Small Arts Venue Casts a Weary, Yet Hopeful, Eye On Barclays Center

Both pitfalls and positives seen from opening of mega-arena in September.

As a resident, Terry Greiss is one of many neighborhood voices that have been critical of Atlantic Yards redevelopment, including .

But as executive director of Fort Greene's , Greiss' feelings about the mega-project are decidedly more mixed—a sign of the many challenges and opportunities awaiting small local cultural venues as the September opening date for the 18,000-seat arena draws closer.

"The jury is out about whether it’s going to be a good thing or a bad thing," Greiss said of Barclays' imminent arrival.

On the one hand, Greiss said, the prospect of thousands of ticket-buyers descending on the neighborhood was an exciting one.

However, for venues like Irondale, its neighbors at South Oxford Arts Space and BRIC Arts—currently in the process of constructing in Fort Greene scheduled to open in Fall 2013—there were plenty of potential pitfalls as well, according to Greiss.

"A lot of community based organizations are looking to maintain their presence or establish their own," he said. "I’m concerned that the smaller groups will get lost in the struggle."

So far, among local arts venues only , with BAM planning to help fill the arena with large-scale events.

Greiss had something much smaller in mind, like perhaps shared PR opportunities or, better yet, a little help with fundraising—a top priority for any nonprofit in the aftermath of a recession.

Though as of Wednesday, he hadn't heard anything yet from Barclays.

"They've only called to try to sell me a box," Greiss said.

**Update, 6:02 p.m.: Representatives of Atlantic Yards developer Forest City Ratner met with members of the Downtown Brooklyn Arts Alliance, a coalition of 28 cultural groups, a week ago, an FCRC spokesman confirmed. The spokesman said Greiss was invited to the meeting but did not attend.

Items discussed at the meeting included cross-promotion and programming, according to Ashley Cotton, FCRC vice president of external marketing.

Jenny May 16, 2012 at 08:28 PM
this is an interesting take on how people will be affected. it's complicated.
Terry Greiss May 17, 2012 at 02:33 AM
My hopes about the positive impact of Barclay's arena were not given weight in this short article. I never meant to speak for the other members of the Arts Alliance on questions of the arena. I was asked who were the other organizations that were members of the Arts Alliance and I did mention that were all willing and eager to work with Barclay's and FCRC as good neighbors to make the cultural life of the neighborhood richer. I'm sorry if this article misconstrued my intent. I am excited about the potential of working with the folks at FCRC.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »