Bushwick’s New Mayday Space is What Happens When Nightlife and Social Justice Converge

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The closure of 285 Kent last year ushered in a lot of handwringing about whether NYC’s DIY nightlife scene is dead – but we’d argue it isn’t so much dying as evolving. New Bushwick venue Mayday Space is proof of that — it’s a community and nightlife space that may be fully licensed, but is still very much about the grassroots do-it-yourself approach.

Both multi-level and multi-hyphenate (it’s a bar – community center – work space – cafe – event space – rooftop farm), Mayday Space is the brainchild of a team of activists, artists and organizers who saw a need for an inclusive space where all kinds of people can come together for “organizing, community empowerment, and creative expression.” At a time when rising rents and gentrification are leading to a huge loss in social diversity, Mayday Space is striving to create a physical space where both long-time locals and new transplants, organizers and creatives, artists and activists can meet each other, exchange ideas, and collaborate on projects.

In August, for example, the space hosted the arts production for the People’s Climate March, welcoming artists and activists as they teamed up to create the colorful, dynamic floats and signs that characterized the protest. They’ve also invited several local community groups to share their space, including Make the Road, which builds the power of Latino and working class communities through organizing, policy innovation, transformative education, and survival services- including legal services, adult education, health advocacy, and workforce development.

While the space has raised enough money to build out the 1st floor bar, cafe and events space – they need a little more to make sure the second floor community center can include an affordable co-working studio, a space for public programming and a year-round movement arts hub. Check out their Kickstarter campaign here and donate to make this awesome community endeavor happen!