SUPPORT: New York Arts Nonprofits

Here’s an Index of Nonprofits in New York (And Their Missions!) to Have on Your Radar if You’re Thinking About Getting More Involved in The Art World.

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Alliance for the Arts

The Alliance for the Arts’ mission is advocacy for the arts in New York through research and audience development. We publish information on the arts and cultural events in New York City as well as studies highlighting the importance of the arts to the economy and to education.

Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

When Andy Warhol died unexpectedly on February 22, 1987, he left a vast and complicated inventory of works of art and personal possessions. His will dictated that his entire estate, with the exception of a few modest legacies to family members, should be used to create a foundation dedicated to the “advancement of the visual arts.” The primary focus of the Foundation’s grant making activity has been to support the creation, presentation and documentation of contemporary visual art, particularly work that is experimental, under-recognized, or challenging in nature.


Aperture—a nonprofit foundation dedicated to promoting photography—was founded in 1952 by photographers Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Barbara Morgan, and Minor White; historian Beaumont Newhall; and writer/curator Nancy Newhall; as well as Melton Ferris, Ernest Louie, and Dody Warren. These artists created a new quarterly periodical, Aperture, to serve photographers and photography enthusiasts worldwide. Aperture has maintained the founders’ spirit throughout its history—in terms of its editorial freedom, its experiential nature and the confluence of disparate sensibilities and approaches that may converge in any given issue of the magazine. The aim is to foster both the development and the appreciation of the medium and its practitioners.

Art in General

Art in General is a nonprofit organization that assists artists with the production and presentation of new work. It changes in response to the needs of artists and informs and engages the public about their work. Art in General was founded in 1981 by artists Martin Weinstein and Teresa Liszka in the General Hardware building—hence the name “Art in General”. Weinstein and Liszka aimed to create a space where artists could exhibit unconventional work and exchange ideas with their peers. The first exhibition took place in 1982. In its 30 years, the organization has emerged as one of New York City’s leading nonprofit arts organizations.

Art Matters

Art Matters is a foundation created to assit artists who make work intending to break ground aesthetically and socially. Supportis porvided to encourage exploration of issues and ideas; experimentation in visual arts, media, and performance; and presentation of new art.


Artis, founded in 2004, is an independent nonprofit that supports and promotes contemporary visual artists from Israel internationally. Their goal is to foster partnerships and cultural exchange by supporting innovative projects, creating opportunities for art professionals to explore art in Israel, and expanding audiences for Israeli art online, in print, and through cultural events.


Dispatch offers a model for curatorial production: an office for receiving and originating exhibitions, projects, and concepts treated as time-sensitive transmissions. Responding to a curatorial field that is increasingly preoccupied with institutional self-administration and formalized bureaucracies, the activities of Dispatch reflect the independent ability to mobilize with tactical urgency, editorial decisiveness, and critical rigor. The office, however manifested (virtual or as ad hoc physical locations functioning as base for operations or temporary relay posts), will act as a flexible international conduit and local reception site.

Empty Purse Publicacations

Empty Purse Publicacations (New York) acts as a textual DJ, episodically printing and publishing volumes on selected themes. For each project we organize publicly available content with commentary and new writings, and print the collection on a thematically relevant medium.

K 48

K48  is a small format multi-media annual artist’s fanzine of art, culture, and music. Born out of the spirit of  ”D.I.Y.,” we enjoy the freedom of small-press publishing while retaining a vital interest in rigorous critical content. The pluralistic nature of our editorial selection allows for a contemporary outlook, and engages the reader within a variety of disciplines.

Light Industry

Light Industry is a venue for film and electronic art in Brooklyn, New York. Developed and overseen by Thomas Beard and Ed Halter, the project has begun as a series of events at Industry City in Sunset Park, each organized by a different artist, critic, or curator. Through a regular program of screenings, performances, and lectures, its goal is to explore new models for the presentation of time-based media. Bringing together the worlds of contemporary art, experimental cinema, new media, documentary film, and the academy (to name only a few), Light Industry looks to foster an ongoing dialogue among a wide range of artists and audiences within the city.

More Art

More Art is dedicated to forging a powerful link between contemporary art and artists, and the community at large. More Art’s mission is to seize opportunities to enable people from all walks of life to approach and access art. By engaging viewers with alternative methods, unique venues, and a dose of the unexpected, we believe art can be made truly approachable for all who encounter it.

Not An Alternative is a volunteer-run non-profit organization based in Brooklyn, NY whose mission aims to integrate art, activism, technology and theory in order to affect popular understandings of events, symbols and history. Their work both questions and leverages the tools of advertising, marketing, public relations and spectacle production.


Founded in December 2001 as an educational corporation and not-for-profit alternative space, PARTICIPANT INC seeks to provide a venue in which artists, curators, and writers can develop, realize, and present ambitious projects within a context that recognizes the social and cultural value of artistic experimentation. The mission of PARTICIPANT INC is to serve artists through in-depth consideration, presentation, and the publishing of critical writing; and to introduce this work into public contexts through exhibitions, screenings, performances, and educational programs.

Printed Matter, Inc.

Printed Matter is the world”s largest non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of publications made by artists. Founded as a for-profit alternative arts space in 1976 by artists and artworkers, Printed Matter reincorporated in 1978 to become the independent non-profit organization that it is today.


Founded in 1999, the Rhizome ArtBase is an online archive of digital art containing over 2,500 art works. Encompassing a vast range of projects from artists all over the world, the ArtBase provides an online home for works that employ materials such as software, code, websites, moving images, games and browsers towards aesthetic and critical ends. The mission of the ArtBase is to provide free, open, and permanent access to a living and historic collection of seminal new media art objects.

Storefront for Art and Architecture

Founded in 1982, Storefront for Art and Architecture is a nonprofit organization committed to the advancement of innovative positions in architecture, art and design. Our program of exhibitions, artists talks, film screenings, conferences and publications is intended to generate dialogue and collaboration across geographic, ideological and disciplinary boundaries. As a public forum for emerging voices, Storefront explores vital issues in art and architecture with the intent of increasing awareness of and interest in contemporary design.


StudioFilmClub is a weekly film club run by artists Peter Doig and Che Lovelace in the front foyer space in Building 7, Fernandes compound, Laventille, Port of Spain, Trinidad. Since February 2003, SFC has offered screenings of Caribbean, foreign-language, independent and art-house films to Trinidadian viewers, in casual, low-frills surroundings with an eclectic, free-and-easy atmosphere. Doors open most Thursday nights at 7.30; main feature starts at 8.15.

Swiss Institute/Contemporary Art

Founded on May 7th, 1986, Swiss Institute (SI)  was run entirely by volunteers. The Swiss Institute has grown from a showcase of Swiss art and artists for a mostly Swiss audience, into an innovative international venue for art that provides a significant forum for cultural dialogue between Switzerland, Europe, and the United States. This unique angle fosters the interaction between the Swiss and the many other communities and nationalities found in New York City. The result is a distinctive view of art and a way of thinking which asks audiences to break with traditional assumptions about art and national stereotypes.


W.A.G.E  (Working Artists and the Greater Economy) refutes the positioning of the artist as a speculator and calls for the remuneration of cultural value in capital value. W.A.G.E. calls for an address of the economic inequalities that are prevalent, and proactively preventing the art worker’s ability to survive within the greater economy. W.A.G.E. was formed in Brooklyn, NY in 2008.

by Alex Miller

For more opportunities to SUPPORT, check out our list of L.A. Nonprofits.


Storefront for Art and Architecture courtesy of Storefront for Art and Architecture