Create New York

Building Community through the Arts
Create New York (CNY) a multi-year partnership program between TDF and community centers engages three separate groups of adults from community centers, one in each New York City borough, and uses theatre and dance as a way to promote change in oneself, one’s neighborhood, and, ultimately, one’s city. 



Every group will complete a three-year cycle with increasing autonomy every year. Each year, participants will democratically select performing arts events whose themes, aesthetics, or artists directly relate back to their shared interests and vision for their community. Over post-meal discussions the groups discuss their experience and its relevance. Together we aspire to increase cultural participation in live performance through the development of community ambassadors and cultural architects who, by serving as leaders and influencers, will create sustainable audiences for dance and theatre throughout New York City. At each year’s end, participants create a community-based project inspired by their cultural experiences that benefits their neighborhood at large. 

Read more about Create New York on TDF Stages. 








H.E.R.S, Healing Evolving Resolving Self, was an original event curated by a group of women as a part of The Dream Center Harlem and TDF’s Create New York program. The H.E.R.S event was inspired by our group’s dialogue stimulated by theatrical events throughout the year. The event focused on female empowerment through four specific lenses; Health and Wellness, Self-Image, Self-Love, and Sexuality. These lenses were explored through the performing arts, multi-media productions, and interactive themed workshops led by experts in the field, plus the opportunity to purchase naturally made products, and to develop relationships with people in the Harlem community who share the same value system. For a full list of local business partners present at HERS, download the PDF.

 was a day for men. The women of TDF’s Create New York Program created HE IS in response to seeing plays throughout the city, specifically, The National Black Theater of Harlem’s production of KILL MOVE PARADISE by James Ijames. The conversation surrounding that production inspired the women to curate an event for men in their community.

 MATTERS: In Search of truth, humanity, and other themes
The Dream Center Harlem’s and TDF’s Create New York group curated an Harlem Art Gallery Crawl. 
Our guiding words for the crawl were Truth. Humanity. Expectation. Pain. Ascension. Each word is representative of the five live theatrical performances. CNY members led gallery crawl tours and used each guiding word as a lens to view the art on display. The Dream Center Harlem was transformed into a gallery with 15 local artist’s work on display and for sale. The main attraction was the unveiling of a dome  representative of the 5 words at The Dream Center by local artist, Tony Gonzalez. 

This is how we did it! Family. Love. Joy.
was a daylong wellness event that welcomed all families with children in the South Bronx community to unplug and reconnect with one another. It took place in the gymnasium at Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education this past August. Together we went on a journey that took us from playing street games of the past, to cooking healthy meals on a budget with chef, Raynelle Sahadeo, and closing with family meditation facilitated by Lisa Green. 


For more information on Create New York, contact