Silent Barn, Bushwick’s all-ages music space, closing next month

Brooklyn residents have just over a month left to enjoy popular independent art and performance space Silent Barn before it shuts its doors.

The venue, a notable part of the city’s DIY music scene, announced it will be closing on April 30 after nearly six years at its Bushwick location.

Billed as an independent arts organization, Silent Barn was supported by volunteer and community fundraising since its inception in 2006. That collective business model ultimately created an “unstable environment” and posed various “financial and functional” challenges that caused Silent Barn to go belly-up, according to a statement by the organizers that appeared on the venue’s website Tuesday.

“Opening up an aboveground, up-to-code space in NYC (or anywhere) comes with limitless challenges — financial, structural, emotional,” the statement reads. “ . . . We began a round-the-clock collective attempt at tightening our organizational structure and improving our long-term funding prospects and tried our hardest to sustain long enough to see it through the end of our ten-year lease. But ultimately, the clock has run short.”

Silent Barn moved from its underground space in Queens to its current location, a three-story venue at 603 Bushwick Ave., in 2013. A recap of its financial expenses between 2011 and 2016 was posted to its website, revealing that the venue’s rent and building expenses surpassed its overall income by more than $10,000 per year since 2014.

“The money we raised at the end of last year, for instance, was only enough to cover one month of rent, payroll, utilities, emergency repairs, bar stock and other overdue expenses,” the statement continues. The spot was damaged during a 2015 fire that was said to have been caused by an electrical malfunction, according to The New York Times.

The all-ages venue was known best for its nightly diverse music shows (from indie to punk to alternative), but the Silent Barn collective also boasted a lineup of affordable art events, a cafe, galleries and a recording studio. It served as a housing facility for more than a dozen “artists-in-residence” and some staff members, who will now be evicted.

Silent Barn plans to continue its scheduled events as planned through April 30. A full lineup can still be found at silentbarn.org/events/upcoming.

The collective hopes to live on in one format or another, however.

“The end of the current location does not mean the end of Silent Barn as an organization,” the statement reads.

Grassroots art program Educated Little Monsters has reportedly teamed up with Bushwick Street Art and other local collectives to raise money to open another event space in the area. A With Friends fundraiser had raised $3,886 as of Wednesday, with a goal of hitting $50,000 by May 1.