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many of his early works. “I brought together people from various cultural, social, and economic backgrounds. There were people from the street, factory workers, children, people with very little formal or no education, and people with degrees. This group was known as the Byrd Hoffman School for

York City and began his search for work space, but the landscape of New York City was in flux so Wilson began looking on the outskirts of the city. “My assistant at the time brought me to this abandoned Western Union building in the Hamptons. When I saw the building and the surrounding acres, I immediately knew this is what I had in the back of my mind. I liked it because it reminded me of my old loft on Spring Street, which was a factory- like space,” recalls Wilson. “I used all of my savings and Pierre Berge, a close friend, provided a major gift, which allowed me to purchase the building in 1991.” That year an exhaustive and total renovation of the original structure began. Today, the Watermill building consists


situations.We also do a number of after school programs; we work a lot with the LGBTQ teen community and with facilities that house the elderly. We want to provide something enriching for everyone in the community.” This self-described “Think-tank and contemplative arcade,” is the brainchild of experimental theater director and artistic collaborator Robert Wilson. “I do not want the Center to be about me,” says Wilson, “teaching the Bob Wilson way to make art. I wanted to give young artists a place to live, In 1965, Wilson moved into a loft space at 147 Spring Street in Manhattan’s SoHo. It was a far cry from the popular destination it is today, where you’ll find tourists seeking designer fashion boutiques and haute cuisine and design buffs admiring exquisite 19th-century cast iron architecture. In the ‘60s, SoHo was mainly an industrial wasteland full of abandoned sweatshops and manufacturing lofts and nearly deserted after dark. Artists were attracted to the large, unobstructed spaces and low rents. It would be in this area where Robert Wilson created work and experiment.” EARLY BEGINNINGS

Byrds,” explains Robert Wilson. “By the mid-‘70s I was in debt and could no longer afford to keep the loft. I began to work and build a career in Europe but missed the United States and New York City, especially the loft space on Spring Street.” In the mid-‘80s Wilson returned to New



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