the next service is in Los Angeles on June 11


The Secret City is an on-going performance gathering for people who believe in the arts. Part ceremony, part salon, part tent revival, each gathering has a different theme and features an ever-changing roster of artists and performers sharing work relating to the theme.

Each event has a visual art component, food offering, live music, guest performances, storytelling, community interaction, silent meditation, The Secret City Singers, special outfits and JOY, which is central to the mission of The Secret City.

Our services are open to all with a suggested donation. We also provide free childcare.



In October 2007, I rented a small white room on West 14th Street in New York City. I asked my partner, Bobby Lucy, to come with me, and I invited two of our friends to meet us there, and to bring anything they might like to share in the way of a poem or a quote or a picture.

It was a Sunday morning. We all sat in a circle on the floor and I explained that I wanted to start a sanctuary for artists, a regular gathering that would celebrate the creative spirit and those who keep it alive. We discussed the idea, and everyone shared their poems, pictures and quotes. We all agreed that a monthly event celebrating artists and creativity could be a very powerful thing. We all left feeling excited. I booked the room for a Sunday morning the following month. And so The Secret City was born.

Since October 2007, we have gathered every month in New York City; those four people sitting on the floor have since grown into a vibrant, expansive community of thousands of artists and people who love the arts. And, over the years, we’ve presented an incredible array of artists: painters, jugglers, clowns, tap dancers, harpists, singer-songwriters, actors, drummers, chefs, ballerinas, drill teams, photographers, aerialists, comedians and on and on.

Some people think of us as a church. If we are a church, what we are worshipping is art, and the spirit that connects us is the creative spirit. Our monthly services are joyful, irreverent, moving and deep. People come to The Secret City to commune with other artists and art-lovers, and to be inspired and nurtured artistically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally. And it works. They leave feeling more alive, reconnected and restored.

In May of 2010, we won an Obie Award. Here’s what the Obie committee had to say about us: “It’s a salon, it’s a celebration, it’s a show. And it’s a ceremony in a religion without any dogma. For inventing a monthly event that builds connections among artists by offering them sanctuary, humor, beauty, and wonder, the judges have awarded a special citation to The Secret City.”

In 2012, we started holding quarterly events in Los Angeles, and so our community has expanded across the country. My vision is to bring our merry band of art-worship to cities all over the world – to celebrate art and artists of all stripes, and to honor the community of people who believe in the sacred power of art to connect us all.

Now, with this new website, we’re creating a platform for people all over the world to tap into the exciting community of The Secret City, and where our community can explore what is inspiring them to make life the greatest work of art it can be.

Welcome to The Secret City – I can’t wait to meet you.

Chris Wells

Founder/Artistic Director