The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts (EFA) is dedicated to providing artists across all disciplines with space, tools and a cooperative forum for the development of individual practice. Through our three core programs, we act as a catalyst for cultural growth, stimulating new interactions between artists, creative communities and the public.
EFA Studio Program, an open-submission, juried program for professional visual artists, providing subsidized workspace in Manhattan for artist-members in 89 private studios. Individual studio practice is enriched by career development opportunities including open studio events, exhibitions, professional seminars and projects with collectors and curators.
Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop Program, a fully equipped, professional and cooperative print workspace offering affordable studio access, classes, demonstrations and skilled staff assistance. This workshop honors Robert Blackburn’s vision of inspiring and fostering a racially and culturally diverse artistic community that embraces technical and aesthetic collaboration.
EFA Project Space Program, a collaborative cross-disciplinary arts venue founded on the belief that art is directly connected to the individuals who produce it, the communities that arise because of it, and to everyday life, and that by providing an arena for exploring these connections, we empower artists to forge new partnerships and encourage the expansion of ideas.
Jane Stephenson, Executive Director
Dathon Pilgrim, Business Manager
Anne Croken, Administrative Coordinator
Bill Carroll, Program Director, EFA Studios
Natalia Nakazawa, Program Manager, EFA Studios
Phil Sanders, EFA Chief Operating Officer / Program Director, RBPMW
Nora Rodriguez, Program Administration / Exhibitions Manager, RBPMW
Justin Sanz, Workshop Manager, RBPMW
Michelle Levy, Program Director, EFA Project Space
Lauren Bierly, Assistant Director, EFA Project Space Claire Barliant, Curatorial Advisor, EFA Project Space
Board of Directors
Townsend Wolfe, Emeritus
Virginia Myers, Emerita
The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts is a 501(c)(3) public charity, incorporated in New York in 1992.
EFA began as a small grant-giving organization. Beginning in 1993, the GIVA Program (Grants for Individuals in the Visual Arts) awarded grants to 107 exceptional artists over the course of nine years.
In April 1994, the International Studio Program, a career-development residency, became a program of EFA. In 2006 when the program could stand on its own, the now titled International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP) became an independent organization, and by 2008 had completed the move from the EFA Center to its own space in Brooklyn where it continues to thrive.
In May 1998, EFA purchased a twelve-story building on West 39th Street in Manhattan, now known as the EFA Center. Working with capital funding from a private foundation, the building was converted into individual work-studios, a gallery space, and space reserved for a workshop.
With the development of the EFA Center, EFA shifted its focus away from grant giving to provide longer-term, practical support for individual artists and foster dialogue between artists, art communities and the public.
In autumn 1998, the EFA Studio Program selected its first artist members. Today, more than 89 professional artists work in the subsidized individual studios of the EFA Center community.
In late 2005, EFA’s Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop Program opened, providing a crucial and affordable workspace, open to all artists who seek to learn and pursue their printmaking practice.
The EFA Gallery hosted exhibitions from 2001–2008. It was re-launched as the EFA
Project Space Program in September 2008 in order to function as more than just a gallery, providing a more collaborative approach and a broad scope of energetic projects and events that increase its reach to diverse New York communities.