DIY spaces

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Get Ready to Dance On the Grave of the Cabaret Law, Set to Be Repealed

Council Member Rafael Espinal and others at a hearing on the Office of Nightlife and cabaret law repeal in June (photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

Those attending bars and clubs in NYC can soon collectively shake their hips without fear, as a bill repealing the Prohibition-era cabaret law is slated to pass the City Council tomorrow. The repeal marks a win for the coalition of individuals and advocacy groups like the Dance Liberation Network and NYC Artist Coalition who have spent many months attending hearings, making calls, and staging town halls in their quest to make a ban on social dancing a thing of the past.

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What Can the Night Mayor Do? The DIY Scene Discusses

Great turnout to support small cultural spaces in New York City !

A post shared by MARKET HOTEL – 1140 Myrtle Ave (@market.hotel) on

There’s a new (Night) Mayor in town, or at least there will be soon. On August 24, City Council member Rafael Espinal’s bill to establish an Office of Nightlife and Nightlife Advisory Board was passed by the council, then signed into law on September 19, in a ceremony that included even Marky Ramone. In light of this, some wondered about what this “night mayor” would actually do. Last night, the soon-to-reopen venue Market Hotel was flooded with artists, partiers, community members, and politicians for a town hall on what the people want from the Office of Nightlife.

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Nightlife Advocates and Politicians Want to Dance on the Grave of NYC’s Cabaret Law

(photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

Yesterday, hundreds flocked to City Hall to discuss the future of nightlife in New York City at a consumer affairs oversight hearing. It was the first of its kind in over a decade to address the city’s oft-decried cabaret law, which has been in effect since 1926.

“The City licenses bars, clubs, taverns, and discos that allow dancing,” states the City of New York’s official website. “A place that is open to the public and sells food or drinks must have a Cabaret License to allow customers to dance.”

And yet, there currently are only 97 of these licenses in effect. Considering there are thousands of bar and nightclub establishments in New York City where one might feel compelled to shake their hips, there is little wonder that City Council members Rafael Espinal and Antonio Reynoso called themselves both “young Dominicans representing north Brooklyn” and “dance outlaws.” Keep Reading »

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Shea Stadium Announces Kickstarter, Hopes to Return as a Legal Space

Shea Stadium (photo: Luke Chiaruttini)

East Williamsburg DIY venue and recording studio Shea Stadium announced a $50,000 crowdfunding initiative today, with the end goal of turning the space into a “completely legal, 100% permitted venue.” In early March, the venue had announced an indefinite closure on Facebook in light of multiple violations and show shutdowns.

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‘Gender-Free’ Fashion Infiltrates a Bed-Stuy Basement

(photo: Luis Nieto Dickens | NoSleep.co)

(photo: Luis Nieto Dickens | NoSleep.co)

On Thursday evening, a group of 10 or 15 people descended into a mysterious basement on Bed-Stuy’s Myrtle Avenue. If not for the beats of FKA Twigs that floated up the dark staircase, you might have missed it completely. The space, which lies below an apartment and has been renovated into an art space called TT Gallery, carries a musty scent and feels otherworldly. Some of the floor is still dirt, the intricate roof panels and stone walls look like something out of a Final Fantasy realm. Only, the characters of this world weren’t there to adventure amongst monsters, but to strut their stuff. This was the setting for Iranian-born, Montreal-based designer and artist Pedram Karimi‘s SS17 show.

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Another One Could Bite The Dust: IDIO Gallery Turns To Crowdfunding To Survive

screenshot of Montana Simone's GoFundMe page for Idio Gallery.

Screenshot of Montana Simone’s GoFundMe page for Idio Gallery.

There’s been many a Bushwick disappearance lately. Punk venue The Acheron recently said their goodbyes, acclaimed restaurant Northeast Kingdom put away their plates for good, and Palisades is closed until at least August. In nearby Williamsburg, the Experiment Comedy Gallery, DIY space for funnies, just had to relocate to a new spot that’s quite literally underground.

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Powrplnt, the Netty Hang Center for Bushwick Teens, is Officially Turned On

It's offish, Powrplnt is open (Photo: Nicole Disser)

It’s offish, Powrplnt is open (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Powrplnt– the ambitious non-profit pet project of artist, proud weirdo, and retired Bushwick party girl Angelina Dreem– has officially flipped on the lights and begun watering the plants, so to speak. “Hey–” she started, glancing over at Jake Sollins, one of the teachers setting up to teach teens about Photoshop and Illustrator for a class called “How to Make Money.”

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