Graduation Date

Fall 12-15-2017

Grading Professor

Yoruba Richen

Subject Concentration

Arts & Culture

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Saving DIY Spaces explores the importance of DIY spaces– places for artists to express themselves and connect to their communities– as well as the threat they face from the city’s MARCH task force. Integral performance spaces like Shea Stadium, Market Hotel, Palisades and many more have been shuttered by the city’s MARCH taskforce, a collection of city agencies (department of buildings, NYPD, FDNY, liquor authorities, etc.) within the last decade. According to a study conducted by the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, 20% of small venues have closed within the last 15 years putting pressure on spaces that are still opened.

Silent Barn was a thriving DIY space in the mid-2000’s operating as a performance space and an illegal dwelling in Queens. In 2011 Silent Barn was MARCHed leaving residents without a home and employees without work. Now the collective operates out of a new space in Bushwick where it continues to serve the artist community as well as the neighborhood they now call home.

Rafael Espinal, the city council member representing Bushwick, has proposed a nightlife office in hopes it will help protect spaces like Silent Barn, and establish a dialogue between city agencies and thee communities that depend on DIY spaces.



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