Bushwick’s Silent Barn holds final show

Suzy Exposito, lead singer of Shady Hawkins, performs during the farewell event at The Silent Barn on Sunday.
Suzy Exposito, lead singer of Shady Hawkins, performs during the farewell event at The Silent Barn on Sunday. Photo Credit: AP Photo/Richard Drew

Bushwick’s Silent Barn held its final show Sunday.

Musicians, writers and supporters gathered to say goodbye to the venue on Bushwick Avenue after organizers revealed in March that it had to close because of financial and functional challenges.

The Barn is an independent arts organization that is run by volunteers and community fundraising, but after six years of this “unstable environment,” it was time to shut down, at least for now, according to a statement the organizers released online. It officially closes on Monday after six years at 603 Bushwick Ave. and 12 years in existence.

The last show included sets by Shady Hawkins, MALLRAT, Crosslegged, YATTA, G Lucas Crane, DJs Kegan Zema, Jo Valdes and Mike Lawrence, and readings from Liz Pelly, Chris Lee and others.

Silent Barn held its final show Sunday night.
Silent Barn held its final show Sunday night. Photo Credit: Jeff Bachner

“Sunday’s lineup features Silent Barn collective members (past and present) and a selection of friends of the space,” said Stephanie Griffin, a spokeswoman for Silent Barn. “We’ve been lucky enough to have a huge group of collective members and close friends/supporters of the space over the years, and so this is just a small portion of that longer list.”

Despite the “goodbyes,” organizers have said that it’s not the end for them.

The grassroots art program Educated Little Monsters has teamed up with Bushwick Street Art and other local collectives to raise money to open another event space in the area. As of Thursday, the With Friends fundraiser had collected more than $23,000 of its $50,000 goal, or about 46 percent.

“Silent Barn fully supports (Educated Little Monsters) fundraising efforts, encourage our supporters to donate to them, and are hoping to have some of the proceeds from Sunday night benefit their drive,” Griffin said.

The all-ages venue was known for its nightly music shows, from indie to punk to alternative, and it always had a lineup of affordable art events, a cafe, galleries and a recording studio. It even served as a housing facility for more than a dozen “artists-in-residence” and staffers, who will be leaving the building, too.

With hope still in mind, the venue’s event page quotes Optimus Prime, the Transformer: “Above all, do not lament my absence, for in my spark, I know this is not the end, but merely a new beginning. Simply put, another transformation.”