By Gregg McQueen
The store recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $25,000 to purchase equipment including a sound system, LED lighting, a film projector and screen, and a removable platform stage.
In its first week, the campaign raised about $7,000.
“Our fingers are crossed that we can get this off the ground,” Prabasi said.
To test the waters, Buuni hosted a series of recent events in conjunction with the Uptown Arts Stroll, including a variety show, concert, reading by Up Theater, panel discussions, and an art show.
“Those events helped people see that same vision that we have,” said Prabasi, who authored the book The Coffeehouse Resistance about the social importance of coffeehouses.
“It was a full house every time. We had a really wonderful response,” she said.
The shop will also host presidential debate watch parties on June 26 and 27.
Prabasi said the future performance space was also conducive to social justice programming, noting the abundance of activist groups in Northern Manhattan that fight for affordable housing, immigrant rights, and other issues.
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