M.I.A. Maspeth-bound

By Sarina Trangle

British musician M.I.A. is headlining the Knockdown Center’s spring program with concerts scheduled for May 8-9, the arts center’s manager said.

Tyler Myers said the musician, known for blending several genres, would be the most high-profile guest yet at the venue, at 52-19 Flushing Ave. in Maspeth.

“She’s an artist who is certainly part of the contemporary critical discourse, if not contemporary culture at large,” Myers said.

He anticipated the concerts filling the former glass factory up to 70 percent of the building’s capacity and tickets costing roughly $38.

Community Board 5 and neighborhoods near the Knockdown Center have opposed its applications for a liquor and cabaret license and 5,000-person public assembly permit.

Based on the events the Knockdown Center has hosted using temporary permits, nearby residents have contested the organization’s definition as an arts center and said it serves as a mecca for young partiers, who tend to use drugs and alcohol.

Besides M.I.A., Myers said the Knockdown Center’s spring program will feature work by Long Island City sculpture artist Joel Shapiro and performers from choreographers Michou Szabo and Lindsey Drury.

Reach reporter Sarina Trangle at 718-260-4546 or by e-mail at strangle@cnglocal.com.

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