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Creative Campus
An Equity-Based Cultural Land Trust for Advancing the Creative Economy

Systemic inequities and limited access to capital have prevented artists and cultural organizations from securing one of their most important strategic imperatives: space. A tectonic shift is required to support independent artists and cultural organizations and ensure they can remain in the communities they serve.

WHAT WE DO
Creative Campus is a mission-driven, impact-investing real estate initiative focused on the creative economy.

We provide access to affordable, permanent, equitable, quality space to foster the growth of the creative sector and promote economic, social, and community development.

We achieve this by offering a land trust model that ensures the perpetual availability of creative spaces and serves as a framework for generational investment and legacy planning. Informed by the needs of our constituents, our Cultural Land Trust enables us to secure and steward affordable, inclusive spaces for artists, arts and cultural organizations, and local community members.

Through the lens of the creative economy, our Cultural Land Trust promotes:

  • Sustainable community development
  • Spatial justice for workplace access and affordability
  • Small business development
  • Historical preservation
  • Environmental and green building
  • Opportunities for direct ownership and wealth-building
Why We Do It
Creative Campus is a mission-driven, impact-investing real estate initiative focused on the creative economy.

In the past decade, Greater Boston lost hundreds of thousands of square feet of affordable space for the Creative economy. To address this crisis, we secure pathways to capital for securing and developing safe, affordable, equitable, and permanent maker spaces that build community. Broadly speaking, we support culturally rich and diverse communities by addressing the negative consequences of gentrification.

Current Realities
  • A tectonic shift is required to support small arts and cultural organizations and artists to create genuinely sustainable communities.
  • Artists and cultural organizations have disproportionately experienced systemic inequities, limiting their growth and resulting in their inability to remain in the communities that they serve.
  • Lack of access to capital has prevented artists and cultural organizations from securing one of their most important strategic imperatives: space.
  • Artists and art organizations have a strong need and desire for space but currently have limited access to internal capacity, real estate expertise, technical skills and board support to solve their long-term strategic space needs.
HOW WE DO IT:
Our systems approach

Our Creative Campus initiative includes close collaboration with community partners, consultants, and advisors. We partner with external stakeholders to analyze complex problems, define potential social impact, design effective solutions, and comprehend the intricate relationships among three primary work areas: needs assessment, technical assistance, and property development. We also collaborate with community leaders, government, artists, art organizations, and a community of expert partners to ensure our offerings are informed, inclusive, equitable, and accessible.

Our systems approach uniquely integrates access to capital and resources; the evolving needs of individuals and smaller arts groups; and the ability to respond to real estate opportunities in competition with market forces.

Needs Assessments

We partner with foundations, cities, towns, for-profit developers, and individual artist cohorts to cultivate research and data and conduct robust assessments to evaluate specific needs and criteria regarding potential real-estate acquisitions. We also offer customized survey development and evaluation to help constituents better understand community needs and preservation opportunities.

Technical Assistance

The A&BC has a 35-year track record of providing legal, business, and fiscal sponsorship education and technical assistance programming. We are building out “space readiness” programming with our partners to assist individual artists, artist cohorts, and small- to mid-size artists organizations. This work will address the need for space planning as it relates to their long-term strategic initiatives.

Property Development

Our mission is to permanently preserve existing artist studios, maker spaces, live-work lofts, and cultural community spaces in the model of a land trust. We also explore the adaptive reuse of existing spaces into dynamic, responsive spaces that meet the changing needs of local communities. We are currently raising funds from impact investors and funders who share our systems approach to addressing the loss of affordable creative space.

OUR CREATIVE SPACES
OUR PIPELINE
Our ImPact

Our Creative Campus initiative includes close collaboration with community partners, consultants, and advisors. We partner with external stakeholders to analyze complex problems, define potential social impact, design effective solutions, and comprehend the intricate relationships among these three work areas. We also collaborate with community leaders, government, artists, and art organizations to ensure our offerings are informed, inclusive, equitable, and accessible.

Our HISTORY

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Our TEAM

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In the Media

Boston Sunday Globe | February 25, 2024

Worcester Business Journal | February 12, 2021

Boston Art Review Reports on Artist Live-Work Space in Boston

The spring/summer 2022 edition of the Boston Art Review is out, and it includes a fantastic feature by Anita Morson-Matra, “Real Talk," that focuses on the state of live-work spaces for artists in Boston.  Anita…

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Preserving 350 Artist Spaces in Lowell

The Arts & Business Council is delighted to announce the preservation of Western Avenue | Studio & Lofts, a vibrant artist community in Lowell, Massachusetts, through purchase of the property as the next phase of…

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Creative Hub Worcester: Providing Art through Challenging Times

In 2016, Stacy Lord and Laura Marotta started 501(c)(3) Creative Hub Worcester (CHW) to bring accessible arts education to the Worcester Area. CHW’s mission is to provide affordable and accessible opportunities in the arts for…

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