CPR is an artist-driven initiative, co-founded in 2009 by Jonah Bokaer | Jonah Bokaer Arts Foundation and John Jasperse | Thin Man Dance, Inc. CPR’s […]

CPR is an artist-driven initiative, co-founded in 2009 by Jonah Bokaer | Jonah Bokaer Arts Foundation and John Jasperse | Thin Man Dance, Inc. CPR’s mission is to support the development of new works in contemporary dance, performance and related forms, and to promote awareness of and appreciation for contemporary performing arts. CPR is particularly interested in supporting artistic processes that integrate visual design, installation, and technology.

Located in a 4,000-square-foot mixed-used arts facility in Brooklyn’s first L.E.E.D.-certified green building of its kind, CPR provides affordable space for rehearsal and performance, innovative arts programming, education, and pedagogical engagement with the communities of New York City and abroad. CPR addresses the critical need for space in New York City’s creative landscape and is committed to building arts infrastructure that nurtures contemporary performance. At the same time, CPR provides a sustainable model for livability in New York City with a focus on community involvement and environmental responsibility.


CPR is the result of artistic vision and market forces coming together. The two founding organizations’ ongoing commitment to providing outstanding resources to performing artists in order to foster the development, research, and presentation of new work played a central role. This met with the innovative desire on the part of Developer Derek Denckla/Propeller Group and Architect Gregory Merryweather to harness the vibrancy of the real estate market to support the local arts community.  Denckla and Merryweather envisioned a mixed-use residential building—“The Greenbelt”—that would house a non-profit community arts facility on the ground floor. John Jasperse was approached about joining the project; Jasperse subsequently approached Jonah Bokaer | Jonah Bokaer Arts Foundation who had previous plans to launch a capital campaign toward the formation of a permanent facility. The resulting partnership formed CPR – Center for Performance Research.  The Greenbelt is a certified L.E.E.D. Gold project, the first private green development to do so in Brooklyn. CPR will bind together a commitment to the sustainability of community arts organizations with the environment of New York City, offering a benchmark approach to urban planning for the arts.

The project also represents something more abstract: artistic freedom. “The belief is that the center is a response to crisis,” Mr. Bokaer said. “The crisis being that it is really hard to live and to make work here.” As Mr. Jasperse put it: “The idea of freedom just has to be at the center of it because it’s just four walls and a door without that. And the other side is that it’s a cooperative endeavor. It’s not just Jonah and me. It’s an entire community of artists that are going to need to engage in this project with an eye toward some kind of mutual responsibility.”
-Gia Kourlas, NYTimes.

Read the full NYTimes report on CPR’s opening here.


Jonah Bokaer | Jonah Bokaer Arts Foundation

Jonah Bokaer, born to Tunisian & American parents, has been active as choreographer & exhibiting artist since 2002. He is the author of 60 works in a wide variety of media including dances, videos, motion capture works, three interactive installations, four mobile applications, and one film, shown in 31 nations, 24 of the United States, and 292 cities. His work has been produced regularly throughout venues in Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cuba, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, India, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. With the support of the Ford Foundation’s Freedom of Expression Unit, he has also partnered to bring choreography to areas of the developing world, which traditionally have not enjoyed dance-touring opportunities, enlarging the reach and access of contemporary dance internationally. Recent Prizes include the Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in Choreography; USArtists Fellow in Choreography (Ford Foundation); NYU CBA Fellowship (for Royal Ballet of Flanders); Civitella Ranieri Foundation (Visual Arts, Italy), and the National Theatre of Serbia Prize (for Rules Of The Game, 2017).

John Jasperse | Thin Man Dance, Inc.

John Jasperse has been working as a dance artist in New York City since graduating from Sarah Lawrence College in 1985. He founded John Jasperse Company, later renamed John Jasperse Projects, in 1989 and has since created seventeen evening-length works through this non-profit structure as well as numerous commissions for other companies including Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project, Batsheva Dance Company, and Lyon Opera Ballet.

John Jasperse Projects has been presented in 25 US cities and 29 countries by presenters including Brooklyn Academy of Music, Joyce Theater, New York Live Arts, Dance Theater Workshop, The Kitchen, Walker Art Center, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, American Dance Festival, La Biennale di Venezia, Dance Umbrella London, Montpellier Danse, and Tanz im August Berlin. He is the recipient of a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award, two Bessie awards (in 2014 and 2001), and multiple fellowships from US Artists, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Tides/ Lambent Foundation, Guggenheim Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Jasperse is co-founder of CPR—Center for Performance Research in Brooklyn, New York. He was appointed as Director of Dance at Sarah Lawrence College beginning in Fall 2016, directing both the undergraduate and graduate M.F.A. Programs.

CPR would also like to thank its founding Board of Directors for their contributions and leadership.

Randall Bourscheidt, Honorary Chair
Jonah Bokaer, President
John Jasperse, Vice President
Phylis Herschenfeld, Treasurer
Michael Mitchell, Secretary

CPR is the thankful recipient of Executive Capital Funding from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and CPR was realized in partnership with SEEDCO Financial Services, Inc.

CPR respectfully acknowledges that we gather together in Lenapehoking, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Lenape people.