RhizomeDC is obviously a brick-and-mortar construction, but its boosters like to talk about the experimental arts space as if it were made of rubber. “We definitely want to establish ourselves as a permanent part of the landscape here in Takoma,” says Steve Korn, one of the venue’s founders, “but we want to make it a real flexible space, too.”
So far, so good. Since opening its doors in March, RhizomeDC has presented an elastic array of music, dance, film, visual art, performance art, workshops, readings and more — entirely through the support of community volunteers and visitor donations, as well as a small grant from the city of Takoma Park.
For the city’s adventurous listeners, the arrival of this D.I.Y. community space might feel like a tiny miracle. As gentrification continues to sweep across the area, numerous venues for small-audience music have unceremoniously shuttered and vanished. At RhizomeDC, that genre has a new home — one with a five-year lease, no less.
Simeon Stylites — a Takoma Park resident who makes severe electronic soundscapes under a stage-name borrowed from an ancient Syriac ascetic saint — will give his first performance at RhizomeDC on Saturday, but says that the venue has already become a haunt for those eager to flex their heads. “There are a lot people in the woodwork around here — fans, or musicians, or both — who are interested in having their minds stretched,” he says. “So Rhizome fills this huge niche.”
Show: Simeon Stylites, Lime Rickey International and Boris Willis/Matt Nolan on Saturday at RhizomeDC, 6950 Maple St. NW. Show starts at 8 p.m. rhizomedc.org. $10 suggested donation.