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The Cherry Art Space: Ithaca's Newest Addition to Local Artistic Expression

The+Cherry+Art+Space%3A+Ithaca%26%23039%3Bs+Newest+Addition+to+Local+Artistic+Expression
  • The Cherry Art Space opened this fall and serves as a “hub” for all types of artistic expression.
  • From Sept. 14-23, the Cherry Art Space showed its first theatrical performance called “What Happens Next,” which is about two women whose identities shift as they spend prolonged periods of time in a high tech room.

The Creation of The Space

Before the Cherry Art Space was brought to life, the non-profit theatre company, Cherry Arts, began producing work in Ithaca and Brooklyn, NY in 2015. The Cherry Arts is a collective art space for professional artists around Ithaca, and according to artistic director, Samuel BuggeIn, the company creates work that is “radically local, radically international, formally innovative and seriously fresh.”
Associate artistic director, Jennifer Herzog, said there are a lot of theatrical spaces in Ithaca and it has become a heavily artistic and theatre town, however, she and BuggeIn said there wasn’t a space that welcomed all of these artists to have their own space to create. The Cherry Art Space is an attempt to fill that niche.
 “We noticed there wasn’t necessarily a space yet for all of the artists who call Ithaca home to create their own work,” Herzog said. “To feel they had an artistic home, a place they can return to again and again, work with different artists of different mediums and feel like they had a safe space to create brand new pieces.”
The space opened its doors this fall after about a year of construction.

 Why It’s Unique

 
BuggeIn said the art space is special because it is flexible and multidisciplinary. The space allows artists to create from all different backgrounds of expression, including theatre, poetry, dance, rap. BuggeIn directed the first play shown at the Cherry Arts Space this past weekend, “What Happens Next,” which has a unique set-up for a play.
“You can create a play, that has the stage in the center, an arched projection screen over the stage and the audience is on two sides,” he said. “It’s a very unusual and innovative set up for a play, and we wanted a place where we could do that.”

What to Expect

Source: thecherry.org
One of the upcoming events includes a musical performance by Annie Lewandowski called “Bitter Banquet: A Euripidean Song Cycle, which opens Friday Sept. 29 at 8 p.m. and closes Saturday Sept. 30 at 8 pm. There will also be a performance by Sammus, a local rapper who is becoming popular in the music scene. A date has not been released yet, but she will be featured in the next few weeks.

Community Feedback

After watching “What Happens Next,” community member shared their thoughts about the space.

Heidi Goldstein, an audience member, said she loves the creativity of the space and its uniqueness.

 “The more the merrier,” Goldstein said. “I think there’s so much theatre here, but there can always be more.”

Elizabeth Mozer said she likes how intimate the space is, which affected how she understood the play. She also said it is a unique space because it is smaller than the other theatre spaces in Ithaca.

“I think it can take more artistic risks, it wants to be local and yet international at the same time, and make its own work,” Mozer said. “It has the desire to develop plays over long periods of time, so it’s kind of an incubator in that way.”

Check out this video story that takes you inside the Cherry Arts Space.

Featured Image: Ana Borruto 

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