Sanctuary Arts

The Sanctuary Arts Initiative seeks to provide a haven for local artists through collaborative partnership, accessible space, and lasting community. Metro Baptist Church affirms the talents of individuals in the congregation and wider New York community, and aims to integrate their creativity into the wider mission of Metro Baptist Church and Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries. Here is a list of our current Sanctuary Arts partners:

Abby London-Crawford Presents

"Abby London-Crawford Presents" is a concert series presenting a wide range of musical genres - jazz, 

neo-classical, world, electronic, and improvisational composition; including the ongoing

"Celebrating Women Composers" series.

Mark Lamb Dance

Mark Lamb Dance has been a Sanctuary Arts Partner since 2010. The mission of Mark Lamb Dance (MLD) is to present new work and repertory, performed by dancers of diverse backgrounds, training, and traditions. Utilizing dance as a tool for cultural exploration and understanding, MLD works to provide communities with performance, outreach, and educational opportunities. MLD also coordinates quarterly Saturday Salons at Metro that bring together musical and movement artists for events the New York Times has described as “a quintessential New York experience.” 

Ruby Rims Does the Can Can

Ruby Rims has been a fixture in the Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries and Metro Baptist Church communities for several years as a volunteer and as a performer. As a co-facilitator of our Food Pantry, he is present at Metro every week to organize and distribute food to the needy in Hell’s Kitchen. As a critically acclaimed drag performer, Ruby hosts a yearly cabaret, the proceeds from which go to supporting our Food Pantry.

Stomping Ground Theatre Company

Stomping Ground Theatre Company is a non-profit theatre creating a home away from home for the socially conscious.  They provide a stomping ground for: the creative artist who wants to make the world a better place, the writer whose work needs to be heard, the individual who faces discrimination because of skin color, gender, sexual identity, economic status or religion, the ordinary person doing extraordinary things you may never see in the news, and YOU -- our audience, who understands there can be more than just sitting back and being entertained. You are part of continuing their stories -- and your own, too.

Upstart Creatures

The Upstart Creatures is a collective of actors and directors, formed by Michael Barakiva, to throw (meta)physical feasts, intermingling theater and food, feeding body and soul. Come to get fed; stay to get nourished.


The Covid-19 pandemic has been hard on artists. As a part of the “gig economy”, they have seen most or all of their income vanish overnight. There has been a national effort to help the unemployed, but times are still hard for self-employed performing and visual artists. 

With the end of the additional support through unemployment payments, the stalemate by Congress and the White House to reach a compromise pandemic relief bill, as well as the confusion around the recently signed Executive Order and memoranda, Metro is extending the Sanctuary Arts Grant program. To continue

Metro’s efforts to support artists, individual artists who have a connection to Metro Baptist Church or Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries are invited to apply for a grant of up to $1,000.

Click HERE to learn more or to apply for a Sanctuary Arts Grant.

Email for more information.

Anyone interested in donating financially to the Metro Sanctuary Arts Initiative Relief Fund should contact Leslie Lowe at All gifts are tax deductible.