Sunday, May 13, 2007

Gowanus' Issue Project Room in Flux

Old Coal Silo

We had heard--but hadn't had time to follow up--that the Issue Project Room, the performance space on the Gowanus Canal next to the Carroll Street Bridge would be moving. We had been told it had something to do with the upcoming Big Stink as the Canal's flushing system is shut down for repairs, but the very cool blog Bumper Shine notes that the IPR is "losing its space." Regardless of the cause, the IPR, which has become a Gowanus fixture in the short times it's operated, will be no more by this summer. Here's the rundown in the New York Times:
Perhaps the biggest wow factor lately comes from seeing a show at a former oil silo on a stretch of the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn. Occupied for the last two years by Issue Project Room, an experimental arts organization, the silo is hidden behind an imposing metal gate with a small sign just off the Carroll Street bridge. Between the lapping (if occasionally stinky) water, the courtyard filled with poplar trees and the warm glow emanating from the two-story performance space — the top floor is reached by an exterior metal ladder — it’s as far from mainstream clubland as you can get.

Rebecca Moore, a singer and violinist active in the protests over the closing of the Lower East Side club Tonic, performed at the silo last week. “I am very grateful for Issue Project Room,” she said from the stage: a rug at the front of the room. “We couldn’t get away with playing staplers at many other places.”

And that’s exactly the point, said Suzanne Fiol, the founder of Issue Project Room. “We are trying to be a breeding ground for experimental work, and we need spaces like this to nurture it,” she said.

(Issue Project Room will leave the silo in July, but another group, MeanRed Productions, will move in. An outdoor concert series is planned; Nicodemus, a D.J. and founder of the traveling party Turntables on the Hudson, is already booked for Turntables on the Gowanus.)

Outdoor concerts and Turntables on the Gowanus! Should be okay until the flushing system goes down for repairs. At which point, run for the hills or bring a gas mask to the show. We understand that the Issue Project Room is looking for a new space in Gowanus.

BROOKLYN MUSIC BONUS: Bumper Shine--which is actually based in Park Slope!--has posted the final schedule for Celebrate Brooklyn. Go here to check it out.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

We can all talk about the lack of funding for the arts and about the cuts in school programs and hypothesize about the effect that this will have on future generations and the planet. If you believe that creativity can solve almost any problem; that the creative act, the defeat of habit by originality, overcomes everything than take this opportunity to make a difference. Issue Project Room was created by someone with incredible vision and courage and it is our duty to help this "to be" Brooklyn institution to take it's next step. Issue Project Room has the rare opportunity to occupy an amazing space and to receive a generous amount of cash through a grant challenge. The clock is ticking. You can make a difference.

8:09 PM  

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