Founded by four artists in 1978 at the height of New York City’s experimental arts revolution, Roulette’s beginnings in a Tribeca loft have evolved into a 12,000 square-foot multi-level facility in the heart of Downtown Brooklyn’s cultural district, serving over 70,000 visitors each year and presenting over 120 music, dance, and intermedia performances by some of today’s most prolific artists and their extraordinary emerging counterparts. Roulette is now recognized as one of the nation’s premier venues for cutting-edge, experimental work of our time. Over the past four decades and throughout this growth, Roulette’s mission has remained simple and the same: to support artists creating new and adventurous art in all disciplines by providing them with a venue and resources to realize their creative visions, and to build an audience interested in the evolution of experimental art.
Roulette’s longest-standing program is the Concert Series of New + Adventurous Music, focusing on world and U.S. premieres within the wide spectrum of new experimental music: avant-jazz, opera, non-Western music, electronic, classical, and new musical hybrids and modalities. Roulette’s other primary programs include DanceRoulette, an innovative new movement series challenging traditional notions of dance featuring works by veteran and emerging choreographers; Intermedia, a program highlighting artists working in new media and film who use cutting-edge technologies in unusual ways to redefine traditional perceptions of their disciplines; and GENERATE, Roulette’s signature incubator program which helps fund ambitious, complex, and often large-scale experimental projects by artists at all stages of their careers through residencies, commissions, and by providing other critical production and technical support.
Roulette invests significant resources to ensure that work lives well beyond a single night through Roulette TV, Radio, and Archive. Now in its 20th year, Roulette TV (RTV) is a growing collection of over 150 video programs focused on Roulette artists, ranging from 15-minute profiles to 45-minute in-depth event coverage, broadcast weekly on Manhattan Neighborhood Network since 1999, and Brooklyn Free Speech (via BRIC) the first Tuesday of the month at 6:30pm. Each episode provides illustrative clips of the work in performance and thoughtful, informed interviews with the artist, designed to illuminate the creative process and encourage an appreciation of the imagination, skill, and courage it takes to create. The full collection of episodes are available on our website and Vimeo for streaming.
Roulette’s radio show is produced and narrated by veteran radio producer and Roulette co-founder David Weinstein. “Tracking The Odds: The Roulette Concert Archive” is a monthly hour-long radio special broadcast in partnership with Wave Farm’s WGXC 90.7-FM and Standing Wave Radio.
Beyond our artistic programing, Roulette’s Community Services Program provides two valuable outlets. The program offers subsidized and affordable rental rates to over 70 non-profit cultural and community organizations and is designed to address the needs of small organizations that are plagued by unaffordable and unsuitable spaces for public programs in NYC. In total, Roulette provides approximately $75,000 in subsidies to non-profits on an annual basis, made possible by rates charged to commercial clients like HBO, Comedy Central, Stubhub, weddings and corporate events, and with support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. In total, Roulette hosts up to 160 eight-hour rental events in the space each year. The second facet of Roulette’s Community Services Program is Roulette’s A/V Apprenticeship Program, which offers immersive, stipended, in-depth Audio/Visual training in live concert production to underserved individuals from New York City.