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Open Doors at Sugar City

By Naima Pearce

opening an Allentown space in January 2009 Sugar City collective has steadily
ridden off the momentum of their ribbon cutting ceremony. Quickly gaining
notoriety within the community as both a

to Wadsworth Street and source of questionable
the organization steadfastly remains focused on its future as a community

past Saturday Sugar City opened its doors, inviting anyone in who wanted
involvement on any level. “Ever wanted to book shows? Get into shows for free?
Build stuff? Curate an art show? Do accounting? Update a website? Cook yummy
food? Or just help out for fun? Take your pick!” explained their open

The self-described “multi-use funplex” called
upon anyone and everyone who was curious to learn about Sugar City.  Volunteers are a key component to their
“do-it-together” attitude and what drives their independent operation. While
hosting meeting, workshops, concerts, readings, and an art gallery, the
collective chooses not to become a 501©3 non-profit. Applying for the status
would have slowed and limited Sugar City’s progress significantly.

“Becoming a non-profit involved putting
together a 3 year budget, getting a lawyer, and applying for a lot of grants
that would have set us in a different direction,” explained Sugar City’s
director, Aimee Buyea.  As a
result, Sugar City relies on donations to pay rent and fund artist projects.

actively seeking donations and volunteers, the one thing Sugar City doesn’t
want is to be boxed in.

“I’d love to have an A.A. meeting here or a
block club association event,” explains Buyea. “It’s a music venue, it’s a
gallery, but it’s also a space for anyone to do anything, really.” She’s not
kidding. While Sugar City has garnered its name from concerts and visual art
events, they also play host to a variety of group meetings including the
Buffalo Anarchists. Created under the influence of the All-Ages Movement, the
space doesn’t want to cater to any single community. Their no alcohol or
smoking policy helps ease the minds of many who would otherwise be hesitant to
support their event.

“We’re happy too see everyone that comes. We’ve
seen mothers dropping their kids off for shows here. They know it’s okay.”
Explains Morgan Fallon one of the collective’s founders. With its prompt 10PM closing
for all events, Sugar City hopes to be set a part from many late-night venues
around the city. “We do sometimes have after-parties at Staples and fundraisers
at Soundlab,” one Sugar Citizen commented, “but after hours, events naturally
take on a different tone than we wanted for this space.”

for the immediate future, Sugar City will host a few concerts in October, as
well as their “Sunday Soup,” a monthly event held to support a local artist.  Art by Joseph Bochynski entitled “New
Suburban Landscapes” is the current work in the gallery.

the volunteer orientation has passed, Sugar City enthusiastically welcomes
anyone still interested in volunteering, organizing, or even booking an event.
They can be reached at and a calendar of
upcoming events can be found at as well as their facebook

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

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