Mayor Walsh announces groups selected for Mass Eye and Ear alternative space pilot project

BOSTON –Monday, January 8, 2018 – Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, in collaboration with Massachusetts Eye and Ear, today announced three groups have been selected to participate in the City of Boston’s Alternative Space Pilot Project at Massachusetts Eye and Ear hospital. The Alternative Space Pilot Project is a partnership between the City of Boston and local businesses and institutions, with the goal of making underused private spaces available to artists for free.

“The City of Boston is known for both its incredible arts community and medical institutions, and it’s great to see these sectors work together in such a mutually beneficial way,” said Mayor Walsh. “I am encouraged to see how future partnerships like this one will contribute to the expansion and advancement of arts and culture in Boston.”

The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture and Mass. Eye and Ear released a call for artists in April, encouraging them to apply for a year of free rehearsal space in Mass. Eye and Ear’s Starr Center at 185 Cambridge Street. The two available spaces in the building, the auditorium and the break-out room, are ideal for rehearsals for performing arts groups.

The three arts groups that were chosen are:

  • ParadiseMoves, a diverse collective of Boston artists whose mission is to share stories through movement and to make dance an inclusive and accessible art form.

  • Juventas New Music Ensemble, an organization devoted to providing the best of contemporary music to the Greater Boston area by incubating promising compositional pioneers and exposing audiences to the large range of styles being written today.

  • Boston Lyric Opera, the largest and longest-lived opera company in New England, which incorporates innovative programming and community engagement to redefine the opera-going experience.

“Boston Lyric Opera is delighted to be among the first arts organizations to participate in the Alternative Space Pilot Program,” said Eileen Williston, Managing Director of the Boston Lyric Opera. “We recently held a week-long workshop for our 2018 World Premiere production of Tod Machover’s opera Schoenberg in Hollywood. The working space in the Starr Center is top-notch. We thank Mayor Walsh and Mass Eye and Ear, and look forward to Tod’s work being seen and heard next season.”

The groups were chosen by a selection committee, which included representatives from Mass. Eye and Ear, Stagesource Boston, and Boston Center for the Arts. The committee evaluated the applicants on their space match, demonstration of need, and history of working in Boston.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to be part of this innovative partnership,” said Mass. Eye and Ear President and CEO John Fernandez. At Mass. Eye and Ear, we believe in the power of the arts and are pleased we can offer our auditorium space to support and help develop Boston’s vibrant cultural community.”

The Alternative Space Pilot Project was one of the City’s first steps to implement Boston Creates, Boston’s ten year plan to enhance arts and culture in Boston. The first goal of Boston Creates is to create fertile ground for a vibrant and sustainable arts and culture ecosystem. One of the main strategies for accomplishing this was to support the availability and affordability of cultural spaces in Boston for all types of arts organizations, including rehearsal spaces. Today’s announcement makes progress towards that goal.

“The Alternative Space Pilot Project is our response to one of the biggest arts and culture issues in Boston–the lack of affordable space for artists,” said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture. “It’s great to be able to address this in a way that unites a variety of sectors in Boston, because collaboration and innovation are integral to the advancement of the arts and culture community.”

Earlier this year, two other arts groups, the Equilibrium Ensemble and Castle of our Skins were also selected to receive a year of free rehearsal space at the AT&T flagship store on Boylston Street as part of the Alternative Space Pilot Project.

About the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture (MOAC)
The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture’s mission is to support artists, the cultural sector, and to promote access to the arts for all. The office houses the Boston Cultural Council, the Boston Art Commission, and the Poet Laureate program. Responsibilities include implementing the City’s cultural plan, Boston Creates; commissioning public art, managing the Boston Artist-in-Residence program; curating exhibitions in City Hall; and operating the historic Strand Theater in Dorchester. For more information go to: www.boston.gov/departments/arts-and-culture

About the Boston Creates Cultural Plan

The cultural plan is a ten year plan for supporting arts and culture in the City of Boston. It was created out of a year-long community engagement effort designed to help local government identify cultural needs, opportunities, and resources and to prioritize, coordinate, and align public and private resources to strengthen Boston’s cultural vitality over the long term. The full cultural plan can be found online at http://plan.bostoncreates.org.

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