Studio Start-Ups

By Amanda Gutterman

Throughout Issue #1, we have undertaken a broader exploration of the entrepreneurial world today. This photo essay is the first in a series, in which TBQ will look at startups in arts, culture, politics, technology, and more. In the coming weeks, we will check out startup scenes in other cities around the country.

First we begin in our backyard here in Brooklyn, where new kinds of artistic groups are flourishing with innovative approaches to entrepreneurship — not only creating new institutions but also serving as focal points for other aspiring artists to find their way. These six art spaces feature founders and members who have looked beyond the conventions of the mainstream art market for ways to sustain their visions. Some of these art spaces depend on support from their communities, and, in turn, enrich neighborhood life by offering classes in drawing, painting, performance, baking, and much more. Some double as yoga studios, workspaces, bedrooms, or kitchens, while others host kids’ parties or electronic ragers.

What struck me most was that each and every person I interviewed for this piece emphasized the importance of collaboration and interdependence within the art community, in conscious contrast to an establishment art scene they view as cutthroat and hyper-competitive. These entrepreneurs have made deep commitments to promoting artists of all different backgrounds, and helping them produce astounding work that broadens and challenges what has come before it.

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