Issue Project Room during a benefit w/ Moby in April (more by Toby Tenenbaum)
Issue Project Room

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz has generously granted $1,133,000 to ISSUE's capital campaign to renovate 110 Livingston!

We are humbled, honored, and inspired to have been selected as grant recipients for capital support. This award provides us with critical funding towards the $1.725 million necessary to complete a first phase of construction designed to: bring the jewel box theater space to code; install the necessary systems for soundproofing and performance; make renovations; and begin presenting as early as Fall 2010.

Once renovated, the new space at 110 will be home to more than 4,000 programs reaching more than 1,000,000 people across the next two decades. We are overjoyed at being so close to realizing this historic opportunity. -Issue Project Room

The Issue Project Room, which currently runs most of its programs in the Old American Can Factory, is still trying to raise enough funds to perform the necessary reonovations on the 110 Livingston space. Last year, the organization was awarded a rent free 20 year lease on the theater at 110 Livingston from the city.

Tonight (7/10) Issue Project Room hosts the feedback choir of Lesley Flanigan with Luke Dubois on laptop. Issue Project has a full upcoming schedule, which includes a Saturday, July 25th show with Michael Gira and Wooden Wand. Gira will "be playing many unrecorded songs (to be included on Gira's next album, a Swans/Angels of Light hybrid) as well as songs from the Angels of Light and Swans catalog."

The New York Times talks more about Issue Project Room's money. Check out some of that below...

NYT on the Issue Project Room

But last year Issue Project Room, a nonprofit arts space that was founded in the East Village and for the last four years has been in Brooklyn, was dealt a dauntingly large number. As part of a city deal, a developer that was converting the former Board of Education building in downtown Brooklyn into condominiums was required to offer 5,000 square feet on its ground floor to a cultural group on a 20-year, rent-free lease.

Issue Project Room won the bid. (Yes!) But then found that the space needed $2.5 million in renovations. (No!)

The organization's leaders managed to raise about $350,000 but finally were able to exhale when Marty Markowitz, the Brooklyn borough president, called late last month with the news that he was allocating $1.1 million for Issue Project Room's renovations, as part of the $37.7 million in capital funds that he has the authority to distribute for the current fiscal year.

The building, at 110 Livingston Street, was designed by McKim, Mead & White and opened in 1926 as a home for the Elks club. By 1940 the Board of Education had taken it over, and the city sold it six years ago to the Brooklyn developer Two Trees Management for more than $45 million.

With Issue Project Room, whose proposal to Two Trees won over those from more than 100 other organizations, the building will become a home for all kinds of experimental music, theater, dance, literary readings and film. "A Carnegie Hall for the avant-garde," Suzanne Fiol, the group's founder and creative director, said. [more at NYT]

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