The collective behind the DIY venue Silent Barn is closer than ever to having a new home; it’s in talks to sign a 10-year lease on a building and has released for the first time its floor plan. The DiY venue closed the doors at its Ridgewood location following a 2011 break-in, then raised $40,000 on Kickstarter to find a new space. It has spent the last year looking for a new home, and according to Silent Barn spokesperson Lani Combier-Kapel a new space could be open for shows as soon as mid-September.
“Some people say two weeks, some people say two months,” Combier-Kapel said this weekend, following a panel discussion on the idea of all-ages shows held in a former Masonic temple in Ridgewood. The lease has yet to be signed, but as soon as it is, or very shortly thereafter, Silent Barn will begin throwing shows again, she said—in a legal, more permanent home.
Silent Barn is has its sights on two buildings that sit next to each other near the Myrtle Avenue-Broadway subway stop. The two buildings have a combined 5,900 square feet of indoor space for shows, apartments, offices, and studios, and an additional 1,755 square feet outdoors for the “Silent Yard and Garden,” according to documents Silent Barn made available which detail the space.
The space still needs a lot of work. “Although the Silent Barn has spent little of the $40,000 raised through Kickstarter, we are not equipped to meet the up-front costs of this space,” read an informational packet handed out at this weekend’s discussion. Buildout costs are estimated at $35,000; this is on top of deposit of $24,000, and monthly rent of $12,000. “Our fundraising goal is to exceed our prior campaign’s success with an additional $50,000,” it continues, without outlining how it plans to get that money. At one point during a panel discussion, Silent Barn member Joe Ahearn said they were still in the process of “figuring that out.”
Representatives from the Greater Ridgewood Youth Council (GRYC) and WFMU attended the meeting, as did Zs’ Sam Hilmer, New York State Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan (who saw a flier in a local bakery and dropped in with her son), and Rachel Trachtenburg, formerly of The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players. On several occasions, Bob Tempkin, speaking for the GRYC, expressed how much he would love Silent Barn to help him throw all-ages events for local youth. More than once, it seemed like the relatively small audience should have filed out so that the people sitting at the table could plan a real event.
“We would love to get the arts more involved [in the community],” said Assemblywoman Nolan during a break between panels to an assembled group of Silent Barn representatives. “We want you to be active in the neighborhood! How can we help you?”
They didn’t have an answer just yet.