We are poised and ready to for a growth spurt this Spring! We will be building a second room and a convenient bathroom! Wahoo! To support local music education and this beautiful creative space, please contribute here and/or share widely. Many Thanks!
Let me tell you a story about the Department of Public Art, a small independently ran music studio space right in the heart of Somerville, on Highland ave. Today I write asking you to become part of our story, and support the ability for the space to become fully functional instead of operating at half capacity. But I get ahead of myself…
Let me first show you what we have done thus far.
In January of 2016, the Department of Public Art slowly opened doors, with trash bags still over the windows, and the ceiling still being put in place. Before we opened doors however, we had to gut the space, to deal with extensive water and mold damage which took place during the prior lessee’s time in the space.
There was a lot of work to be done, but we knew the space was an opportunity we could not pass over.
With determination and a group of good friends we watched the space grow and develop.
The primary usage of the studio is by WholeTone Music Academy, “a nurturing and radplace to Grow in Self & Sound!” headed by the incomparable Nora Maynard, and a crew of talented and caring musicians, committed to developing community inclusive holistic learning environments.
She and the other teachers have been devoted to making the space as wonderful as it can be through their own efforts, including picking up hammers and crowbars, or bringing in equipment (like a grand piano) to further the spaces usability, comfort, and value. An entire crew of people pulled together to make the space, not necessarily as fancy as it could be, but a warm and inviting environment. The outpouring of care and energy was truly inspiring.
We put a pin in our build when we ran out of steam, both personally and financially, and what we have is a wonderful space which daily supports music and education in Somerville.
Now, in 2017, we really need to move forward, and that is where you come in.
Wait, did I not mention there is an ENTIRE second room?? Well I probably didn’t mention it as, beyond gutting it to the cinder blocks, it hasn’t really been, well, a useable room.
The studio has grown to the point where we absolutely have to get this second room up and functioning, and unfortunately, as is the case with small businesses, we are still paying off the debt from the materials for the first round of construction: it simply isn’t in the cards for us to finance this fully by our own means.
In addition to what you can see here, there are a short-list of “must have” upgrades the space direly needs to be able to move forward and continue to grow, including:
-A Door with Keypad Entry, so users may access the space without a physical key (which is a security issue)
-Glass Brick to replace a Window which has made it through its last winter.
-A Bathroom (did I mention, there is no bathroom, and we’ve been making use of the bathroom in the house attached? As that is my house, it isn’t too much of a bother, for me, but I imagine you can see the potential issues here for the business, and WholeTone Academy’s teachers/students.)
-Piano for the Back Room whatever associated costs may incur (aquisition, moving, tuning)
All told, it sounds like a lot, but we are clever, and skilled, which means what we are asking from our community, the remainder of what is left over after we factor what we can do ourselves or through the work of skilled friends, is $2,500.
In times such as ours it is the communities we build, and support networks we pay into, that have a value beyond measure. In its partially operational state, the Department of Public Art has been able to support everything from lessons, to practice space for professionals, recording space, group lessons, and a weekly Protest Choir Project teaching at a sliding scale aimed at supporting protesters who can lend their voices to the discussions we are all involved in these days, with a focus on empowering the voices of those in underprivileged, POC, Queer & Trans communities. Over the last year we have been pulling together a community we believe in, to create a space of holistic learning, a space musicians can come into to explore their craft and pursue their careers, and to do what piece we can to make sure Somerville continues to be a city supporting the arts.
Hard work but the load to carry is easier, together.
Thank you for your time, and support. If you are able, please contribute to our campaign here.
If you aren’t in a position to donate financially, please share this campaign as widely as you can. Every little bit helps, and that “share” goes a lot farther than you might expect.