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Bushwick Community Space and Bar Combo Launches Campaign to Raise $40K

By Serena Dai | November 12, 2014 11:12am
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BUSHWICK — A planned Bushwick community center that wants to double as a nightlife spot launched a Kickstarter campaign over the weekend in hopes of raising $40,000 to finish building out the space.

Mayday, at 214 Starr St., is aiming to be a place where like-minded, social justice-focused people can meet to collaborate on issues like affordable housing and displacement — as well as grab a drink, said Lucas Shapiro, a member of Mayday's core team.

It already hosted people preparing for the People's Climate March earlier this year, he said.

But the planned bar — which would subsidize the community space through its profits — won't be open for another six months, prompting Mayday organizers to try to find a way to keep the place afloat until then. Organizers said they have begun the process of trying to secure a liquor license but haven't officially applied for one yet. 

"We just want to unleash its full potential," Shapiro said. "That’s why we need support."

The Kickstarter campaign launched on Saturday and will run through Dec. 9. Any money raised will go toward finishing renovations on the property, offering free community events and hiring two full-time volunteers as paid staff.

Rewards for donating to the campaign include a T-shirt designed by local artist Lmnopi, a dinner on the building's rooftop and DJ lessons.

As of Wednesday morning, 91 backers had already raised $6,662 toward the $40,000 goal. 

Mayday, which will offer permanent space to immigrant-focused nonprofit Make the Road New York and local urban farmers Ecostation:NY, plans to eventually rent out its event space on a sliding scale to other community organizations, Shapiro said.

Five core people, including Shapiro, started thinking about the idea after deciding that New York doesn't have a nightlife spot aimed at bringing together people interested in social justice, he said.

Keeping it sustainable matters, Shapiro explained.

"We want to be doing something really interesting and inspiring to folks for many, many years to come." he said.