Friday, February 08, 2008
punk rock was my way out, it was always in my blood, didn't give a fuck if i was locked up, should be dead or in jail:
ABC No Rio was like the Girls & Boys Club of New York City punk rock. Dingy, barely habitable and perfect. Every Saturday, come what may, a different matinee show. The venue, a squat, was in perpetual financial and legal jeopardy with the city. In May of 1998, my friends Jesse, Sam and myself put together a two-day, 25-band hardcore festival to raise money for ABC. I think we netted $20,000. Los Crudos played. Martin breakdanced while my back was turned. It remains one of my life's great regrets.

My fellow ABCer Mike C passed on this Brooklyn Rail story about ABC No Rio's impending redesign. Unbelievable.
The plans for the new space are near completion, but the organization needs to raise about two million dollars to pay for it—a huge sum for a DIY art space with a yearly budget of only $80,000. Grants, donations, benefits and an art auction held at Deitch Projects in 2005 have already brought in $400,000, however, and a second major art auction is planned for early June.

The fundraising will not be easy, especially for a group of people more experienced at making do than making money. But No Rio’s volunteers are prepared for the long haul.
It warms my heart that ABC No Rio will survive for the next generation of The Kids.
--Spencer Ackerman