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Naked and unafraid at the 2016 chashama gala

Anita Durst didn’t disappoint at her annual chashama Gala held last night at the Frank Gehry-design dining hall of Four Times Square.

Business-suited executives mingled as over 100 performance artists bared their souls –  and sometimes their bodies – at what the non-profit bills as a free form event of off-beat and wacky performances.

Durst herself was decked out as a sort of human candelabra in a white dress adorned with lit candles.

Dad Douglas came casual in a t-shirt labelled “rebel” and strolled past naked women festooned with sushi.

Artists  Flambeaux Fire and Muffinhead  headlined the gala, which celebrates chashama’s ongoing commitment of giving artists free or affordable space to create and present their works.

The evening honored Dustin Yellin, artist and founder of Pioneer Works. CBRE’s Darcy Stacom co-chaired the gala, which raised  over $375,000. Other real estate guests included Alexander Durst, Bill Shanahan of CBRE, Gabriel Hernandez, Design Republic, Christopher Hofstedt, Managing Dir. R.E. Finance at BNY Mellon, Harris Bulow, Eastern Consolidated and David Beahm.

Durst founded chashama in 1995 to partner with property owners to activate more than 80 unused properties to help some 12,000 artists develop, create, and present. The non-profit empowers artists at any stage of their career with affordable space, and brings vibrant artistic programming to audiences of all ages in diverse neighborhoods throughout New York City

It also provides subsidized housing for artists in The Bronx, runs a residential program upstate and sponsors open house programs at the old Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park. By structuring a mission around these goals, chashama has become a major force in the NYC arts community by supporting the work and ideas of an increasing number of emerging artists every year.

Over the years it has developed partnerships with major real estate interests and has the support of the Real Estate Board of New York.

Corporate Sponsors include: CBRE, Mutual of America, Anchin, Block & Anchin, The Durst Organization, Rosenberg & Estis, Weiler Arnow Investment Co., David Beahm Design, Evnironetics Group, Lotus Equity Group, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler, Roundabout Theatre Company, S. Sunshine & Associates, STUDIOS Architecture, Willis Towers Watson. Liquor sponsors are Raventos i Blanc and Sierra Nevada.

Photos by Joe Schildhorn / BFA

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