Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Rapture Cafe is Closing its Doors

Rapture Cafe- 200 Ave A.
With a heavy heart and a deep sadness I must report that the East Village queer-centric Rapture Cafe is closing at the end of the month. Over the past year Rapture Cafe has created a home for individuals, eccentrics, writers, artists and queers of all demographics. Rapture has kept the life and vitality of the East Village strong by hosting events such as Reading For Filth: Queer Writers read about Queer Sex, Trans events, drag events and many other writers and creative events.

Owners Hattie Hathaway and Joe Birdsong sent the Rapture Family this in email yesterday:

In December 2007, artists, authors, performers and poets of every medium co-created a space located at 200 Avenue A; an oasis of the imagination, Rapture Café & Books housed a motley crew who live and thrive on the margins of social convention, and carried the historic torch passed on by East Village visionaries who stretch and push and pull at the boundaries of politics, music, art, sexuality, gender, economy and family.

Inevitably, endeavors of ambitious truths and brutal beautification of the spirit must evolve in order to thrive. Rapture’s time here at 200 Avenue A is drawing to a close, only to emerge in other forms and in other spaces. Rising costs of doing business using this model have nudged us forward to conceive new ways of producing and presenting some of the best words and performance here in the East Village and beyond.

So, except for a few special events, we will be closing our doors to general, day-to-day business on Thursday April 24th, 2008. However, we will continue to host many of the events you have come to appreciate at Rapture at other locations. Look for "Dean Johnson's Reading For Filth", "Readings At Rapture," and "Glenn Marla's Heavy" to continue gloriously at other venues. In addition, Rapture will be expanding our web presence, so please do bookmark our site at: http://www.rapturecafe.com
After receiving the letter I went directly to Rapture to give my friend, Mr. Joe Birdsong a hug and thank him for the amazingness that is Rapture Cafe. I asked him for a quote.
"Opening and overseeing Rapture has been the most electrifying, mobilizing, ecstatic, terrifying and enriching experience of my life (so far). The past two+ years have taught me that we can follow a vision and see it through, and that none of us are ever truly alone. During our time here, I've broadened my own sense of family and community; watched friends get married in this space; buried friends; discovered breathtakingly talented artists and writers; fallen in love with my very own magic man; met every living writer (with one exception) I've ever wanted to meet; immersed myself in the tides of art, politics, performance, community, gender and spirituality. I am humbled by the sheer brilliance of the staff - my family - here (Hattie Hathaway, Linda James, ErickaToure Aviance, Jonny Tingle, Mark Bailey, Clint Asay, Texxx, Walt Cessna). And there...you've gone and made me cry. We truly have co-created a fabulous, fierce, first incarnation of Rapture. I now know what hope feels like."
I will miss Rapture Cafe dearly. I will miss Hattie recommending books and telling me stories of the past. I will miss Joe and his unyielding support of not only me but the gay and eccentric community as a whole. One only needs to look at Rapture's Myspace page to understand the incredible venue created there. Going over my blog I realize now what an indelible impact Rapture Cafe has made on my life and no matter what new venue moves in nothing will ever be able to take Rapture's place. You will be missed.

3 comments:

Eric said...

Now I'm going to cry. Never been to Rapture Cafe, but it sounds like my kind of place. Best of luck to all the peoples.

maccoinnich said...

Only went in here a couple times, last summer, when I was visiting New York. Out of interest, I decided to google it today, and am very saddened to have found out that it's closing.

It was, and still is, the only gay venue I've ever been to where I felt completely at home. There should be more places like this, not fewer.

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