Housed in an unassuming brick building, the Pioneer Works Center for Arts and Innovation is a multidisciplinary cultural center used for a diverse range of purposes. The 27,000-square-foot building is home to a massive open-plan workspace, galleries, intimate performance spaces, and classrooms.

Here’s a taste of what you can experience at Pioneer Works, a non-profit organization that prides itself on activating and supporting alternative modes of thinking about art, technology, music, science, and education.


If there’s one common denominator unifying the buzz of activity at Pioneer Works in Red Hook, it’s art. Nowhere is this more evident than in Pioneer Works’ experimental art exhibitions, which typically run for six weeks or longer.

Current and upcoming exhibits include “2 Apollo” by Eric Timothy Carlson, “After you’re done,” by Jo Broughton and Sarah Sudhoff, the provocative “White Man on a Pedestal” from Kenya (Robinson) and Doreen Garner, and Anthony McCall’s “Solid Light Works.” Exhibits are free to view, and are open to the public from noon until 6pm Wednesday through Thursday.

Programs and Performances

In addition to ongoing art exhibitions, Pioneer Works hosts numerous events and programs that the public can partake in. These range from major event viewings (like the recent Great American Eclipse) to City Council debates to an annual homemade boat regatta. The organization and venue also hosts concerts, dance performances, and other visual arts shows.


Since 2012, Pioneer Works has provided free space where creatives practicing a range of disciplines can pursue their work in a supportive environment. More than 650 open-call applications and hundreds of peer nominations were received for the 2017 program. 23 residents were selected, 12 of whom are visual artists. Artists in residence work in close proximity to one another, sharing energies and ideas.


From a survey detailing the evolution of writing over time to a workshop exploring the connection between weaving and coding, the topics discussed and lessons tackled in Pioneer Works’ classes and seminars know few bounds. Check out the calendar on the organization’s website for a list of upcoming classes and how you can participate in them.

Brooklyn has no dearth of spaces dedicated to the pursuit and support of creative endeavors. Even so, Pioneer Works stands out for its size, the scope of its programs, and its dynamism. When you stay at NU Hotel on a visit to Brooklyn, Pioneer Works and the revitalizing Red Hook neighborhood are just a 15-minute bus ride or 10-minute cab ride away.