In the basement of a co-op in 16th Street Heights, one of D.C.’s oldest venues for experimental art got a new lease on life this year. Back Alley Theater, an active multiracial, progressive art space in the 1960s and ’70s, reopened for a spell in 2011, but became a fully legal venue and started booking music acts in earnest this April. In its old form, Back Alley Theater spawned D.C.’s first bilingual theater troupe, which planted the seeds for the GALA Hispanic Theatre. Now, the venue hosts regular avant-garde concerts, often paired with edgy performance art, owing mainly to the efforts of co-op member Amanda Huron (of Puff Pieces) and her Weed Tree bandmate Layne Garrett. Back Alley Theater’s model is thoroughly DIY, and between the stability of the co-op, the low overhead costs, and the size of the basement, it’s an ideal spot for noncommercial (or just plain weird) art. This generation’s art may be different, but Back Alley Theater’s legacy of supporting experimental or marginalized artists with space and performance opportunities stands strong.