After the closure of Basement at 199 Lafayette, the organization required focus and clarity. The return to 22 Catherine resulted in a rebranding of the space as Catherine Gallery. Maintaining their existing funding forms from the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, the remaining Basement members led by Fay Chiang focused on the continuation of the dance classes, visual arts, and a reading series. Supplies from the darkroom, sound studio, and the silkscreen workshop were donated to local non-profit organizations. Collected materials from the long-standing Asian American Resource Center were given to the Chinatown History Project run by Jack Tchen, paving the way for the Museum of Chinese in America.
Under the guidance of Jessica Hagedorn and Fay, Basement garnered a loyal following of literature lovers. Jessica’s collaboration with other artists of color like Laurie Carlos and Ntozake Shange strengthened the organization’s development of performance poetry workshops.
Basement staff member and dancer, Theodora “Teddy” Yoshikami choreographed and taught dance classes at Catherine Gallery through her company, the Morita Dance Company.
In 1982, a new Folk Arts program begins at Basement and focuses on learning from and documenting the artistic practices of Asian and Asian American master artists ranging from Japanese woodworking, Chinese acrobatics, to taiko, and more. A half an hour documentary was completed in partnership with Downtown Community Television’s Keiko Tsuno and Fay Chiang which focused on the artists, Miné Okubo, Motoi Oi, and Sahoni Tachibana.
Though a smaller space, the move back into the folds of Chinatown at Catherine Street allowed for a refined vision to emerge.