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

Supportive 1. Supportive

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 wellspring of ideas.

Artist-Focused 2. Artist-Focused

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 dialogue.
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.

Comprehensive 3. Comprehensive

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.

Dedicated 4. Dedicated

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 for thousands of adventurous spectators.
 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.

Community 5. Archive

We provide high-quality photo and video documentation
(by Peter Richards) for every artist we support.
These documents, which are added to our growing online archive
and are viewed by more than 75,000 individuals each year,
can be seen online their entirety at vimeo.com/chocolatefactory.

Archive 6. Community

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.

Staff & Board

Board of Trustees


Sheila Lewandowski

Executive Director

Brian Rogers

Artistic Director

Madeline Best

Director of Production

Blaze Ferrer

Assistant Curator / Bookkeeper

demetries morrow

Manager of Communications & Civic Engagement

Michael Reardon

Graphic Design

Juli Brandano

Box Office

Lillie De


Ben Demarest


Shana Crawford


Sophie Sotsky


Pamela M. Golinski, Esq.

Legal Counsel

Rebecca Trent

Associate Producer, Taste of LIC

Peter Richards

House Videographer


Harkness Foundation
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
Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
Carl and Laurie Rogers
Royal Waste Services
Select Equity Group Foundation
Schubert Foundation
Emma A. Sheafer Charitable Trust
Shine Electronics
The Trust for Mutual Understanding

For a copy of our most recent audited financial statement and 990, download here.

Space & Technical

Download an inventory here.
Download a floor plan here.

Download Vectorworks drawings of our lighting grid here.
Please direct all technical and space-related questions to Madeline Best.