Community Programs

The Chocolate Factory Theater is deeply embedded in the life of its geographic and cultural communities. Led by Manager of Communications & Civic Engagement demetries morrow, The Chocolate Factory organizes, supports and participates in numerous programs and events designed to cultivate and celebrate the diverse communities of Western Queens.

Community Portrait Project
“What makes a community whole? Whose lack of presence in your local routine would you miss if they were no longer there?” In partnership with Bard High School Early College Queens in the Spring 2019, The Chocolate Factory worked with students to consider those questions of what makes community. We then worked together to develop brief stories and portraits of individuals who have a profound impact on the life of Western Queens. The partnership concluded with a public exhibition of the portraits and a presentation of commissions to each student to honor their labor as student artists.

Girls Scouts Badge Workshop
The Chocolate Factory regularly leads merit badge workshop badges for the local Girl Scounts. Past badge workshops have included the Science of Happiness and the Music and Dance Badge.

LIC Springs!
an annual community block party hosted by LIC Partnership, this event celebrates Long Island City through music, dance live performances and more. The Chocolate Factory serves as block captain, providing technical support for other local groups and cultural organizations.

Andrews Grove (aka Shady Park)
Super Storm Sandy had a direct impact on the community around The Chocolate Factory Theater with homes and parked seriously damaged. The public park across the street from the theater lost eight 40′ trees that fell one at a time also damaging play equipment. We immediately helped organize with local families and co-founded Friends of Shady Park. We used our location as a base to organize meetings, create writing, drawing and education projects to rebuild the park and replace all of the trees. 18 months after Sandy the park reopened with new trees, repaired equipment and a celebration. We maintain Friends of Shady Park as a community program and organize park clean ups, fall daffodil bulb planting and, during summer months, we open and close the park including turning the sprinklers on in the early morning and off late in the evening. It is all smiles when we hear young people enjoying the water on hot days.

Halloween in Long Island City
An annual celebration including a large scale parade and party, Halloween in LIC is the largest event of its kind. We happily co-organize and provide technical support for the holiday event each year.

Arts Community Partnerships The Chocolate Factory regularly partners with local arts organizations, including Movement Research, to provide residency support for its artist community; and serving as Community Partner to the Insitu Dance Festival, a free site-specific dance festival taking place at four public waterfront parks along the East River in LIC, providing technical support and rehearsal space for participating artists (Chocolate Factory Executive Director Sheila Lewandowski also serves on their Advisory Board).

CSCA Summer Block Party
Organized by the Court Square Civic Association, this summer block party invites local residents to enjoy a day of entertainment, activities, food, family, and fun. The Chocolate Factory provides technical and production support.

LGBTQ Pride Brunch
An annual brunch hosted by NYC Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer to honor outstanding LGBTQ leaders for their contributions to the Western Queens community. The Chocolate Factory provides technical and production support for this event each year.

Long Island City Cultural Alliance
An alliance of leading arts and cultural organizations in and around Long Island City, joining together to increase both visibility and access to its institutions, and strengthening the voice of the area’s flourishing arts community. The Chocolate Factory is proud to be a member of this organization.