4. St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery
St. Marks Church-in-the-Bowery has been simultaneously operating as a place of worship and an arts space since the early 20th century – Patti Smith gets her start there as a performer at the St. Mark’s Poetry Project. The church became specifically became involved in the Off-Off-Broadway movement in 1964 when Theatre Genesis was founded and began performing there.
Like many theaters involved in the original historic movement, the church presented influential early work of playwrights Sam Shepard and Lanford Wilson. According to Newtopia Magazine, Kahlil Gibran also presented some early readings of “The Prophet” at St. Mark’s Church and was even appointed to the St. Mark’s Arts Committee in 1919.