chashama supports vibrant cultural communities by transforming temporarily vacant properties into spaces where art can flourish. By recycling and repurposing buildings in transition, chashama invests in neighborhoods, fosters local artists, and sustains a vast range of creativity and culture. Since 1995 chashama has successfully converted more than 40 locations, giving 7,500 artists access to subsidized space, which supported approximately 10,000 public presentations for over 500,000 viewers.
Anita Durst founded chashama (Farsi for "to have vision") to continue the work of Reza Abdoh, a theater artist who presented work in unusual, unmarked spaces as an agency for social transformation. Today, chashama manages up to10 locations each year that provide infrastructure for thousands of artists through artist studios, galleries and performance venues. chashama matches creative energies with available resources and, in so doing, helps neighborhoods flourish during times of transition.