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Boycott Ends at University of the Streets, 5C Cultural Center Still in Limbo

Kirk-Jones Quintet Street UniversityDan Glass Kirk-Jones Quintet at University of the Streets

The boycott of University of the Streets is over, a group of musicians announced in a statement posted by Brooklyn Vegan today. But it’s not necessarily back to business as usual for the jazz venue: its director, Saadia Salahuddeen, said it would likely head in a new musical direction in the coming months to help pay the bills.

“I’ve always supported the musicians that can’t get paying gigs, who are more improvisational, experimental, and given them a place to play,” Ms. Salahuddeen told The Local. Moving forward, she said, “We will service another community of musicians, change our focus to another group that needs attention.”

That shift is a result of ongoing financial pressures on the nonprofit performance space and a result of the negotiations between University and a coalition of musicians represented by the Local 802 union. As part of the agreement that brought the boycott to a close, the venue will end its “pay-to-play” policy, which required bands to pay a fee if too few paying customers came to see their show. Read more…