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1st Round of Predevelopment Grants
ARTISTLINK TO INVEST $48,500 IN ARTIST SPACES
ARTISTLINK PREDEVELOPMENT RECOVERABLE GRANTS SUPPORT CREATIVE ECONOMY INFRASTRUCTURE IN MASSACHUSETTS
Eight artists, developers and municipalities across Massachusetts will receive grants ranging from $ 4,000 to $ 9,000 from the ArtistLink Predevelopment Recoverable Grant Fund. The grants, totaling $48,500, were announced today by ArtistLink, which administers the program. The funds will support critical predevelopment work on artist spaces across Massachusetts. The complete list of grants is found at the end of this release.
The ArtistLink grants will support Massachusetts artists, developers and municipalities with building projects that create new jobs, leverage private funding, and expand arts and cultural activities in communities across the state. This round of ArtistLink grants was made possible by a $50,000 grant by the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) in September 2007. The fund was launched and guidelines posted online in October 2007. The first round of applications were due December 12th and the Review Panel met on January 16th. For more on the fund please click here.
What are predevelopment recoverable grants? They are small grants to help determine whether a project is feasible and ready to receive financing to begin construction. Predevelopment costs might include architectural plans, marketing plans, environmental studies, building code consultants, or other ‘soft costs.’ The grants are considered recoverable because the expectation is that they will be paid back to the funder if and when the project moves forward. That way, another project can take advantage of these funds. If the project does not move forward, there’s no obligation to pay the funder back.
“Working artists are the backbone of the creative economy in Massachusetts,” said MCC Executive Director Anita Walker. “We're pleased to help ArtistLink support these artists in developing spaces that will revitalize our communities.”
Recipients are located in seven communities statewide from Holyoke to Boston, and run the gamut from a sculpture studio in Chelsea expanding its space to a new music rehearsal and community center in Dudley Square. The artist-owned Paper City Studios LLC in Holyoke will use a $4,000 grant to figure out how to convert their building for artists working and living within the building code. In Boston, Channel Center LLC will use a $9,000 grant to create a marketing plan for the transformation of a historically significant building in Fort Point into a center for local creative businesses and artists. In downtown Lynn, Lynn Investing in Neighborhoods Corp. will use a $4,000 grant to complete architectural drawings for a potential affordable artist live/work rental building in the upper floors of a 25,000 -square-foot former shoe factory building.
ArtistLink received funding requests totaling $80,000 for this first round. ArtistLink recruited six experts with experience in facilities finance, real estate project management, construction, facilities operations, organizational development, grant making and historic renovation and preservation, to review and rank the applications using a weighted set of criteria. Award decisions were based on the recipients’ ranking. Maximum awards are capped at $9,000. Grants announced today must be matched one-to-one by the recipient.
Channel Center LLC
Location: Fort Point, Boston
Grant: $9,000 for market study
Artist Space Type: Artist studios for rent and creative business office space
Project Summary: Fort Point neighborhood-based artists and creative businesses purchased this building to provide affordable space for displaced Fort Point artists and creative businesses. The building is 5 floors with a basement, 4,000 sf per floor - 23,000 sf total. It is located very close to Midway Studios and is in excellent shape. The building will be fully commercial space, included in the plan are discounted artist workspace, a community conference/gathering space, a restaurant, and space for creative businesses. Funding will be used to help market the property to the neighborhood.
Lynn Investing In Neighborhood Corp. CDC
Grant: $4,000 architectural design fees.
Artist Space Type: 6 live/work rentals
Project Summary: This project aims to provide 14 low-cost highly-subsidized living and working rental units on the upper floors of a 25,000 SF former downtown factory loft building in the old shoe-manufacturing core of Lynn. The units will be deed restricted to remain affordable. Funding will be used for initial architectural designs.
Malden Redevelopment Authority
Grant: $5,000 for pre-marketing and outreach
Artist Space Type: 8-10 Affordable Live/Work condos
Project Summary:This project aims to provide 8 to 10 low-cost highly-subsidized living and working units in a former convent recently purchased by the City of Malden. The convent contains approximately 9000 sf on three levels above a usable basement. The proposed layout creates separate living and working spaces, but they are always in close proximity. The units will be deed restricted to remain affordable. The units are intended to sell for as little as $100,000. The funding will be used to support pre-marketing in order to make sure that the project meets the artist community’s needs.
New England Sculpture Service
Grant: $4,000 for code analysis, architectural plans and construction cost estimation
Artist Space Type: Artist studios for rent
Project Summary: The NESS is a high functioning professional sculpture production shop which owns a building in which they currently only utilize the first floor. The need to have a code consultant help them understand how to access and use their second floor are for artist rental studios space, while maintaining a casting operation in the same structure. The building contains 21,400 sf in two adjoining buildings. Funding will be used for this structural analysis.
Northern Lights Studios
Grant: $4500 for code consulting and architectureArtist Space Type: Artist studios for rent
Project Summary: This project is a group of displaced artists assembling a new floor of rental space in an industrial building for studios. The building is a very plain and simple two-story industrial structure built in the sixties, and located about ¼ mile from Brickbottom. The proposed space consists of 9300 SF on the upper floor and is served by two stairs leading directly to private street-front doorways. There is also a roll-up door opening to the side driveway through which large or heavy objects can be lifted in. 10 studios are currently proposed, although this number may grow if people want smaller spaces.
Paper City Studios
Grant: $4,000 for code review and architectural schematics
Artist Space Type: Artist studios and live/work for rent
Project Summary: The building, 80 Race Street, is approximately 36,000 square feet in area on four floors, fronting on a canal. This building was recently purchased by two artists from Easthampton. The building already has several functioning artist studios in provisional spaces, and they are looking to open up other parts of the structure to new artists. The funding will support a code consultant to create a plan for a safe and finance-able studio and live/work building.
Location: Dudley Square, Boston
Grant: $9,000 for architecture, engineering, and market study
Artist Space Type: Music rehearsal, recording and performance space
Project Summary: Polyrhythm is a well-conceived vision for a new community music center in Roxbury. It is being developed by music/architect who wants to create a place where local musician and the local community can interact and learn music together. There’s music rehearsal, music recording, performance space, a restaurant, and music educational programming planned. The existing buildings contain 24,000 SF of which about 17,000 SF will be rentable to studios, classrooms and retail space. Funding will help pay for a market study to support the financing of the project, and also architectural fees.
South Shore Advocacy for Arts Studios
(Ed O’Connell, owner)
Grant: $9,000 for code consulting, architecture, engineering
Artist Space Type: Artists studios for rent, gallery and workshops
Project Summary: In July of 2007, 150 artists lost their studios in the Codman Building, a large mill building in Rockland, as it was converted to condos. Some of these artists formed a new active group, South Shore Advocacy for Art, and are interested in finding new permanent space for artists on the South Shore. Ed Hanson owns this unique building and is interested working with SSAFA to convert it into artist studios and ultimately into an arts center with teaching/gallery/workshop space. The building is a relatively new structure of about 26,000 sf on three levels that was designed for retail use. The proponent is willing to use his own money to do repairs and build out studio spaces, but life-safety and mechanical issues have to be determined before construction of safe studio space can commence. Funding will be used to determine these structural issues.
About the Sponsors
ArtistLink is a collaborative initiative to help improve support systems for Massachusetts artists. ArtistLink takes a leadership role on artist space by providing individual artists, developers, and municipalities with information, technical assistance, and other forms of support. ArtistLink was formed through the collaborative effort of Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC), the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), The Boston Foundation, the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), LEF Foundation, Boston Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), The Mayor’s Office of Arts, Tourism and Special Events, and the Barr Foundation. It was catalyzed by a grant from Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC).
The Massachusetts Cultural Council is a state agency that promotes excellence, access, education and diversity in the arts, humanities, and sciences to improve the quality of life for Massachusetts residents and contribute to the state’s economic vitality. MCC is committed to building a central place for arts and culture in the everyday lives of communities through a combination of grants, services, and advocacy for cultural organizations, schools, and artists. MCC receives an annual appropriation from the state Legislature and funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and other sources.
New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) has been a significant cultural force since 1975, when it was created as one of six regional arts organizations nationwide. Through extensive funding, advocacy, and networking efforts, NEFA promotes the creation and distribution of the full range of artistic expression. NEFA is a grantmaker, program initiator, regional laboratory, project coordinator, developer of resources, and builder of creative partnerships among artists, arts organizations and funders. NEFA is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts; the New England state arts agencies; and corporations, foundations, and individuals. NEFA creatively supports the movement of people, ideas, and resources in the arts within New England and beyond, make vital connections between artists and audiences, and build the strength, knowledge, and leadership of the region's creative sector.