Renovation Of New Gowanus Arts Annex

x39215780_1569768972651752_r.jpegSpoke the Hub Dancing and Koko NYC -- the S.T.E.A.M. youth educational wing of Open Source Gallery -- need your help to pay for the hefty renovation costs of our new Gowanus Arts Annex studios, located at 298 Butler Street.   This new Brooklyn arts center will house two of Brooklyn's oldest, finest and most innovative not-for-profit community dance and arts organizations, in addition to the studios of artist Ben Lai.
39215780_1569769186717833_r.jpegAn “unnamed benefactor” gave us a generous “emergency bridge loan” to get the construction work started this past summer so we could launch our programs in the new space this fall, but we will need to pay this $150,000 loan back within the year so are asking you -- all our friends, colleagues, neighbors, fellow artists and extended family members, both near and far, to help support this urban art-barn-raising effort and contribute what you can!  The renovation includes demolition, adding a new glass storefront, a sprung dance floor, several fire doors and walls, an additional bathroom, electric and plumbing, HVAC, making the facility ADA compliant, and changing the Certificate of Occupancy among other things.  Can you help us finish the renovation?  Will you share this call for donations with your friends and family too please?
39215780_1569769274941459_r.jpegIn addition to cosmic brownie points and good karma for supporting your favorite local artists and arts organizations, in return for your generosity and support, let us memorialize your generosity in our soon to be created “Angel Wall” with our deepest thanks, plus enjoy some Spoke the Hub swag as a token of our appreciation --
39215780_1569772138300198_r.jpegFOR YOUR GENEROUS DONATIONS, YOU ALSO GET -
$25 - $49        A packet of STH Postcard Memorabilia
$50 - $99        A STH Black & White Classic Cotton T-shirt
$100 - $499   A STH “SPOKESTAR” Black & Purple Cotton T-Shirt
$500+                A special Claireware ceramic “tile” with your name on it, 
                               to be imbedded in the upcoming “Angel Wall Mosaic”
39215780_15698485762131_r.jpegABOUT SPOKE THE HUB DANCING, INC:
Spoke the Hub Dancing, Inc. is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt, dance and community arts organization founded in 1979 by Artistic Director Elise Long.  STH’s mission is to nurture individual and community health and happiness through providing the general public with affordable and accessible dance and creative arts study, contemplation, and practice opportunities of the highest caliber. In this way, Spoke aims to improve the quality of life for all residents in our own neighborhood, as well as contributing to the well-being of all people in the world at large.

Over the last 40+ years, Long and Spoke the Hub have spawned virtually all of Park Slope's most inspirational community dance centers, as well as teaching literally thousands of students of all ages while also supporting the work of thousands of fellow artists of all ages and genres.  Through providing a diverse program of year round classes; performances; summer youth camps; scholarship and work/study opportunities; and rehearsal, gathering and celebration space to artists and the general public, Spoke the Hub integrates dance and the creative arts into every day life while helping to build a more healthy and vibrant community, percolating with imagination, energy, diversity and life.

Elise Long, a native Californian, has presented her unique, intergenerational "folk dance/theater"  in the States, Canada, and abroad since 1979.  Her work has appeared in the street, on the beach, in community gardens, in weddings, across bridges, on ferries, in protest marches, and in other low-brow venues such as beer halls, pizza joints, ice cream parlors, and parades while also being produced at more high-brow venues such as Dance Theater Workshop, Lincoln Center and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.  She has been hailed by the NY press and public as a "visionary", "a force of nature", a “cultural pioneer”, a “neighborhood treasure” , "the Cecil B. De Mille of Brooklyn Dance"  and the "original Gowanus O.G!" among other accolades. Her studio has been called “one of the most exhilarating art spaces in Brooklyn” and a “community staple”.  Long recently received an award from the Gowanus Canal Conservancy for her four decades of cultural bushwacking in the Gowanus Canal region of Brooklyn.  

Read more about Spoke the Hub's history in this recent article by Pamela Wong of the Bklyner: 
For further information on Spoke the Hub Dancing, please visit:

39215780_1569849017681753_r.jpegABOUT OPEN SOURCE & KoKo NYC
KoKo NYC, founded and directed by Monika Wuhrer,  is the youth STEAM education branch of Open Source Gallery, a not-for-profit arts organization based in Brooklyn.

Open Source Gallery is an arts-based non-profit organization inspired by the open source movement. In the spirit of this free exchange of knowledge, we provide a forum where art intersects with the community and the world at large. Open Source energizes a diverse and creative community for people of all ages and backgrounds with an emphasis on expression, experimentation, sustainability, and social engagement.

Monika Wuhrer is the founder and executive director of Open Source Gallery and KoKo NYC. Originally from Austria, she received her MFA in sculpture from the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Monika founded Open Source Gallery and it's education wing in 2007. She is the mother of 3 boys and realized that education in New York City is missing programs that encourage kids to play, explore and build without the standard supervision parents and other programs provide, but by letting kids access their own risk, while still being supervised and kept safe.  Monika has exhibited in the US, Norway, Austria, Italy, Thailand, Finland, France, Switzerland, and Japan.

For further information on Open Source & KoKo NYC, please visit:

39215780_1569769638104048_r.jpegWhat happened to the old Gowanus Arts building renovation project on Douglass Street many of you might ask ?    This is, sadly, a longer, epic scale Greek tragedy still unfolding that we will be happy to tell you about in person.  Suffice it to say, it is a cautionary, (almost) classic gentrification tale about one female choreographer fighting an endless army of greedy & deceitful NY real estate developers, corrupt contractors, fraudulent insurance brokers, inept and lazy engineers, deaf city agencies, unhelpful local politicians, and just plain bad luck -- a David and Goliath scale battle ironically amplified and echoed against the surreal dystopian backdrop of our current political climate...
39215780_1569769925700252_r.jpeg...but the story is not over yet!   We artists are a persistent, creative, industrious and optimistic bunch!  While the old Gowanus Arts building's fate continues to unfold, Spoke the Hub and KoKo NYC will formally open our new, more intimate, Gowanus Arts Annex to the public this month with four full weekends of Workshops, Performances, Dance Parties and Happy Hours for both kids and adults!  

Please click on the link below for the full OKTOBERFFEST 2019 Schedule of Participating Artists & Events  and come celebrate the new studios, the fall homecoming season, and our first Gowanus OKTOBERFEST! with us this month!
We hope you will make our new Gowanus home your new Gowanus home for Dancing, Art-Making and Community building too.  Come check out the new digs this month!
39215780_1569770163265332_r.jpegWe want to thank all the artists who are contributing their talents to our OKTOBERFEST fundraising campaign, and to our new landlord, Marshall Farr, for welcoming us into his building and for working with us to make this expensive and unanticipated transition manageable.  We also want to thank architect Barbara Wuehrer who has generously donated her services to help us design, file and push the paperwork through the DOB; to our lovely contractor John Fitzgerald / Coppice Construction who is commandeering the renovation; and a special shout-out to Richard Bearak in the Borough President’s Office, the only city official who has provided us with any meaningful assistance throughout this trying saga.

Donations (0)

  • Anonymous 
    • $75 
    • 5 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $140 
    • 10 d
  • Alex Borinsky 
    • $25 
    • 10 d
  • Gale Kaufma 
    • $150 
    • 12 d
  • Nancy & John Beringer 
    • $100 
    • 15 d


Elise Long 
Brooklyn, NY
Spoke the Hub Dancing Inc 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are 100% tax deductible.
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