The A&BC is excited to announce it has acquired the former Boys Club of Worcester building at 2 Ionic Avenue and its adjacent parking lot as part of our new initiative to own and develop affordable, safe, creative spaces for artists and arts organizations in under-resourced communities. This is the first project of our Creative Campus initiative and will be home to Creative Hub Worcester, a nonprofit committed to creating a dynamic, multi-purpose arts space that serves emerging and established artists, at-risk youth, and the Worcester community at large. The complete restoration of the 30,000-square-foot building will include artist studios, an art gallery, a performing arts space, youth arts education programs, and two event spaces, including a 4,000-square-foot space on the rooftop.
We believe that safe, affordable spaces for artists and arts organizations are essential to the vibrancy and diversity of a community. Essential to achieving that goal are well-resourced, long-term solutions that include the preservation of properties like these and committed partners like Creative Hub Worcester.
Laura Marotta, President of the Massachusetts Art Education Association, and Stacy Lord, an award-winning arts educator in Worcester and co-founder of the “stARTon the Street” non-profit arts festival, co-founded Creative Hub Worcester in July 2015 to nurture the city’s burgeoning creative economy with affordable spaces to host children’s after-school programs and community events.
We are also very fortunate for another major player behind the project. Peter Heaney, who owned the building, was debating what to do with the space when Lord and Marotta contacted him, and he immediately embraced the project. Through his construction firm, he made extensive improvements to prepare the building for this endeavor.
The design phase for this project kicks off next month, and renovations are planned to be complete by fall 2018. We look forward to sharing updates with you along the way! Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this exciting milestone.