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ArtistLink Grants

Posted by Geoff Edgers  February 29, 2008 12:09 PM

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Eight grants were awarded from the ArtistLink Predevelopment Recoverable Grant Fund. What's that? The funds are meant to help Massachusetts artists, developers and municipalities on building project that "create new jobs, leverage private funding, and expand arts and cultural activities in communities across the state," according to a press release.

The winners (and description from the release):

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
Location: Lynn
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
Location: Malden
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
Location: Chelsea
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
Location: Somerville
Grant: $4500 for code consulting and architecture
Artist 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
Location: Holyoke
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)
Location: Hanson
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.


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About Exhibitionist Geoff Edgers covers arts news for The Boston Globe..

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