Kitchen, yet another art group looking to move to W.T.C.


Among the many arts groups interested in coming to a cultural center at the redeveloped World Trade Center site, is a familiar one to many Lower Manhattan residents.

The Kitchen, a visual and performing arts group, first of Soho and now in Chelsea, is contemplating such a move, although the idea is still in its infancy stage, according to executive director Elise Bernhardt.

Bernhardt said the Kitchen was not looking to move into Battery Park City, as had been reported by The New York Times. Tim Carey, president and C.E.O. of the Battery Park City Authority, said he was not aware the Kitchen had any interest in B.P.C.

But being part of a Downtown cultural complex proposed for the W.T.C. site across the street appeals to the 32-year-old group, which would like to have more space and be part of a larger cultural network. Currently the Kitchen Center for Video, Music, Dance, Performance, Film and Literature, is located at 512 West 19th St., between 10th and 11th Aves.

Although they currently have 16,000 square feet with two black box theaters, Kitchen staff have been dreaming for years to have a lobby, dressing rooms, and a cafe, said Bernhardt. It would also like to benefit from more foot traffic.

“When we moved to Chelsea, it was a no man’s land,” said Bernhardt. “Now it has tons of art galleries,” she said. Bernhardt said Kitchen staff enjoy networking with other arts groups and organizations in the community.

Recently the group introduced family programs and after-school classes, and it is this kind of programming, along with the established and emerging performers its known for, that it would bring to the Downtown cultural scene.

—Jane Flanagan