This Saturday, a new production house and equitable venue/creation space opens its doors on Hoover Street in Silver Lake, helmed by choreographer, dancer and creative director Sadie Wilking. Hooverhaus is a 1,300-square-foot former recording studio, repurposed as “a private rental space and venue that caters to short term productions, photography, film, rehearsals, events and pop-ups.”
An Angeleno born-and-raised, Wilking witnessed the pandemic’s devastating effects on local fixtures like Edge Performing Arts Center, The Sweat Spot, and Movement Lifestyle. When the opportunity presented itself — a family-renovated property came into her stewardship — she knew how she could serve the dance community with a physical space. She sought the guidance of Movement Lifestyle founder Shaun Evaristo and dove into planning and renovations, all while completing her master’s degree at London Contemporary Dance School.
“I think I just saw a demand for dancers who lost a significant amount of studios and space; and also a collaborative space to host events, whether they’re bigger and corporate or for more pedagogical purposes,” Wilking said. “[Hosting] that has been my mission, and the equitable part has a huge amount to do with how expensive space can be.”
Wilking doesn’t just aim to serve her immediate community of dancers and creators; she hopes this space can be an equitable player among the surrounding local businesses.
“I saw a need for a more equitable space on this side of town,” Wilking said. “Most of the small businesses there are primarily owned by females, and I’m also trying to be aware of the income bracket in that area.”
For the opening event, she’s working with Bé Ù, a female-owned Vietnamese restaurant down the street, that will cater bites & drink for attendees. The haus warming social is essentially an open house, where the public can get a feel for Hooverhaus offerings and see how their needs fit in the space.
The building itself holds a 600-square-foot, fully furnished front room with a full kitchen, projector, and sound system; a 600-square-foot studio with sprung floor, theatrical lighting, and sound; and an outdoor garden space. The website describes Hooverhaus as “the ideal hub to host vip clients, workshops, residencies, customization events for brand integration, pedagogic purposes, curated evenings and beyond.”
As creative director of Hooverhaus, Wilking hopes to employ her love for facilitating community interaction and creation. She wants to put resources that seem untouchable within artists’ reach, through space provisions, art events, local discussions, and more.
“On a personal level, I initially sought out the space for my community,” she said. “I really want to eventually get to a place where town halls and panels can be hosted, to talk in-person about the very real social and cultural issues or triumphs that are taking place in our community…It feels like these conversations can be a little bit more of an exchange.”
In terms of community, Wilking has been reaching out to friends and colleagues to approximate what the artists and/or customers need most: sound, lighting, mirrors, etc. It’s also important to her that nobody is turned away: she hopes to rent the space, but also to offer it where she can. She’s already working on a residency program for next summer and is developing two more upcoming events where she can spotlight artists and share creative ambitions.
Written by Celine Kiner for LA Dance Chronicle.
Featured image: Hooverhaus – Photo by Lee Gumbs