolate Factory is driven by the principle that being good neighbors means being part of a community. We connect with and contribute to the civic health of our neighborhood, its residents and small business owners in flexible and resilient ways. We serve on our local community board, provide space and support for community activities, and organize large scale community events including the annual Taste of LIC.
New York Community Trust
New York State Parks
NYC Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer
NYS Assemblywoman Catherine T. Nolan
The Barbara Bell Cumming Foundation
Big City Graph-x & Printing
The Chocolate Factory Theater Trustees
The McGue Millhiser Trust
Mental Insight Foundation
Mertz Gilmore Foundation
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz
Carl and Laurie Rogers
Royal Waste Services
Select Equity Group Foundation
Emma A. Sheafer Charitable Trust
The Trust for Mutual Understanding