No, this is not home to a phantom orchestra! Symphony Space got its name when founders Isaiah Sheffer and Allan Miller took over the once-elegant but deteriorating Symphony movie theatre after a one day WALL TO WALL BACH free marathon concert in 1978, and decided to turn it into an adventurous Space for innovative arts events of all kinds. While Symphony Space does not have a resident orchestra, they are a multi-disciplinary performing arts center, offering a wide array of music, dance, literature, film, theatre, family and education programs.
Since its founding in 1978, Symphony Space has become known for producing and presenting free and low-cost programs that represent the cultures of New York City in all their variety. They showcase the performing arts and literature at their liveliest and most accessible.
Symphony Space builds each season around a diverse array of presentations, including:
* Wall to Wall - annual free music marathons, each celebrating an individual composer or musical genre
* Selected Shorts: A Celebration of the Short Story
* Repertory Film Series
* Bloomsday on Broadway - annual James Joyce tribute on June 16
* Just Kidding! -- weekend-morning multi-art series for children ages four and older
* Dance Series - featuring a broad selection of contemporary choreography
* Selected Shorts: All Write! - adult literacy outreach program
* Curriculum Arts Project arts education program, which integrates the arts into the social studies curriculum in New York City's public schools
Symphony Space programs reach the rest of the country through local and national public radio broadcasts of literary and musical events such as Selected Shorts and Wall to Wall, and through the sale of audiocassettes of the most requested stories from the Selected Shorts series.
In addition to Symphony Space's own annual calendar of performances, an average of 40 not-for-profit organizations present 125 performances at Symphony Space each year. Many of these events are made possible through Symphony Space's Performance Subsidy Program, which assists selected performance groups by providing subsidized rental rates and a host of marketing and production services. Groups appearing regularly through the program include:
* New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players
* World Music Institute
* New Amsterdam Symphony
* Ballet for Young Audiences
* Shadow Box Theatre
* Manhattan Chamber Orchestra
Approximately 100,000 people attend events at Symphony Space each year, half from the Upper West Side, Harlem and El Barrio, with the rest hailing from throughout the New York Metropolitan area.