SLUMLORDS ERASING BROOKLYN UNDERGROUND ART SCENE
Is Brooklyn no longer the bastion for the creative arts that it used to be? A perfect storm seems to be brewing which threatens to wash away the cultural relevance and creativity that Brooklyn has grown famous for. The elements of this storm are a mixture of shady landlords and a recent influx of financial district and tech startup gentry’s. The encroaching pop-up of luxury condos stand to strip Brooklyn musicians and creatives of the space needed to create in a borough that their very efforts gave rise to.
Collectives like 23 Windows and the Vivarium, long time art spaces and recording studios in Williamsburg are about to be shutdown due to the illegal practices of shady landlords looking to make a quick buck.
The scheme is simple, entice artists and musicians with cheap rent, usually in an illegal living situation, wait for said artists to attract people to the area with their creative endeavors and then give the artists the boot when those of a higher income bracket grow interested in the living spaces which the artists made attractive.
This has been a common occurrence in many warehouse loft apartment buildings, the once famous Mckibbin Artist Lofts being a prime example. Will Brooklyn be able to keep its once lauded cultural richness and diversity as more artists and musicians are being forced out their communities?
For more on artist gentrification check out this New York Times Article.