The Secret City is a monthly performance gathering serving artists and those who believe in the arts. In an event that is part ceremony and part salon, The Secret City provides a sanctuary in which art and performance can be interactively experienced and contemplated. The Secret City believes that art is the most powerful connecting force for humans and our work illuminates that connection while erasing the boundaries between art and history, science and spirit, politics and art, the sacred and profane. The Secret City provides its community with an opportunity to commune with the creative spirit in a non-commercial environment with each monthly service. Believing there can be no community without ritual, the Secret City invigorates old rituals and creates new ones. Ultimately, the Secret City creates a new piece of art each month and cultivates a new community to serve the arts field at large.
The services are free and open to all with a suggested donation.
The Secret City promotes art as central and crucial to the well being of society, and as the most inclusive metaphor for worship and connection. The Secret City believes that artists play a special role in the healing and betterment of mankind, and that creative thought and expression are the birthright of everyone.
In 2010, The Secret City received a special citation Obie Award for its service to the creative community.
In October 2007, I rented a small white room on West 14th Street in New York City. I asked three friends to meet me there, and to bring anything they might like to share in the way of a poem or a quote or a picture. We 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; those four people sitting on the floor have since grown into a vibrant, expansive community of artists and people who love the arts. Our services are structured, following a template that is interactive and thoughtful. Each service has a different theme and features original work, guest artists, live music, singing, conversation, meditation, all enacted by an amazing community connected by creativity.
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.”
After five years of building this extraordinary community, it’s clear that The Secret City has limitless potential for impacting the lives of artists, audiences, and the world in which we live.