Mascher Space Cooperative is a home for new dance in Philadelphia. Artist imagined, artist founded, artist shared and run, Mascher is a nonprofit that provides affordable and versatile space. We are a community of support that cultivates deep problem solving and artistic inquiry in continuing our practices. Bound not by aesthetics, but a common commitment to working cooperatively and sharing tasks and resources, Mascher nurtures the development of all its members at various stages in their careers, lines of research, and explorations.
Mascher Space Co-op, a home for new dance in Philadelphia, was founded in 2005 by Rebecca Patek and Liza Clark. Mascher is an artist-run private studio in Old Kensington that provides a home for independent dance artists and small companies to develop and perform their work, as well as teach classes and workshops. In addition to offering affordable rehearsal space, Mascher has been the instigator and partner in a number of beneficial programs for the Philadelphia contemporary dance community: IN FLUX Performance Series, Low Lives, FALLS BRIDGE: new movement, improvisation and performance festival, Philly Dance COSMOS Contemporary Dance Class Series, CURRENT evenings of live art and Fresh Juice: Artist in Residence performances.
With the assistance of Philadelphia Dance Projects, fifty mounted theater seats were acquired from the Annenberg Center in the summer of 2006, making Mascher into a comfortable, informal performance venue. Mascher has been the recipient of several Professional Development grants from Dance Advance for members to study with master artists such as Katsura Kan, Deborah Hay, Miguel Gutierrez, and Kira Kirsch and was a 2010 / 2011 Philadelphia Cultural Fund recipient. Mascher was named the “Next Collective Art Space” by the Philadelphia Weekly in March 2007, the “Best Experimental Dance Lab” by the Philadelphia City Paper Choice Awards in October 2007.
Mascher partners with thefidget space, a neighboring hub for art, media, and performance which collaborates through shared programming initiatives and acts as an overflow space for rehearsals. Mascher has also partnered with the University of the Arts and Philly Pard in the creation of FALLS BRIDGE Festival, and has created an artist exchange with the Center for Performance Research in NYC.
In December 2010, Mascher achieved 501(c)3 tax status as a non-profit organization. In January 2011 Mascher created a Community Engagement program to explore and foster long-lasting and reciprocal relationships with our surrounding community by developing art-driven engagement and shared resource programs with organizations in Kensington such as Moffett Elementary School and GALAEI (Gay and Lesbian AIDs Education Initiative). Mascher is proactive in the goals of racial equity and inclusion, as well as being conscientious neighbors within the quickly gentrifying area.