1419 and Love Power closed by the City of Minneapolis

Photos by Sheila Regan

UPDATED March 12—The proprietors of 1419 knew their DIY art space was nearing its end, but they weren't expecting the City of Minneapolis to put the last nail in the coffin. Billy Mullaney, one of 1419's members and residents, said he came home on March 9 to see that a big orange sign had been placed on the front of the building by the City of Minneapolis, with notification that the property was in violation of two city ordinances (362 and 266, involving lack of licensure for serving liquor and charging an admission fee at the door). The Love Power building next door had the same sign posted on it. Mullaney said he was surprised. "I kind of got the impression that the city doesn't do anything," he said.

Mullaney said the residents received a text message from their landlords saying that both 1419 and Love Power had been closed by the City of Minneapolis, and that the events they had planned for 1419 would have to be cancelled, as would the events the landlords were planning—including one this weekend—for Love Power, "until this gets straightened out." The residents have not been told they need to move out, just that they need to stop holding public events at the space.

Founded by a group of University of Minnesota students, the interdisciplinary collaborative 1419, housed in a rather dilapidated building across the street from the Southern Theater, has hosted art events, theater productions, bands, parties, and other events. It's become hugely popular both for parties and for no-holds-barred artistic experimentation, but the popularity had a drawback. When their landlord, Surinder Singh, caught wind that the artists weren't just putting on small student productions but were drawing in large crowds, he demanded they start paying more for rent.

1419 has been at a crossroads in the past few months, because different members of the group have had differing opinions about what they want to be, and where they want to go. Some wanted 1419 to grow into a legitimate organization, possibly becoming a nonprofit, while other wanted 1419 to remain without the restrictions that traditional arts administration models imply.  Besides, many of the members of the group are graduating.

"For a while we were going to dial down," Mullaney said. "We always knew this building was in violation of several codes...every single administrative figure has abandoned their post." Mullaney has continued answering e-mails, telling potential artists who want to use the space that it is available, though tenuous.

Notice

1419 has continued programming, recently hosting a theater series. Even the day they were given notice, a Swedish juggler came in to perform. They had a soccer tournament in the building last week. But conflicts with the landlord have increased, especially since Singh has begun renting out the space for parties. "But those events tended to be cocaine-fueled raves," Mullaney said, with partygoers doing meth on the roof and openly having sex. "Those took precedent over our arts programming," he said.

Mullaney said he was glad that it all ended the way it did. "I think it's pretty great...because it's not because we were stopped, it's the landlord's business." He said that some 1419 members intend to go to legal services to get their rent back, though he admitted that they were never promised that their tenancy would include the right to hold public events in the space.

Garrison Grouse of Singh Brothers Properties declined to answer questions by phone but indicated that he would answer questions via e-mail. He has not responded to our e-mail, but told the blog LOL/OMG that "the allegations brought against these two venues are propagated under unjustified rumors...As a proprietor of music and culture events, and as a resident of Minneapolis; Love Power and its associates do not condone illegally solicited acts, such as: drug usage/ indecent sexual public acts. We are currently looking into the legal issues pertaining to both Love Power and 1419. Love Power is our immediate concern, and will be reopened as soon as possible, to continue arts/music events. At which time we will solicit a statement regarding 1419."

As of March 11, organizers of the Laugh Power comedy show scheduled to be held at Love Power on March 16 were saying that the event would go on as scheduled; later that day, however, they announced that the event had been moved to the Jewel of India restaurant.

Coverage of issues and events that affect Central Corridor neighborhoods and communities is funded in part by a grant from Central Corridor Collaborative.

1419 Washington Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55454
POINT(-93.24852 44.973002)

    Our primary commenting system uses Facebook logins. If you wish to comment without having a Facebook account, please create an account on this site and log in first. If you are already a registered user, just scroll up to the log in box in the right hand column and log in.

    Jay Gabler's picture
    Jay Gabler

    Jay Gabler (@JayGabler) is a digital producer at The Current and Classical MPR.

    Sheila Regan's picture
    Sheila Regan

    Sheila Regan (sheila [at] tcdailyplanet [dot] net) is a Minneapolis theater artist and freelance writer.

    Comments

    Comment viewing options

    Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

    Interesting how this ordeal

    Interesting how this ordeal has come out. Another side to this is missing.

    god im gonna miss the

    god im gonna miss the backroom goat slaughterings and pcp binges 

    Somehow I missed the Flyer

    Somehow I missed the Flyer about the roof top meth parties and  cocaine fueled raves. 

    Excuse me?

    There were never 'meth parties and cocaine fueled raves'. How ignorant and cowardly of you to anonymously degrade the hard work of those who ran these spaces.

    Hard Journalism

    Hard to keep a place alive when it's published all over the internet and has Maps of exactly where it is on TC Daily Planet.

    Openness

    1419 and Love Power were not underground venues—though some private, unpublicized events may have happened there, many events were publicly advertised. 1419 has a presence on Facebook and Twitter, and Love Power was recently the site for a widely-publicized event headlined by Marijuana Deathsquads. We continue to seek comment from SB Properties on how and why they believed they had the proper licenses to host these events. For more background on the 1419 proprietors' debates over how "legit" to become, see Sheila Regan's article on the history of the space.

    What are there motives here?

    That wasn't an inditement on TC Daily Planet, or wasn't meant to be. I simply think the space was way too publicized. Although it wasn't "underground" having articles in print about the space sealed it's fate. It should have come to no shock that the  parties grew beyond residents intentions. In fact, in the past even when the residents exclusively threw parties, they had open invites and often included scores of people. I really hadn't seen a major change in the parties other than the music being played.  After a couple years, the space became more popular. The residents seemingly became unhappy about the space and accusitory towards party goers. I can only speak for myself but I never saw any public sex or drug usage of anykind and no one ever on the roof. In fact on the 1419 facebook page, it gloats that they won and shut down the space. That they beat the landlord. I wonder how much of this has them to blame. They certainly seemed to set themselves up for disappointment. My biggest problem with the article is the accusations made towards the party-goers. Granted I wasn't there most of the time, but with conversations with my friends, illegal drug use was never whitnessed by any of them or myself.  My friends and I are not drug addicts and it's an insulting accusation.  

    funny thing is the bands that

    funny thing is the bands that play there probably snort more blow than ravers.

    Whoops

    This is just another example of "promoters" ruining things in the city by not following the rules, just to make themselves a little Chump Change. Regardless what goes on in the crowd, the Venue itself should be LEGAL, NOBODY is above the law! I don't care how good you think your Security Team is! Thanks again, to whomever thinks they run some sort of Scene, Your events are a black cloud above every venue you set up shop in, and everyone will always assume your party-goers are blow sniffing whores.

    it

    FYI the "promoter" actually lost money off of throwing these events and put their own money in to help bring the community together... trying to make something happen outside of the mainstream.. nothing illegal happened here more than it does anywhere else... its a shame that minneapolis can't appreciate something that is contributing to the art scene.. and to pretend like this was some drug thing is ridiculous, drugs are at every "legitimate" venue and they never get shut down for that. it's so sad that you justify your slander with an anti-drug message when i've seen more blatant drug use at popped collar mainstream clubs. the "scene" is obviously something you'd never be a part of because it's about bringing people together and having a good time. To write people you don't even know off and events you've never even been to off like this is pathetic. You have no idea what 1419 has done for the minneapolis "scene" and it's a shame you've been so quick to judge before you even know..

    its sad to see 1419 go, but i

    its sad to see 1419 go, but i am far more concenred about the how and why the city thinks it can close love power church. its a fucking church and has been there as long as I can remember. Whatever outreach they choose to engage in are protected religious activities.

    Drugs are bad...

    Mmmkay.

    Talk about over sensationalizing a story!

    TCDP - why do you twitter this story with the headline - "@Love Power and @1419_art closed by Minneapolis; resident blames "cocaine-fueled raves" ???

    'resident blames "cocaine-fueled raves"' - Are you serious? Why do you pick this one portion to tell the story?  It's irresponsible journalism - many others re-tweeted this phrase

    Billy's quotes were hilarious, but I'm sure he was kidding or exaggerating about the parties - I've never seen any of these things happen at 1419.  Maybe they happened once (I'd believe it), but they were certainly not a regular thing like the article made it seem.  Anyways, I'm sure they could happen at any concert venue in the city

    Seems like an attempt to sensationalize a fairly straightforward story, a space gets evicted - no need to make it seem like some crazy illegal operation.  I'm sure Billy said many other useful quotes that you could have used, but you seemed to pick the most provocative one

    OK Jack

    Just because you live in the burbs and have never been to an art event doesn't give you the right to be a misogynistic pig.  Please, go on believing your uninformed rhetoric, and let the cool kids do their thing...I'd rather be a blow sniffing whore than a judgmental idiot any day of the week.

    yeh whatever

    this place was run like shit.  a couple of their parties were advertised (which, when running a DIY venue is just fucking stupid as-is, especially when your facebook event page sends out invitations to minors) under the theme "you're poor so get drunk!" which of course anyone operating such a venue should be smart enough to think ahead and plan for.  As far as cocaine 'raves' there have been a few.  They dont hand you coke when you walk in the door, but i'd be lying if I said I had never snorted a line there.  Open sex on the other hand I've never seen.  This should stand as a lesson to anyone who plans on operating such a venue.  One:  Do not advertise.  Don't Let City Pages do a story on your event.  It's merely a security precaution.  Two:  Don't tell people to come get drunk there.  They will even if you don't, but you're creating the problem when you're the one provoking it.  Three:  Word of mouth travels far, so use social media as a limited resource.  Keep control over your guestlists.  Four:  Any and all monetary transactions are made under the guise as a "suggested donation."  Also, a security precaution.  Seriously, kids.  Get your shit together and you can hold down the fort.

    I'm glad to see these go. The

    I'm glad to see these go. The 1419 was always grossly packed. There were holes in the floor, and it was often too dark to see. If there would have been a fire or something, it would have been a huge mess. In reality, there's 1000000x better venues to hold events of this calibur. i'll agree, i never saw public sex or open drug use and the events were definitely one of interest and benefit to the artistic community. However, when there is drinking and the building is so dilapitated, it really becomes a danger to the community as a whole. I think it's best to move the events elsewhere.

    Poor and Drunk

    I don't even live in Minneapolis and I got ads via facebook for "drunk and poor at 24" parties at this place. I went once, in January 2011, and having been to this type of show for over a decade, it was clear these guys weren't doing it by the books, and their time would be therefore limited. Sweaty ass cave full of hipsters, complete with overpriced beer. This may be an 'art' space, but when you throw parties like this in it, your defense of it as an 'art' space pretty much falls flat on its face.

     

    Shit Happens

    To the people pretending to drugs weren't massively consumed here, your are tripping.  You just were either too naive or not doing em but there was PLENTY of people popping pill, blowing lines, etc. 

    Meth?  Some people were but fuck those people.  Meth heads are never a good time, they just think they are in their own tweaked head.  Buy some real drugs if you're gonna be a pseudo-druggy hipster.  No one with a clue waves the fucking meth banner proudly.  Then again, most of these kids are from the burbs and clueless.

    Lastly, it closed down cause whatever fools were in charge don't know how to hold it down.  Truth be told, these people and the people that attended were so infatuated with what they thought was some "DIY/underground/pretend I'm in a Williamsburg warehouse" scene that they couldn't help but gloat about it on the internet and to local rags like City Pages.  Good job.

    DIY / "underground" parties require no advertising.  Word of mouth is just fine. Mmmk.

    Dive Down

    The 1419 space was a shithole and maybe that was part of the appeal. The basement had a lousy half broken Hammond organ and cymbals anyone waiting to use the bathroom could stop off a and create some spontaneous music. Apparently nobody bothered to clean up after previous events as I saw broken bottles and cigarette butts all over the place. The fire concerns are real, but I'm glad I was able to have fun there once before it was shut down. But seriously, these people were not running a venue for long term success. It was a dive, and the cheap beer and dance music made for a fun time. I never saw illegal drug use (except for pot) or any sex out in the open. I agree with anonymous above, if they had their shit together, they could have kept it going for a longer run. But I get the feeling that wasn't really ever the part of the plan.

    ...

    thats cute, minneapolis.  get over it.

    from what I gather, I think

    from what I gather, I think there is some confusion here.1419 (as an art/theater venue)(the people involved with legitimizing the space as something good in the first place) Didnt have the coaine fuled raves, it was the landlord that was schedualing out of hand events in the space. so chances are if you were participating in the arts programming you wouldnt see the rest of the story.

    The Truth Hurts

    Afterbars and underground parties are illegal. Since when do you free thinking artsy hipsters and ravers think you can put a facade on your activities all in the name of art? This has to be one of the best bullshit stories ever told! It's best you all get off the drugs and booze, sober the hell up and come to your senses! One commenter mentioned the church has the right to throw whatever events they choose because it is a church? What planet are you on? The church is no longer in operation and if it were, their license and non-profit status would be stripped for allowing excessive use of booze and drugs. Seriously, some of these comments are just plain assinine!

    Also, some of you seem to think that you can serve booze without obtaining a license or a temporary permit. If you think this is true, you are plain idiots! The ONLY place you can serve liquor without restriction is in your home! I suggest you start throwing house parties instead. Just know, even at a house party, you can't charge a cover, nor can you charge for booze! It is ILLEGAL! As for your suggested donation claim, THINK AGAIN! YOU CANNOT HAVE ANY MONETARY EXCHANGE WITHOUT BEING LICENSED! There is no such thing as a suggested donation unless you have the license to ask for such donations!

    As for the operations, since when do you so called scene builders think you can operate into the early morning hours? The city has specific guidelines as to how long and what times a business can operate. A BUSINESS! As for as I can tell, not one person in the building actually held a legitimate license and if by chance someone did, if it wasn't or isn't in the process of being revoked, you got damn lucky because your actions could have potentially had you thrown in the slammer!

    Cocaine, Meth, Ecstasy, Marijuana, Sex

    Yes, it was all going on and the allegations would not be made without physical proof and I can gaurantee the city investigated before making what you all call false allegations. The truth is, the actions taking place in this venue and any other venue catering to these events are an extreme hazard to the health and safety of the Minneapolis community! I do think the party themes were a blatant giveaway (Drunk and Poor & Rolling Balls). What in God's name were you idiots thinking?

    In closing, you all should be ashamed of yourselves for holding such disgusting and lewd parties in a building that used to cater to the homeless, as well as offer church services. Those of you responsible for producing these events need to head on over to that Jesus wall, drop to your knees and pray for the Lord to come back into your lives! Surely, what was going on was demonic in nature. What was one of the DJ's monikers? Bach aka 666? In a building that used to hold services for those of faith? I would call this Divine intervention without a doubt!

    The truth hurts and the only way any of you will be able to get over the excuses is by coming clean and stop lying to yourselves!

    just some facts

    Ok guys, there is a lot of confusion and misinformation going on here.  Lets at least get some facts straight:

    1. 1419 Washington Ave and Love Power are buildings owned by an actually-not-very-rich Indian landlord who has rented the upstairs of Love Power to a church group for their use for the past 10+ years at a very low rate, and rented the apartments in 1419 to a group known as the "1419 artists' collective" for the past 2+ years.  He pays more in property taxes than he makes from owning these buildings.

    2.  The artists' collective known as 1419, who actually resided in the building, were not involved in any way with the planning of the after-hours parties that occurred there or in Love Power.  The events thrown by the artists' collective included puppet theater, small acoustic concerts, and other experimental theater events (not held in the middle of the night).  The loud parties held in these spaces were thrown by independent promoters who paid the landlord rent for the use of the space, as well as for the use of his employees to run the (legal) bars.

    3.  Although afterbars are always illegal (and only actually occurred once to my knowledge), both 1419 and the love power building are covered under a full liquor license held by the Jewel of India restaurant, which allows them to cater banquets in these buildings.  My understanding is that bars run by paid Jewel of India employees, as long as ID's were checked and the bar closed at 2, would be considered legal operations under their catering license.

    4.  The city has made no allegations about drug use at these parties.  The allegations are made by the members of the 1419 artists' collective (who lived in the 1419 building) against the people who rented the building from their landlord, who they are angry with for throwing parties late at night while they were trying to sleep, and making their home kind of unlivable in general (And these are admittedly legitimate complaints, although I kinda think the artists are shooting themselves in the foot by publicizing this whole thing since no one seems to understand the facts - what will the collective be called once it moves out of the 1419 building? They will be forever associated in peoples' minds with all the things that went on there, even if they had no part in those events).

    5.  Of course people did drugs, like they do everywhere.  It's not like drugs were sold at the bar or done on stage.  And I definitely never saw any public sex.  I don't know why a member of the artists' collective made those allegations.

    Ok, now that we've got the facts down, "the Truth hurts," you sound like an actual Christian, which is silly, because God doesn't exist.  If you are offended by a DJ with "666" in his name, you arguably lack the critical thinking skills to understand very much in this world. Satan isn't real either, but it can be funny to reference him to offend silly Christians like you who think that he is.

    Although I've enjoyed myself at one or two of the art collective theater events last summer at 1419, I found the afterparty scene there (held by independent promoters) wasn't really for me.  It was too dark and crowded, smelled like beer, the drunk people could be obnoxious, the music was too loud, and I'm not really a night-owl anyways.  Walking through the building to visit a friend who lived in one of the apartments got increasingly difficult at some of the higher-security late-night events that were thrown there.

    That said, for people who like to stay up really late and dance, I think those parties could be a very beautiful thing, and I'm not going to begrudge anyone the right to a good time.  Even if it wasn't my scene, I appreciate that the promoters put a lot of hard work into these parties just for the sake of giving people a place to party.

    In the end, I hope the artists' collective finds a space to pursue their vision, and the late-night scene finds a place to party, and that everyone keeps on having a good time.

    Party on, party people.

    fun times

    these were fun parties and an overall positive experience for city music and those in attendance.  immediately upon entrance it was clear that they were not legit and so it was best to enter with the mindset of "enjoy it while it lasts".  there will be other parties and good music, so lets all learn something and move on to the next good thing.

    long live 1419

    1419 was never supposed to be a ligit venue as it stands. it was an art space that was more open along withmore spacious than houses could produce. the money that was collected very rarely went to the people that lived their. the people that lived in the space did not really throw the shows directly. it was a community space where diffrent groups could put together shows and 1419 was just the space wich these events went down in. long live 1419 n what ever form you go on to live in.

    Those parties were flops

    The majority of the time, there was no one at these parties and they were considered flops. Don't make a mountain of a molehill.

    every time

    u were at each event / can you provide statistics?

    thanks

    Thanks TC planet for using yourself as an outlet to release your friend's biased opinions. I'll make sure to not support you any longer. This is just bad journalism...

    side of the artists

    I stand on the side of the artists. Several problems I have: 1. if you pay the rent the landlord should keep the rent consistent and it doesn't matter what they do with the property. 2. They draw a crowd and have expenses hence the fee at the door. It's a business. Why does the government always get in the way of free enterprise. 3. They should not be forced to become a company especially if they are graduating. Why should they be forced to have debt they may not recover from. And most importantly let the arts developed unhindered. They may have the next <a href="http://mosttalentedartists.blogspot.com/">alternative rock band</a> of our generation perform in their venue. Or maybe the next picasso. Let these creative people do their thing. The city or government needs to get their grimy hands out of the profit that comes to people who work hard. So sick of this socialist country.