Gold Leaf Studios is gone. Subterranean A held its last show June 23. Hole in the Sky is on-again, off-again. The fate of O Street Studios is still iffy, but its residents recently staved off the construction of a hostel on the first floor. Artist and DIY spaces lead a precarious life anywhere, but seem especially endangered in D.C.: The astronomical rents for residental, work, and live/work spaces in our relatively small, not-so-dense city are maligned, but no one has quite figured out how to make such spaces sustainable—or wrangled with whether they even should be. Tonight, the National Building Museum’s ongoing lecture series, D.C. Builds, will tackle the challenge of supporting artist space within city limits. A panel of experts—President and CEO of Abdo Development Jim Abdo, Interim Executive Director of CulturalDC Travis Bowerman, Associate Director of Citywide Planning at the D.C. Office of Planning Kimberly Bowman, and artist Maggie Michael—will be moderated by Rebecca Sheir, host of WAMU 88.5’s Metro Connection. Expect jokes about how the rent is “too damn high,” if not a stunningly innovative conclusion on just how to prevent creative-class displacement.

“Creating Space for Artists” begins at 6:30 p.m. at the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. $20 for nonmembers; $12 for members and students. (202) 272-2448.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery.