TOWN STAGES Welcomes Casandra Rosario As General Manager

Casandra Rosario. photo by  Michael Kushner

Casandra Rosario. photo by Michael Kushner

Coming this Fall, the team from Loft227 will bring together emerging artists, entrepreneurs, and their supporters under one roof at their new space: Town Stages.

Alarmed by the quickening pace of city-wide performances space closures in 2012, Robin Sokoloff took bold and decisive action building Loft227: A shared collaborative space connecting like-minded entrepreneurs and artists under one roof.  With an emphasis on the advancement of young women, minority, and LGBTQ voices, Robin Sokoloff and her woman-led team run spaces in one of the most competitive real estate environments in the world so that their local community can self-sustain, and thrive.

At a crucial point in the Loft227’s growth, Rosario came on board as the Events and Venue Manager. Casandra Rosario produces results that make sense for small businesses through digital marketing, events and business strategy. Executing on Sokoloff’s vision for a new financial model for the arts and entrepreneurship, Rosario helped make Loft227 profitable in less than a year, and demand grew faster than they could have imagined.

“Casandra Rosario is a consummate hospitality professional with a proven track record developing unique social engagements in cities across America. Having built her own incredible New York City hospitality-based brand, Food Before Love, Casandra brought a huge fashion forward, creative, and business minded crowd ages 20 - 40 to Loft227. She hit the ground running, developing our social media presence and communicating our unique identity far beyond our network. We went from a word of mouth rental space to a must-have destination for any and every occasion, overnight. People didn’t just come for their one special day anymore. They began showing up for shows and events at Loft227 they had little or no connection to. We became everyone’s go-to home to hang, to experience something new, and connect with someone new. In a word, Casandra is unstoppable. We owe so much of our success to her efforts, across the board in marketing and management" says Founder & Executive Director, Robin Sokoloff. 

With this increased awareness, Loft227 quickly reached it’s capacity. Sokoloff and her team were forced to turn away over 7,000 projects. For years, they’ve been hunting for a bigger facility to relocate to.

Casandra explains, “Sometimes, one of the hardest things to do in this city as a creative, is survive. It’s also not an easy task to do so gracefully. Loft227 gave a platform to everyone who was trying to make a name for themselves in their respective industries, despite the odds, which is something I’ve always admired. Finding a space to succeed as an entrepreneur is the true struggle many face in New York City. Considering the amount of care and love Robin and Scott have for this community, I have no doubt we can make Town that home for those seeking open minds and fertile ground for their development.  I’m excited to see every play, launch, and landmark event that finds its first home with us, and watching how that helps their journey become what it’s meant to be.”

Starting construction Fall 2017, the new TOWN will feature a Cabaret Theater, a Mainstage, and multi-use Event Space; Capacity 229.

Sokoloff remarks on New York City’s changing landscape, concerned, but hopeful. “If New York is to remain a beacon of progressive cultural leadership on the world stage, a dramatic move is needed to solve our home grown real estate crisis. What good are shuttered theaters and vacant luxury condos? 35% of NYC’s storefronts are empty, and climbing.  It’s time for a new approach to small business. No one can survive this alone. We’re building a new kind of creative home at TOWN where all are welcome to congregate, connect, and collaborate for the next fifteen years and beyond, and we are doing it together.”

Me And Cass Laughing.png

Keeping a venue open isn’t easy, but Casandra and Robin have more than earned their stripes in the space game. Right before they met, a sudden shut-down at a previous location forced Rosario to find new homes for a calendar full of events. Sokoloff explains, “I’ll never forget the day I met Casandra. She called Loft227 explaining where she works was suddenly shut down. Obviously, this puts her out of a job. And yet - she was still taking the time to serve every single client and find them a place to relocate. She was looking out for them, going above and beyond; despite her own uncertain future. Anyone who’s ever tried to book a NYC venue knows it’s not easy. Anyone who’s ever tried to relocate several events all at once, is a goddamn hero. That’s the kind of person I want on my team. Casandra is a very special, hard working woman with impeccable character, a cool head, a huge heart, and big vision. No matter what this town throws at her, and the people she collaborates with, Casandra leads with what’s right, and what’s true.”

In 2015, Rosario was named one of the Top 10 Women to know in the Culinary space by Essence Magazine and she’s still killing it. This fall, she’ll be honored by the Rochester Institute of Technology with the 'Women Leaders In Hospitality Award'.

Check out her featured spot on 'Inside New York', with British Airways:

You can follow Casandra Rosario on her blog at, and get updates as she builds TOWN at @TownStages. Stay tuned!

Robin Sokoloff

Robin Sokoloff is a lifelong dancer, theater professional, and activist: Passionate about building platforms for women and minority voices.

Combining her craft talents as a producer, casting director, and choreographer, Robin Sokoloff spent her twenties developing interactive entertainment concepts for venues, record labels, and big brand events nationwide. Her high-profile rock show “Spotlight Live” ran for two years in the heart of Times Square on Broadway; featured on Good Morning America, The Today Show, The Whoopi Show, The Montel Williams Show, Fox 5 News, WPIX Channel 11 News, Good Day NY, and NY 1.

After starting up Data Insights and Analytics Firm SolvedByData (Freelancers Union, Microsoft, Mobile Commons, Heineken, Forbes), Robin set her sights on solving the problem of access to minority friendly and affordable creative space in New York City for artists and entrepreneurs. By leveraging her industry techspertise in building and lighting design, Robin built Loft227: A performance and event venue providing enterprise level production resources that supports new works that inspire, enlighten, and strengthen communities through interactive entertainment and political action.

As Executive Director of Loft227, Robin has grown the organization to encompass 20,000 emerging artists, entrepreneurs, and their supporters, with an emphasis on the advancement of young women, minorities, and LGBTQ voices. For over 5 years, Sokoloff has leveraged her space to donate over $215,000 each year in sponsorship, rehearsal hours, and production dollars to the best and brightest innovators New York City has to offer.  Robin and her team have supported over 600 live events in under 5 years, directly creating jobs for over 54 local freelance artists, and enabling an additional 1,800 freelance supporting jobs for various organizations and events. In all, Loft227 has seen 68,000 unique visitors through it’s doors. 

Loft227 is set to expand into a location 5X it's current size in Summer 2017, to meet the city's overwhelming demand for dynamic space and mentorship in NYC. 

Most recently, Robin Sokoloff fully produced “Queer Composers For Orlando”, “The Lost” – A New Play By Keelay Gipson, “The Giants” – A New Play By Matthew Jellison, “Bun In The Oven” – A Film By Jono Freedrix, and launched Hong Kong’s smash hit, “The Easy Hour” in New York City (I AM Concepts). She is currently choreographing Pasek and Paul's award-winning musical "DOGFIGHT" for 5th Floor Theater Company at The Hudson Guild Theater. 

Robin serves on the Board of The Musical Theater Factory: Developing of over 90 new musicals with more than 900 volunteers contributing over 15,000 combined hours of service. 

Robin holds a BA in Sociology from New York University’s College of Arts and Sciences, she is a graduate of NEW (Non-Traditional Employment For Women), and a member of The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America w/ Local 157; proud to have built this city she loves. Robin is a certified NYS Rape Crisis Advocate for the Crime Victims Treatment Center; volunteering overnights at St. Luke’s/ Roosevelt and Lenox Hill Hospitals supporting victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. She’s also an advocate mentor for CVTC, training new volunteers each year.

Robin is a sanctioned athlete with The United Skates Figure Skating Association.