Photo by Lucie Jansch

The Watermill Center: A Laboratory for Performance

Mission

Watermill is a laboratory for performance founded by Robert Wilson as a unique environment for young and emerging artists from around the world to explore new ideas.

Watermill draws inspiration from all of the arts and cultures as well as from the social, human, and natural sciences.

Watermill is a global community of artists. Living and working together among the extensive collection of art and artifacts lies at the heart of the Watermill experience.

Watermill is a haven for the next generations of artists, supporting their work among a network of international institutions and venues that embrace new interdisciplinary approaches.

About the Center

The Watermill Center is an interdisciplinary laboratory for the arts and humanities completed in 2006 on the Long Island, NY site of a former Western Union communication research facility. Founded by theatre and visual artist Robert Wilson as a place for young and emerging artists to work, learn, create, and grow with each other, Watermill integrates performing arts practice with resources from the humanities, research from the sciences, and inspiration from the visual arts. Watermill is unique within the global landscape of experimental theatrical performance, and regularly convenes the brightest minds from all disciplines to do, in Wilson’s words, "what no one else is doing."

The Watermill Center supports projects that integrate genres and art forms from diverse view points and that break traditional forms of representation and cultural specifics. At the core of Watermill's programming lies the year-round support of artists in residence. Through both the International Summer Program—a highly collaborative residency led by Wilson—and through one to four week individual residencies hosted from September through June, Watermill annually welcomes over 150 artists from around the world. This unparalleled global residency program is complemented by educational programs with schools and other local institutions, public events such as open rehearsals and lectures, tours of the building and grounds, and seminars and symposia.

The Watermill Center itself is a 20,000+ square foot flexible working space including a 6,000 volume research library, galleries, rehearsal and staging spaces, workshops, offices, and residences situated on six acres of artist-designed and landscaped grounds. The Watermill Collection of over 8,000 art and artifact pieces spanning the history of humankind is integrated into all aspects of the building and grounds as a reminder that the history of each civilization is told by its artists.