By YQ Media
The Crown Heights community is what some might call a “cemetery of talent.” There is so much potential talent, but not enough outlets of expression.
“We wanted to create a place for people to shine,” says Menachem Maximov, who co-founded the new Mayan Center in Crown Heights with his wife, Liel. She grew up in Russia, where “we had a wide spectrum of different enrichment options.” By comparison, the community here seemed extremely limited in its creative offerings.
“That’s when we realized that our neighborhood needed a place to facilitate more opportunities for innovative expression,” says Liel. When the couple stumbled upon the newly renovated studio in what used to be Nosh World, they grabbed the opportunity to develop the facility. “We fell in love with it,” says Menachem. “… the space itself is aesthetically inspiring.”
So whether it’s boxing, karate, photography, drama, or art, the Mayan Center offers a variety of options—including activities for children and adults, male and female. Sara Muchnik is a satisfied community member who views the Mayan Center’s appearance as long overdue. She attends the fitness class given by Sarede Switzer, owner of Crown Heights Fitness and Bring the Gym to Me. “I really feel like I’ve benefited a lot from attending her classes, which are challenging and fun; she’s an inspired teacher,” says Sara. “There’s a really nice vibe in the center.”
The Mayan Center isn’t just for classes. The sleek wood and brick studio is also home to a Shabbos minyan called Bais Shimshon, where “there is lots of singing, little talking,” and most importantly—“everyone is welcome to join,” says gabbai Mendy Stone.
The studio is also a place for community events, like Thursday night Creative Soul gatherings—jam sessions, open-mics, concerts, and networking events to encourage arts in the community. “This is an exciting breakthrough for the creative among us,” says Yitzchok Moully, director of the organization, which was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal.
The center will also serve as a venue for simchas, its unique design and central location adding elegance and sophistication to a bris, sheva brachos, or upshernish. As the weather gets nicer, an outdoor extension to the space will be opened as well, expanding the scope of the Mayan Center’s event-hosting.
Not just “another basement project,” the center’s opening is a turning point in the way our community approaches talent, providing a platform where unique content can be created, skills honed, and abilities discovered. So if you’ve always wanted to pick up Krav Maga, now’s your chance.