Survey: P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center / Institute for Art and Urban Resources

Posted August 05, 2010 by Anonymous
Part 1.
Year Founded: 
1c. Organization's annual budget.: 
Over $1,000,000
1b. Primary activity[ies] of the organization.: 
Exhibition Space
Transient or Non-Physical Organization for Creation or Exhibitions
Part 2.
2a. Mission Statement: 
PS1 Mission Statement P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, an affiliate of The Museum of Modern Art, is the oldest and second largest non-profit arts center in the United States solely devoted to contemporary art. Recognized as a defining force of the alternative space movement, P.S.1 stands out from major arts institutions through its cutting-edge approach to exhibitions and direct involvement of artists within a scholarly framework. It acts as an intermediary between the artist and its audience. Functioning as a living and active meeting place for the general public, P.S.1 is a catalyst for ideas, discourses and new trends in contemporary art and its practices. P.S.1 was founded in 1971 by Alanna Heiss as The Institute of Art and Urban Resources Inc., and was primarily dedicated to the transformation of abandoned and underutilized buildings in New York City into exhibition, performance, and studio spaces for artists. Today, P.S.1 operates two internationally acclaimed spaces for contemporary art: P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in Long Island City and the Clocktower Gallery in Lower Manhattan, both of which contain museum- quality galleries and extensive studio facilities. P.S.1 is devoted to the production, presentation, interpretation and dissemination of the work of innovative artists in all media, fostering creativity and uninhibited artistic exploration. Its programs reflect the complex nature of international contemporary art, serve as a broad and diverse audience, and stimulate discourse on the art of our time. P.S.1’s exhibitions, presentations, educational activities, studio programs and publications strive to be of the highest quality and to investigate the dynamic and provocative nature of contemporary art. Its focus includes recognizing the work of emerging artists, placing disparate media into new and meaningful contexts, and defining alternative movements and endeavors. P.S.1 seeks to be a vital cultural resource for New York City and to serve constituencies beyond New York with its traveling exhibitions, studio program, publications and representation by professional staff. Overall, P.S.1 aims to provide an engaging environment for artists; to inform, inspire, and challenge its audiences; to actively attract new audiences; and to be an accessible resource that elevates the role of art in contemporary culture.
Website Link to Mission Statement:
2b. Organization History / Organizational Overview. Index of important events in organization's history.: 
P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, in Long Island City, and The Museum of Modern Art formalized their affiliation in January, 2000, bringing together a leader in cutting-edge art and one of the foremost modern art museums in the country. P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, founded in 1971, is one of the world’s oldest and largest organizations devoted solely to the advancement of contemporary art. Housed in a hundred-year-old Romanesque Revival school building in Long Island City, P.S.1 presents an extensive program of exhibitions and events in its nearly 125,000 square foot facility. It also offers a diverse range of educational programs and an online radio station, WPS1, which streams from the Clocktower Gallery in lower Manhattan. P.S.1 distinguishes itself from other major art institutions in its progressive approach to exhibitions and its involvement of artists within its organizational framework. In October 1997, P.S.1 reopened to the public after a three-year renovation project designed by Los Angeles-based architect Frederick Fisher. The building’s facilities were expanded to include a large outdoor gallery, a dramatic entryway, and a two-story project space. Since its inception, P.S.1 has exhibited the work of more than 2,000 artists and has mounted some of the most provocative visual-arts exhibitions of the last quarter century. In bringing together artists and their audience, P.S.1 functions as a living and active meeting place for the general public. Its Education Department has offered community outreach programs at both its Long Island City and Tribeca locations in schools, community centers, homeless shelters, and senior citizens’ homes since 1986. Among its many initiatives, the education department offers the National and International Studio Program for promising young artists, an internship program for high school and college students, and a teen curator series. In addition, public programs that accompany major exhibitions provide an opportunity for the interested public to participate in informal, moderated panels where artists, curators, writers, and critics discuss the relevant issues and trends highlighted by the work on view. Teacher tours and workshops offer teachers of elementary school through college the chance to participate in artist-run curriculum workshops inspired by the exhibitions in the museum and school tours and workshops bring together students and artists for visits to the galleries and education studios. The principal objective of MoMA’s partnership with P.S.1 is to promote the enjoyment, appreciation, study, and understanding of contemporary art to a wide and growing audience. Collaborative programs of exhibitions, educational activities, and special projects allow both institutions to draw on their respective strengths and resources and to continue shaping a cultural discourse. The first significant collaboration between P.S.1 and The Museum of Modern Art, Greater New York, was widely acclaimed and showcased the work of more than 140 emerging New York-area artists, reflecting the diversity and dynamism of the metropolitan area’s artistic community. Another collaboration is the MoMA/P.S.1 Young Architects Program, an annual five-year series of competitions that gives emerging architects the opportunity to build projects for the P.S.1 facility from conception drawing to construction.
Website Link to Organization's History / Organization Overview:
Website Link to Exhibition / Programming / Publishing History:
Part 3.
3a. Names and email addresses of Founders, Board Members, Directors or other key individuals:: 
Alanna Heiss
Additional Names and email addresses of Founders, Board Members, Directors or other key individuals: 
John Comfort
Additional Names and email addresses of Founders, Board Members, Directors or other key individuals: 
Klaus Biesenbach
Additional Names and email addresses of Founders, Board Members, Directors or other key individuals: 
Tony Guerrerro
3b. Could any of these individuals assist in providing an oral history of your organization?: 
Part 4.
4a. Is organization currently active?: 
4b. Year activity suspended if no longer active.: 
Organization Still Active
Part 5.
5a. Type of organization at its founding.: 
Non-Profit [IRS certified]
5b. Type of organization currently, or at the termination of activities.: 
Non-Profit [IRS certified]
Part 6.
6a. Does the organization have an archive?: 
6b. Are there any short or long-term threats to the organization?: 
None / Not Applicable
6c. Other threats to the organization:: 
Are there other threats to your organization? Please describe below.
Part 7.
7a. How important is to the organization to preserve the organization’s historical material. From 1 – Very Important to 5 – Not Important.: 
1. Very Important
7b. Has planning for the preservation and documentation of archive begun?: 
7c. Does the organization know how and where to seek expertise and assistance?: 
7d. Does the organization have specific concerns regarding starting an archive working with its historic materials?: 
Drain on Existing Staff Time
Part 8.
8a. Is the organization's archives in the collection of another institution or promised to one?: 
8a. Location: 
IF YES to 8: University (Name)
8b. Archival materials are also located at:: 
Where are these locations?: 
Where are these locations? [I.E. Home / Office of Private Individual(s) (i.e. Former Board, Staff, Funders, etc)]
Part 9.
9. Does the organization maintain archives for any other organization.: 
IF YES to 9: 10a. Please describe:
Part 10a.
10a. Is the archive accessible to scholars, curators or researchers?: 
Part 10d.
10d. Would you allow access in the future?: 
Part 10e.
10e. Under what circumstances would access to archives be allowed.: 
If there was a space to allow access. If they were available electronically. If we had staff to manage the archive.
Part 11.
The following questions address the historical materials (type, quantity and storage) of the organization. 11a. Paper Files and Documents: 
Artist Files
Board Minutes
Exhibition or Production Files
Financial Records
Legal Documents
By-laws / Incorporation Documents
11b. Artwork and Documentation: 
CDs / DVDs [Pre-Recorded or CD-R / CD-RW / DVD-R / etc.]
Other Artwork
11c. Press and Promotional Materials: 
Announcements, Mailing Cards, etc.
Newspaper / Magazine / Media Clippings
Posters / Flyers
Other Press or Promotional Materials:
11d. Printed Publications: 
Broadsides / Small Press
Checklists / Performance Programs / Price Lists
Programs of Events
Publication or Merchandise Catalogues
Other Printed Publications
11e. Other: 
Architectural Drawings / Floor Plan
Layouts / Sketches / Instructions for Installations
Part 12.
12. What years does the materials cover?: 
Part 13.
13a. How is the material stored?: 
Banker Boxes
Other Boxes
File Cabinets
Three-Ring Binders
13b. Are some or all of these storage units “archival”?: 
Part 14.
14a. Estimated Number of Boxes or Milk-Crate Sized Storage Units: 
200 +
14b. Estimated Number of Archive Drawers: 
61 - 70
14c. Estimated Number of Archive Notebooks: 
200 +
14d. Estimated the total Linear Feet. ["Linear Feet" is standard measure of the quantity of archival materials on the basis of shelf space occupied or the length of drawers in vertical files or the thickness of horizontally filed materials. For example, a: 
200 +
Part 15.
15. Is the historical materials - or archives - inventoried or catalogued in any way, either formally or otherwise?: 
Part 16.
16a. Is there a key, index or finding aid to the materials inventoried?: 
16b. Paper-based:: 
Written or Typewritten Inventories
Part 16 / Electronic Files & Archival Management
16f. Does the organization have a back-up program, or back-up schedule, for its electronic records and perform monitoring of its removable media (i.e. floppies, ZIP disks, CD-ROMs, DVDs, portable hard drives, etc.)?: 
16g. Who is responsible for working with the archival material?: 
General Staff
Part 17.
17. How are new materials processed?: 
No System
Part 18.
18. What, if any, conservation methods are in place for both physical materials and electronic data?: 
None or Limited
Part 19.
19. What type of climate-controls are present in the area[s] in which the archives are stored?: 
No or minimal climate controls [i.e. in an attic, basement, unheated / uncooled storage area, etc.]
Part 20.
20a. What are the goals for the historical materials for the next year?: 
digitize archive materials
20b. What are the biggest challenges to reaching these short-term goals?: 
20c. What goals are in place for the historical materials for the next three to five years?: 
find off-site location
20d. What are the biggest challenges to reaching these long term goals?: 
20e. Are there any additional goals for the organizations historic materials?: 
Part 21.
21. Estimated cost to achieve these archival goals for the next year.: 
$20,001 - $25,000
Part 22.
22. Estimated cost to achieve these archival goals for the next five years.: 
$100,001 - $150,000
Part 24.
24. What archival issues could / should visual arts organizations address collectively in the next three to five years? Ranked from 1 (highest priority) to 5 (lowest priority).24a. Shared standards / protocols for digitization: 
Promote professional standards / protocols for digitization
Part 25.
25a. Is the organization a member of, or in contact with, any organizations concerned with archival issues?: 
25b. Who?: 
Dieu Donne Papermill
Part 26.
26. Additional information, comments, observations, and questions.: 
This is a fantastic initiative that I think will be a tremendous boon to students and scholars. Hats of to Elizabeth Merena who I know has been championing this idea for years.
I wish to defer payment and allow AS-AP to use these funds to further AS-AP’s efforts to preserve the history of the alternative and avant-garde movement in America.
Is this survey complete and all appropriate questions answered?: