Galapagos Art Space, the pioneering bar and performing arts collective that helped put Williamsburg on the cultural map when it opened in 1995, is moving to DUMBO.
“We turned down offers of more space in Washington, DC and Berlin,” Director Robert Elmes (pictured) told GO Brooklyn. “We were determined to stay in Brooklyn.
Hoping to ditch his $10,000 monthly rent, Elmes looked in newly hot Bushwick, but couldn’t find the right space.
The choice ended up being made for him when Two Trees Management, DUMBO’s resident real-estate behemouth, offered 10,000 square feet at about half the rent that Elmes was paying in Williamsburg.
The move to the newly-green 16 Main St. puts Galapagos on the same block as powerHouse Arena and St. Ann’s Warehouse — whose artistic director, Susan Feldman, in a neighborly gesture, has been given a spot on Galapagos’s advisory board as has Brooklyn Academy of Music President Karen Brooks Hopkins.
The new threesome will make DUMBO “the cultural creative capital of New York,” according to Tucker Reed of the DUMBO Improvement District.
Elmes wants Galapagos to become more than just a nighttime destination by offering daytime programs for children. “It’s all about leading a community towards strengthening it, and making it an environment of safety and knowledge,” Elmes said. “We’re doing our best to be inclusive and really weave ourselves into the fabric of the city.”