Dixon Place, a non-profit organization, was founded in 1986 to provide a space for literary and performing artists to create and develop new works in front of a live audience. Our mission to support and nurture the development of new work and work in progress  from diverse artists and to build new audiences for the work is carried out through five main programming objectives:

  • to present and encourage new and experimental work in performance art, literature, dance, and music by providing a venue for emerging and established artists to develop this new work in a safe, supportive environment
  • to discover the needs and interests of artists of color by providing a venue in which cultural, personal, and societal issues may be explored and addressed
  • to furnish gay and lesbian writers and performing artists with the opportunity to present their work in a supportive and non-homophobic atmosphere
  • to give writers of poetry, prose, nonfiction and science fiction the chance to read and/or speak before an audience
  • and to contribute to the community by making Dixon Place available as a meeting place for social change organizations.

The artist’s experience is given top priority through our professional atmosphere and remuneration, and their process is enhanced through the reaction of our adventurous audiences. Dixon Place is a local haven for creativity as well as an international model for the open exploration of the process of creation.

If you have work that would be appropriate for Dixon Place, please read our open submissions policy.

DP’s programs are made possible with public funds from The National Endowment for the Arts; NYS Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo & the NYS Legislature; NYC Dept of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; and NYC DCA/Materials for the Arts/NYC Department of Sanitation/NYC Board of Education. Private support is provided by Axe-Houghton Foundation; Bloomberg Philanthropies; NYC Dance Response Fund, a program of Dance/NYC established by the Mertz Gilmore Foundation; Greater New Orleans Foundation; Jim Henson Foundation; Jerome Foundation; Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Mertz Gilmore Foundation; Jerome Robbins Foundation; Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation; Peg Santvoord Foundation; and Shubert Foundation.


Dixon Place is a non-profit organization founded in 1986 to provide a space for literary and performing artists to create and develop new works in front of a live audience. While other venues of its kind have since died off, or now only present established artists, Dixon Place remains at the heart of the New York experimental performance scene. Taking risks is crucial to the life of Dixon Place, its artists and audiences.

Dixon Place’s primary commitments are to bring artists and audiences together through live performance in order to expand the understanding of the creative process and its final product, and to provide a supportive environment for emerging artists to present new work. Over the years, Dixon Place has successfully maintained its intimate atmosphere and unique environment while increasing its programming to fulfill the need for performance opportunities for the New York community of performing and literary artists.

For these artists, the only way to experiment and test ideas, is to perform them before an audience: to feel the reaction of a live group of people, without the pressures of production costs and premature press exposure. Dixon Place has grown out of a direct need for more support of the artistic process. In spite of the growing visibility of performance art, it is still difficult for emerging artists to find venues in which to test new ideas and performance techniques. The financial and professional risks for producers or presenters are too high. Dixon Place, therefore, provides an organization that facilitates these artistic experiments.

Dixon Place provides free rehearsal space, bulk mailing of our calendars to artists mailing lists, technical assistance, and video documentation.

In 1989, Ellie Covan, founding director, was a recipient of a Bessie, a New York Dance and Performance Award, for her service to the community; and Dixon Place received a Village Voice Obie Grant Award in 1990 and 1999. Additionally, in 1999, Dixon Place was awarded an Edwin Booth Award for Excellence in Theater. Open Channels NY, Inc. was founded in New York in 1982 by playwright Michael Slattery, director/composer Jim Fritzler, and performer/ director Ellie Covan, as an organization dedicated to fostering the development of visual, literary, and performing artists. From 1982 to 1985 Open Channels developed and produced a number of experimental theater projects. Through its sponsorship of Dixon Place, Open Channels provides a supportive venue for emerging and established artists to develop new work and seeks to build new audiences for this work. Dixon Place has at the heart of its mission the strong commitment to nurture artists during the process involved in the development of new work.