Silent Barn, one of Bushwick’s most iconic DIY venues, will close at the end of April, owners announced yesterday.
In a statement from the Silent Barn Collective, members said that the venue at 603 Bushwick Ave. will be closing on April 30th due to financial reasons.
“Despite the incredible support we have received from our community, the financial and functional challenges of running a space on this scale have created an unsustainable environment with no realistic way forward,” the statement said.
Silent Barn moved into the three-story building on Bushwick Avenue in 2012, but the organization has been providing the neighborhood with live shows, educational programs, and affordable artist studios since its founding in 2006.
Since 2014, the space has also home to Educated Little Monsters (ELM), a music and arts group serving Bushwick youth. Silent Barn asked the community to provide ELM with financial support.
“We feel a particular sense of urgent responsibility in encouraging donations to ELM, whose music and arts programming serves kids of all ages, while centering involvement from Bushwick natives—those who were living here long before the Silent Barn opened, whose neighborhoods continue to be severely impacted by gentrification, and whose programs will now experience further displacement.”
Bushwick Council Member Rafael Espinal, who recently scored a political victory for the DIY and nightlife industry with the creation of New York City’s first “night mayor,” voiced his concerns yesterday about the news of the closing.
“One thing is clear: more must be done. I will be exploring ways to ensure spaces like Silent Barn have non-profit status to qualify for grants and city assistance. These spaces are just as important as our museums and other cultural venues, and deserve our help,” Espinal said.
“I wish the entire Silent Barn Collective much luck on their future endeavors, as well as the Educated Little Monsters, who I look to work with in the immediate future to make sure their work can continue.”
The Silent Barn Collective vowed that closing the venue would not spell the end of its activites.
“The end of the current location does not mean the end of Silent Barn as an organization,” the statement said. “The community that has been forged around the Silent Barn will not be gone.”
Cover image courtesy of Google Maps