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Silent Barn Fans Pledge Nearly $25,000 to Rebuild Venue

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Silent Barn in Ridgewood Queens was broken into on Saturday night. Here: Erin Womack's destroyed window mural. The Silent Barn in Ridgewood Queens was broken into on Saturday night. Here: Erin Womack's destroyed window mural. (Courtesy of Silent Barn)

Fans of the do-it-yourself performance space The Silent Barn have pledged nearly $25,000 on Kickstarter to rebuild the barn after a robbery damaged and shut down the space on Saturday.

"This is a very strange thing to say, I know, but in some ways, this robbery may be a blessing in disguise," said Nathaniel Roe, one of the operators of The Silent Barn, in an e-mail to WNYC. "It's been an explosive motivator for us to make major changes to the house — things that we'd been intending to do for years. These thieves might have given us the opportunity to bring about a permanent and safe Silent Barn that will serve the community for years."

The performance space was broken into on Saturday. Roe estimated that the damages had cost the venue $15,000. Sound systems, televisions, computers and bikes were damaged or stolen, as were the house and Babycastles' arcade savings.

"Nobody has been charged and I don't believe we'll ever find the thieves," Roe said. "They clearly spent hours not only looking through every possible hiding place to find valuables, but also wantonly destroyed our personal possessions. My stereo was blasting loud music when we walked in on the carnage. Paintings were smashed and torn off the walls. They took an entire door off the hinges."

When contacted on Thursday, the New York Police Department said it did not have an update on the case.

In the next 57 days, The Silent Barn is hoping to raise the rest of its $40,000 pledge. The funds will be used to renovate the space and rooftop deck, get a new sound system, sign a five-year lease, and build a community garden. Watch the video below to learn more.

Erica Getto contributed to this report.

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