Press Bowery Boogie : With Demolition Looming, Final Shows at Exiting ABC No Rio Announced / by Paul Castrucci

Posted on: June 8th, 2016 at 5:13 am by Elie

Lower East Side punk haven, ABC No Rio, just released its final slate of programming in their longtime Rivington Street location. The announcement comes as the arts organization prepares to demolish the current building at 156 Rivington Street, and replace with a new energy-efficient “passive house.”

The takedown and subsequent reconstruction – which should begin by end of June – will force ABC No Rio into exile for the duration. However, there still aren’t any demolition permits on file with the Department of Buildings.

This replacement is more than seven years in the making. Challenges and roadblocks abounded. Plans all along called for a 9,000 square-foot, Leed-certified “passive house” that boasts exhibition and performance spaces, in addition to a green roof and second-floor terrace. Yet, the project progressed sluggishly through a quagmire of bureaucracy and administrative red tape.

ABC No Rio purchased 156 Rivington Street from the city In 2006 the for a dollar. Since then, the arts hub has raised $1.6 million in private donations, plus an additional $6.45 million in grants through City Council members, the former Manhattan Borough president Scott M. Stringer and the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs.

After the concurrent final shows – “InFinite Futures” and “The Past will be Present” – in comes the wrecking ball. “ABC No Rio will then vacate the building in advance of demolition and the subsequent construction of a new facility on its site,” Director Steve Englander noted in a public statement.

From the mailbag:

For Infinite Futures artists with an historical connection to ABC No Rio, from founders to current members of No Rio’s Visual Arts Collective, were invited to create installations throughout the building that imagine the site in five, fifty or five hundred years in the future.

Participating artists include Kevin Caplicki with Alexander Drywall, Peter Cramer + Jack Waters, Barrie Cline with Paul Vance, Jody Culkin + Christy Rupp, Mike Estabrook, Fly, Brian George + Kelly Savage, Julie Hair with Douglas Landau, Takashi Horisaki, Becky Howland, Vandana Jain, Mac McGill, Max Schumann, Noah Scalin, Amy Westpfahl, and Zero Boy.

The gallery will include work by four photographers for The Past Will Be Present. Jade Doskow, Vikki Law and Chris Villafuerte will show work that examines the textures of No Rio’s building on Rivington Street. Margarida Correia will present a series of portraits of ABC No Rio volunteers.

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