This project transformed a 300 square foot empty public storefront at local radio station, WHYR, into a listening room and record shop. The shop hopes to bring people together through music and performing arts while re-activating the building's corner space for the community. The shop also serves as a creative way to utilize the station's extensive vinyl collection. The non-profit radio station sells the donated records for $1 to support its operations.
Stay up to date via the shop's Facebook page @ Facebook.com/whyrlisteningroom
The center piece of the record shop is a sculptural wall made of suspended album covers. It encourages people to walk through the space while browsing the covers and discussing the music and its history. The wall also creates a dramatic backdrop for community events and performances. On Oct. 1, 2016, the space hosted its first live performance by local poets Leslie D. Rose and Donney Rose. The poetry reading was sponsored by Elevator Projects, a local arts collective in Baton Rouge, and River Writers, a local reading series created by local poet Vincent A. Cellucci.
This project is a part of a larger dialogue about activating vacancy and transforming public perception of vacant spaces through interventions, such as this one. Mid City Studio hosted its monthly community coffee social, Coffee on the Porch, in the record shop at the end of March 2016 to unveil it to the community. The radio station continues to open the shop monthly and host live performances and other community events in the space.