Help preserve the oldest active women and trans* theater collective in NYC!
WOW is the oldest, still standing women and/or trans* people’s theater collective in the country, and possibly, the world. We are a 34-year-old, non-hierarchically run black box theater space and a collective of artists. Our story is both unique and familiar. With your help our story will have not a happy end, but rather a happily ever after that lives on for generations to come. The story of WOW is one of solidarity, struggle and survival, unique in its focus on exchanging labor and support in order to produce art without much funding. As the years have ticked by, we’ve seen a rapid decline in the number of smaller theatre houses as larger corporations that can afford to pay higher rents move in to take their places. Even still, WOW has stood strong and continues to do so because we deeply believe in preserving not only this historical space, but the artistry, diversity, and uniqueness that it stands for.
OUR EAST VILLAGE HOME
Now for the first time in WOW’s story, we are close to fully owning our space. Those of you who have been around NYC for a while know how much the East Village has changed, but one small block said no to being erased from the map. WOW joined forces with other groups on East 4th street and convinced the city that we matter enough to be preserved. WOW members then put a pause on their own lives and artistic endeavors to attend meetings with the city to make this happen. In the spring of 2005, the City of New York sold us and the other tenants that reside in the building at 59-61 East 4th Street, our beloved home, for only 1 dollar. Only one dollar! But yes, as you might imagine, that more than affordable price tag came with a catch — WOW needed to raise approximately $300,000 to bring the building up to code.
STAND WITH US
Donations have been pouring in from all corners of the world and with the help of the City of New York we and the rest of the building have raised money to get the building up to code, but we are not done yet! In order to bring our own space up to code and to ensure we are fully accessible to all of our artists and audience members we need to raise another $290,000. So we take a moment to ask you: will you support WOW? Because when you support WOW you are in turn saying “yes” to small theatres and the artists they cultivate and give a home to. You are saying “yes” to preservation, to history, and to diversity. With your support you’re also saying “no” to the corporate giants that would love to take our place.
Please consider a couple of things. While we now have an elevator available 24-7, which was a huge victory for all of our artists and guests who cannot climb to the fourth floor, we still do not have an ADA-approved restroom. We are embarrassed about this, and want to be able to truly say everyone can come and visit or work with us regardless of their physical abilities. When the renovation of the theater is complete, we will be fully accessible. Currently our restrooms are too small and this is a problem for those who need more space to fully access it. We don’t want something like a restroom to prevent artists and audiences to be a part of WOW. This matters very much to us and we hope it matters to you.
HELP US CONTINUE OUR MISSION
For decades WOW Café Theater has survived on ticket sales alone. This means that every single audience member has been directly responsible for keeping us alive, and we can’t thank you enough. Now, we desperately need our communities to step up and sustain WOW in a more direct way. Your donation, no matter the size, will help us chip away at our goal to ensure we’re a success. And please know that we are happy to receive whatever you are comfortable giving. We’re just as appreciative of the $5 gift as we are of the $25,500 gift, and we thank you in advance not only for your donation, but for your time, belief in what we stand for, and for your continued support.
We hope to see you at the next show!
WOW Café Theater
Donate Online or By Mail
Click on the icon below to make a secure, online credit card donation through the Network for Good. The heading on the page says “Experimental Theater Project,” which is the name of our nonprofit.
If you’d rather mail in your donation, please write checks payable to WOW/Experimental Theatre Project and mail them to the address below. Let us know if you need a receipt for a tax deductible donation and if you’d prefer to donate anonymously.
WOW Cafe Theatre
Attn Development Team
59-61 E. 4th Street, 4W
New York, NY 10003
Another Way to Give
If you shop on Amazon, use Amazon Smile instead and you can help raise money for WOW. Just select ” Experimental Theater Project” as the charity you want to support. Learn more about Amazon Smile here.