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An Abandoned Church in Flatbush to Become a Creative Hub, Performance Venue

An abandoned church located at 494 East 23rd St. will soon become home to a curated community for creators.
The Church
As a launch the renovation project, The Locker Room hosted a Halloween party on Oct. 29 to celebrate the cultural conversion of the Church. Photo: Provided/ Neesmith Onzeur. Credit: Photo by Neesmith Onzeur

In an effort to re-establish the communal art spaces of earlier decades, a 28,000-square-foot church is receiving an overhaul to create a new hub for Brooklyn's creative community.

“The Church will foster mass collaboration between different artist communities, disciplines, backgrounds, organizations, and the neighborhood local to its walls,” Audrey Banks, co-founder and board chair of AllInOne Collective, said.

AllInOne Collective is a local organization that works to rebuild arts and social impact initiatives by providing accessible space in vacant properties. The organization is currently working with 494 East 23rd St. property owners to undertake substantial renovations.

With construction beginning this month, project coordinators anticipate reopening the building in the Spring of 2023.

The Church will consist of multiple performance venues, 300 workspaces and a recording and artist studio.

A partygoer posing with the church's original organ. Photo: Provided/ The Locker Room.
A partygoer posing with the church's original organ. Photo: Provided/ The Locker Room.

The new community hub will have an 800-person capacity, housing a cafe, retail space, a restaurant and a gallery.

According to the project website, artists will access the site through a membership. Members will need to verify that they are active contributors to the arts or social impact, ensuring a curated community.

As a launch of the renovation project, The Locker Room, a femme-owned creative house, hosted a Halloween party on Oct. 29.

“The Locker Room’s activation felt was the perfect send-off for The Church’s transformation — reminiscent of times long past of spaces filled to the brim with individual visions, and a representation of what is possible when space is made accessible to the creative networks of our city, uniting under one roof and one purpose,” Banks said.

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