CNY Arts, Inc.

Art in the Atrium

Art in the Atrium

A New Collaboration Between CNY Arts and Chashama


CNY Arts has a new, year-long partnership with Chashama, a New York City-based art organization committed to providing affordable venues for artists to exhibit their work. In collaboration with the City of Syracuse, and additional support from the Central New York Community Foundation, CNY Arts and Chashama will repurpose the City Hall Commons Atrium, located across from Hanover Square, to provide a multidisciplinary gallery and programming space for Central New York Artists. 

In addition to providing subsidies, Chashama is also actively involved in the transformation and the management of each space. Support provided by Chashama covers administrative fees, costs associated with buildouts and accessibility improvements, and artist honorariums, too.

In Persian, Chashama means “inspiration.” Founded in 1995 by performing artist Anita Durst, Chashama partners with property owners to convert unused real estate for a variety of creative applications, including exhibits, classes, and studios, specifically emphasizing access and equity for artists who may not otherwise have an opportunity to share their work with the public or develop their craft in a functional workspace. The grant from Chashama will enable CNY Arts to implement a diverse program schedule and broaden visibility for resident Syracuse artists by providing new opportunities for access and exhibition. 

Inaugural Exhibit 

The inaugural exhibit will feature a multidisciplinary selection of local artists, each of whom received an award from the Arts and Culture Recovery Fund, a grant program administered by CNY Arts. Resources for the Fund were generously provided by the City of Syracuse through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The Fund offered relief to artist residents of Syracuse who experienced pandemic-related hardship. Projects supported by the Fund helped stimulate economic activity, generate tax revenue, and created meaningful employment for industry professionals. The Chashama initiative will allow city artists who are recipients of the Fund to share their work with the public at City Hall Commons Atrium. 

Future Plans

Although the City Hall Commons Atrium is not typically utilized as a programming space, Chashama and CNY Arts are planning an innovative approach to the many programs and displays scheduled for the year ahead. CNY Arts plans to display work to celebrate the 50th anniversary of “On My Own Time,” a program dedicated to encouraging the creativity and passion of avocational artists who practice their craft as a hobby. Additional programming will include special events. Currently, two events are being planned in observance of Pakistan Independence Day, as well as a celebration of Italian culture.

If you are an artist or organization interested in exhibiting at Art in the Atrium, please contact CNY Arts at 315-435-2638, or