The nonprofit Teatro Experimental Yerbabruja, Inc. is described as an organization “that uses the visual and performing arts to educate, promote social change and economic opportunity.”

And now they’ll be doing so year-round in downtown Bay Shore.

It was announced this month that Teatro Yerbabruja will be making its home at the restored Second Avenue Firehouse at 17 Second Avenue, where the group from Central Islip and Brentwood is establishing an arts center.

“We’ll continue to provide and expand cultural services for Central Islip and Brentwood as well as for Bay Shore  — our core ‘triangle’ —  but have every intention of doing Bay Shore proud for years to come,” said the group’s president, Steve Bard.

[Click here to follow the group on Facebook.]

Until the end of 2018, Teatro Yerbabruja operated an arts center on Central Islip’s Carleton Avenue corridor for almost five years.

“We plan to continue helping Central Islip revitalize it’s downtown corridor, but are now fully committed to contributing to Bay Shore’s continued revitalization,” said Bard.

The center in Bay Shore will hold regular hours (below), and along with exhibits and performances, establish administrative offices in the building’s second floor.

There’s also an event planned for Friday, April 5, starting at 7 p.m., to mark the center’s opening in Bay Shore. The event is open to the public. Visitors will have the opportunity to experience “Crossroads,” by Teatro Yerbabruja’s collective of multicultural and intergenerational visual and performance artists, an announcement reads.

To date, that artists’ collective includes Malcom Bunce, Adriana Dever, Margarita Espada, Daniel Jimenez, Jasmine Haefner, Mariana Lima, Christian Lundquist, Caitlyn Matos, Segundo Orellana, Dorene Rose, Julian Soler, Silvana Valarde, David Wong and Joan Wozniak.

On the following day, April 6, at 10 a.m., the public will again be invited to a showcase of some of the other programs developed by the group’s artists’ collective. 

The scheduling of those and other year-round events will be coordinated with the cultural events that South Shore Restoration will continue to present at the firehouse building.

about the firehouse

The 100-year-old Second Avenue Firehouse had become a derelict structure in Bay Shore’s downtown, before it was rescued by South Shore Restoration in 1998. Through its history, it had first served as a hook and ladder company, then later as a synagogue and religious school, factory, and boarding house. 

After years of meticulous restoration it emerged as a cultural center and an architectural standout. The project garnered two major architectural awards and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

the hours

(As of March 2019) Monday-Tuesday closed, Wednesday-Thursday 5-8, Friday 3-8, Saturday 9-3, and Sunday 11-3, with special evening events.

Top: Teatro Yerbabruja outside their new home in Bay Shore. (courtesy)