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Todd Triplett is about to open a new art space in Fort Greene, a second try for the would-be dance impresario three years after his original venue, Amber Art Space, was closed down and seized by the city.
Triplett has found a location — a former parking garage on Atlantic Avenue — to realize his vision of a multipurpose arts and performance space for Prospect Heights and Fort Greene that he is calling “Free Candy.”
His new plan is to build three dance studios, and art gallery for exhibitions and a black box theater to show live music, dance and theater performances, all in the one-story space.
“It is like trick or treating during Halloween,” said Triplett. “You never know what you’re going to get. You stick your hand out and say, ‘Please.’”
So far, he has raised 10 percent of the money he needs to get the space running, and hopes to add more support from public officials and local organizations.
His goal is to provide a “warm, inviting location” for artists, allowing them to grow in the process.
Triplett says that dance groups have already been contacting him about reserving rehearsal space, though he hasn’t finalized his own lease yet. He takes this as a good sign that demand for an accessible arts space remains high in the burgeoning arts community near the Brooklyn Academy of Music and other venues.
“We would focus on the artist who would not be accessed through BAM, someone who is more dangerous or controversial,” said Triplett.
In this way, Free Candy is similar to Triplett’s prior effort, Amber Art Space — though he hopes it won’t end the same way.
In 2007, the city took over Amber a mere four weeks before its opening, claiming that the neighborhood around it was blighted and the building was needed as part of the BAM Cultural District plan.
Triplett and his partners had poured $1.2 million into that space, hoping to open a three-story music club on Ashland Place. But the city wanted to build a 187-unit condominium tower on the site, smashing Triplett’s dreams.
The building was never built.
“Basically, they’ve created the blight,” said Triplett. “I’ve moved on. I don’t have any anger. I just want to do it. What’s so hard about supporting the arts? Let’s just go.”
For information, visit www.freecandy.tv.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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