GRASSTRONEWS – Where are they now? style (1/13/2015)
Year-end lists can be all sorts of arbitrary. We build false hierarchy into the chaos that is art. But there’s something to pooling all of your thoughts in one place. This way, we see how far we’ve come this year. And last year. We can even slap these lists on the wall alongside 2013, 2012, and the rest of ‘em. Maybe we even achieved the holy shiny cup (‘grail’ is copyrighted) of being “better” this year.
We were not better this year. Or last year. My goal for this edition of GRASSTRONEWS is instead to show the constant reality for grassroots arts: there is flux. For everyone. Spaces closed, others ramped up totally unprecedented programs. People fought against their local governments and others worked with them to amazingly find some kind of compromise.
Below is the “WHERE ARE THEY NOW?” of grassroots arts spaces. These are all “alums” of GRASSTRONAUT since the blog started back in August, so you can click through to original stories about each space. You should click on them. You should also seriously go for that double-decker Tofurkey meat lover’s sandwich you’ve been thinking about. It might be good! I cannot make any promises! No promises! OK GET THAT SANDWICH AND READ!!!
- At almost two years in their second Brooklyn space, The Silent Barn has made serious moves on their dreams of community outreach and local mobilization. Just in this last year they piloted beginners Spanish programs, widened their daytime hours for the community, and launched Silent Memberships for long-term support.
- If you had a weird desire to know if legal battles are really as drawn out as they seem, The C.H.E. Cafe has your back in proving it is sadly true. The last quarter of 2014 made way for headbutting between the campus of UC San Diego and the established co-op: rallies, fundraisers, and lots of benefit shows. They continue to be in danger of eviction at any moment. For now, they’re in the midst of negotiating with the University to stay open. And also securing this future:
- The LA Fort spent the first half of their year getting their space up to snuff for everything rad they did in the second half of their year. They became green certified, grew their membership, and expanded a ton of programs like craft night, the WOMEN group, and membership work days.
- Still no word from Pioneers Press about what came from their lawsuit filed by Microcosm Publishing beyond vague suggestions that it was a positive outcome. You can support them in this nebulous goodness by buying a “Hell yeah, 2015/Good riddance, 2014!” mystery zine pack here.
- Remember that comedy space tucked into the back of a comic book shop? No, the other one. Just kidding, there is only one. It is NerdMelt LA. In addition to jacking up some rad programming in addition to their already popular shows, they went through a change in directors. They continue to live the dream legacy left by Danielle and Aaron.