The World Stage executive director said the funds are largely being gathered to put towards relocation, if it comes to that, and to otherwise have the money to keep the organization’s classes, workshops, and programs running as usual.
The World Stage is only one of the many business that has been affected by this.
Jinga Jinga at 3347 1/2 W. 43rd Place, idenitified as a Jazz lounge that also teaches African drumming and spoken word, reached the end of its lease this month. “It’s not an eviction,” said owner Nate-El. “They’re not renewing our lease. They are forcing us out.”
That sentiment is shared by a multitide of other business owners who claim their buildings were under new ownership before they heard anything about it. African Heritage & Antique Collection, Zambezi Bazaar, Sika, and Gallery Plus—all located on Degnan Blvd. along with the World Stage—are only a handful of businesses that are waiting to hear the fate of their livelyhoods.
And this is not the first time the shopkeepers have faced this situation. In 2002, a new landlord purchased village property and proceeded to raise rents. At the time, the World Stage was also one of the businesses impacted. However, they were able to stay in the village.
Artist Kisasi Ramesess and hair stylist Steward Clemons of Venusian Locks were not so lucky. Both were forced to move out of the village.