Space is a strategic imperative for a majority of cultural organizations—places to work, make, perform, and gather. However, space requires long-term thinking and capital. Rather than owning or leasing for long-term benefit, most nonprofits seek short-term gains. After all, real estate is risky, and nonprofits are rarely rewarded by funders and grantors for spending on overhead.
Add the fact that affordable space to buy or lease is exceedingly hard to come by in Massachusetts and it’s clear that the real estate world is designed for individuals and corporations, not for nonprofits. This reality leaves mid-size organizations insecure in their future and denied the full value of real estate, such as appreciation or future income streams.
At the A&BC, we want to end this vicious cycle. Our Creative Campus initiative is dedicated to developing and owning creative real estate projects, we seek to eliminate barriers for smaller organizations and individual artists to access safe, affordable, long-term, flexible space.
The A&BC and Creative Hub are currently working to revitalize one of Worcester’s greatest assets and establishing a unique artists’ community and creative space. The former Boys Club at 2 Ionic Avenue, now vacant and desperately in need of rehabilitation, is preparing for a complete transformation into the Creative Hub Community Arts Center—a dynamic space for artists, creative entrepreneurs, and community members to work, make, collaborate, perform, and attend events in a vibrant, multi-purpose environment.
Rendering of the forthcoming Creative Hub Worcester by Studio DRAW.
Creative Campus initiatives are supported by a multidisciplinary team with expertise in real estate development, architecture and construction, historic preservation, financing and funding, cultural planning and placemaking, and arts programming.
For many artists, the pandemic has provided a silver lining for those seeking the time to create new work and seek out unconventional opportunities. For 2017 Walter Feldman Fellow Jessica Tam, the lack of crowds…
Candelaria Silva-Collins is a consultant, facilitator, and nonprofit professional based in Boston, MA. She has administered an award-winning cultural economic development program that informs her consulting practice, and, for the last seven years, has been…