Sunday, September 16, 2018 | 11AM


WHY should all residents care about whether artists have a space to practice?
HOW can such a space benefit the wider community?
WHAT can Basilica Hudson do to ensure that our space is useful to the community at large?

Basilica Hudson Director and Co-Founder Melissa Auf der Maur, journalists Liz Pelly and Jenn Pelly, writer Hallie Goodman and Hudson-based artist and Kite’s Nest instructor Ngonda Badila (Lady Moon) will host a panel discussion and lead an open community conversation on the growing importance of preserving spaces for underground arts and artists. Our hosts will discuss that ways that we create space and collectively organize to ensure the survival of innovative creative communities. How can artists secure a future for underground arts and activism? How can Basilica Hudson further engage our local artists and audiences?

Basilica Hudson is a unique community space dedicated to celebrating independent, innovative voices working across disciplines. We are artist-centered, artist-founded, and artist-run. As a result of the depth of our experience with both artistic creation and the process of supporting and presenting the creative ventures of our peers, we understand how important creative innovation is, and how spaces for emerging artists and underground art practices existing outside of mainstream entertainment are threatened by real estate development and economic processes. Independent spaces, like our peers at Silent Barn in Brooklyn, are often priced out of their leases by commercial developers. Communities like Ghost Ship in Oakland are tragically destroyed or threatened by dangerous, not-up-to-code building standards for lack of capital. Artists and creative entrepreneurs are vulnerable, often working multiple jobs to support themselves, their families, and their life’s work.

We as an organization recognize that the pursuit of individual creativity is not adequately supported by current social systems. Societal innovation stems from the individual’s freedom to creatively experiment, and from the ability for that individual to share the results of their experiments with their community. From the sciences to the arts, innovators are inspired and influenced by others. Artists and creative entrepreneurs implicitly know that creative risk has the potential to transform how we see each other, how we know each other, how we communicate and what we value. They help us understand who we are and where we are going.

In order for people to access their creativity, to create without expectation of adherence to homogenized mainstream aesthetics or to conform to the demands of a corporatized marketplace, it is necessary for individuals have access to community support, to independently and collectively owned and managed spaces, and to community-centered forums. Access to platforms that incubate entrepreneurial ventures and independently present new work is essential for growing and maintaining a healthy cultural community — and to providing a high quality of life for all citizens.

The conversation will take place as part of Basilica SoundScape’s free Sunday, and will be held at 11AM in Basilica Back Gallery.