It's no secret DIY venues struggle to survive in Brooklyn due to severe bureaucratic and financial pressures—see Shea Stadium's closing last spring, Palisades in 2016, Market Hotel's multiple closings and reopenings over the years. (City Council member Rafael Espinal recently pushed to install the newly-appointed Night Mayor position in order to keep venues like this open, though its real effect remains to be seen.)
The borough now faces another major hit as Silent Barn—a lynchpin of the Brooklyn arts scene for over five years—has just announced the imminent closing of its Bushwick location on April 30.
Launched in 2006, the all-ages space has laid host to a full recording studio, a diverse concert calendar and artist residencies, as well as community programming helmed by Jazo Brooklyn of urban youth-education group, Educated Little Monsters (ELM). The collective moved to its current location at 603 Bushwick Ave from Queens in 2013, but five years later, its owners have announced in a statement that maintaining the space is no longer financially viable: “After a prolonged assessment of the financial realities of this project, the leaseholders have decided that the most responsible option left is to end operations at 603 Bushwick as of April 30.”
The group survived a devastating electrical fire in 2015, and last December, raised money through fundraising campaigns to stay open, but the funds only managed to cover expenses for a couple months. The statement emphasizes the importance of donating to ELM following this closing, which—after meeting at Silent Barn for the past three years—must now search for a new home to provide arts education to Brooklyn-native children of color affected by gentrification.
Despite the loss, the statement also notes that the closing of this particular location does not necessarily mean the end of the organization as a whole, and urges community members to stay connected via their newsletter, website and Facebook page. You can donate to Educated Little Monsters here and the read the organization's full statement below.