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Uphams Corner ArtPlace Cultural Events Update

ArtPlace AmericaRoseanne Foley, Cultural Events and Communications Manager, working under the direction of Max MacCarthy, Uphams Corner Main Street, provided what she termed a "raw flavor for what I have been able to do under the ArtPlace grant." 

What is ArtPlace?  "Uphams Corner ArtPlace is a creative placemaking initiative, but it is complicated for people to understand from the outside especially because of all the partners involved - Main Street, DSNI, DS4Si and others."  "Unless members of the community understand what the initiative is,," she said, they "won't have access to it."  If the initiative "is intimidating, forget it.  People simply won't get involved."  Roseanne sees Main Street as providing a particularly important role because both the office and Max are accessible.

The recent art popup event that took over the Main Street office for one week is "one of the best things that has happened in Uphams Corner.  We are trying to get people to access what is going on and to participate so they (members of the community) will feel emotionally invested."  How well attended was it?  "Not as well as the Publick Kitchen but well enough - 40 to 50 / day."  She added:  "We missed the importance of food to drawin the crowds to an event like this."


Emphasis on Social Media Communications

Roseanne is a big supporter of Social Media.  ArtPlace has both a Facebook page and a Twitter handle.  "If you are not active in social media, then you start falling off."  And what does that mean?  Someone on the Board wanted to know.  "Funders pay attention to how much presence a nonprofit has online.  If their only presence is their website and there is no buzz - no one is talking about what they are doing, then," she said, "the group's importance is discounted."

She also reported on one of the ArtPlace work groups.  "Actual artists are ready to install art in some of the storefront windows, mostly on Columbia Road but  some on Dudley St."  Max said that Uphams Corner will be having a whole slate of activities over the summer and will be putting out information soon.  One board member encouraged him:  "Make it simple - no booklet, just one page that lets people in the community know what's going on."

The Boston Foundation is coordinating the $480,000 one-year grant from ArtPlace which was announced in June 2012.  The goal is to catalyze a 'cultural economy' with art installations, outdoor markets, local business activities and 'random acts of culture' in and around the historic Strand Theatre and Uphams Corner Fairmount Line stop.  The goal is to revitalize the Uphams Corner community and to serve as a pilot for similar efforts along the Fairmount/Indigo Line corridor's ethnically diverse neighborhoods.  For more information on the grant, click here.



Posted: May 22, 2013     Nancy J Conrad


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