STATEMENT for MAYOR WALSH’s JAN 25, 2014 ARTS and CULTURE PUBLIC HEARING

What long-time friend and collaborator Loreto and I are hoping to present at the Mayor Walsh’s Public Hearing on Arts & Culture Saturday am. Hope to see some of you there xx

STATEMENT for MAYOR WALSH’s JAN 25, 2014 ARTS and CULTURE PUBLIC HEARING

Congratulations, Mayor Walsh! Thank you for making time to listen to our thoughts on Arts and Culture in Boston. Conversations like this are crucial to city building.

Loreto P. Ansaldo of Hyde Park and I co-founded a nonprofit named PALESCA. The mission of PALESCA is to create sustainable community by developing multi-modal programs that critically engage the arts and education through social justice.

We are also here representing “Save Our Scene,” a greater Boston initiative spearheaded by almost 700 local artists, specifically performers. We are concerned about access we have professionally to local venues (both public and private) in the very city we work so hard to build up. Boston is celebrated as a destination for its diverse cultural programs. We offer a unique blend of independent cultural experiences that complements the established cultural institutions this city is home to.

As long-time Boston residents, independent working artists, and public school educators, we have the following thoughts to share:

* Communities (including local business owners, the surrounding community, community activist groups, and politicians) need educational briefs (particularly on zoning, noise ordinances, and political lobbying opportunities) detailing how new social policies may affect arts and culture in neighborhoods and how we may all live together.

* Communities also need adequate time to learn about and shape proposed policies so they may form opinions and vote confidently; we need more public meetings and other ways to engage over several months before policies take final shape for effective involvement.

* The City, its businesses and foundations must provide more funding to novel ventures (and not just for long-standing organizations) as a way to encourage young people to stay and innovate in Boston. Comparable US cities offer more funding for the arts than Boston. Startup groups need someone to offer that initial financial support to get off the ground and realize and demonstrate the potential of the work.

* Funders must champion work that intertwines the arts with social justice work such as increasing affordable housing and critically working to provide a high quality education for our children. The arts open up different ways of exploring a situations and many artists want to use their work for positive social change.

“SAVE OUR SCENE” ADDENDUM TO STATEMENT

for MAYOR WALSH’s JAN 25, 2014 ARTS and CULTURE PUBLIC HEARING

The following action items are what local artists have come together to work on to “Save Our Scene”

“Save Our Scene” Draft Mission Statement (Goals for Organization)

  • To connect local musicians with viable and affordable venues appropriate to the act’s size, genre, and fan base.
  • To create a membership community that promotes interaction, community­based, and organizational service.
  • To help members develop and successfully book integrated bills for both established and emerging artists.
  • Secure funding for venue renovation and development, and the organization’s administrative needs.
  • To work with local business owners, the surrounding community, community activist groups, and politicians to preserve and develop sustainable music venues in the greater Boston area.
  • Maintain online presence and resources to promote organizational goals.

Goals for Artists

  • Organize and maintain list of local venues list including room fee, door cut, location, contact information for both owner and promoter/manager, pros, cons, room size, sound system, miscellaneous quirks, what is space suited for.
  • Education around zoning and noise ordinance restrictions
  • Education on council values, goals, and involvement opportunities
  • Education on political lobbying opportunities
  • Emerging artist education and development
  • Community organization of group bills to pitch directly to clubs

Goals for Venues

  • Venue branding for genre to promote a recognizable music scene for fans.
  • Improving viability of existing venues
  • Developing alternate venues
  • Approach owners/managers
  • Completely New Spaces ­ e.g. old CCTV building on Prospect St. in Central Square, being developed by former owner of “All Asia.”
  • Places with a Bar in the front and space in the back ­ e.g. Burren in the back
  • Small spaces for intimate shows or emerging artists ­ e.g. Third Eye Studio, & Outpost 186.

Goals for Neighborhoods & Cities

  • Local community engagement, especially working class and lower income residents who have similar vested interests in preserving non­-gentrified space
  • Connect with pre­existing activist groups
  • Lobbying for city regulations regarding preservation of music performance space.

ORGANIZERS
Deborah Haber, Pampi, Anthony Conley, Meghan Chiampa, and Mick

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