I am encouraged that a number of developers have included public art, artist housing, and gallery spaces into their proposals over the past few years, but these few examples do not absolve the displacement felt by our neighbors – including our artist community.
Allston-Brighton has long been a home for working artists. Allston is a central figure in the New England arts community.
From nationally touring acts to bedroom DIY musicians, independent painters and dynamic sculptors, student graphic designers learning their trade to comedians on a dimly-lit stage – everyone’s looking for gigs to support themselves. We must ensure that these creative neighbors have a home that embraces and encourages their talents, while meeting their need for affordable housing!
Capitalizing on and profiting from the rich culture of Allston-Brighton, while not creating housing that is affordable to working artists is both a disingenuous and dangerous path that strips our community of it’s identity. I will not stand for this appropriation as Councilmember.
I will work to build bridges between local artists and artist advocacy organizations like Artist Impact, Allston Pudding, and BRAIN Arts, and the business advocacy groups including the Allston and Brighton Board of Trade, Allston Village Main Streets, and Brighton Main Streets. Members of our business community and artist community can work together on local projects and beautifying our neighborhood.
We must encourage and provide opportunities for our working artists to guide and teach neighborhood youth. Their skills can be passed on to younger generations and build enrichment for a lifetime. The arts are not only personally fulfilling and rewarding, they are a potential career path for many of our young neighbors.
Recognizing and showcasing the diverse talent we have in our district is an important step. When we walk down the street, let our eyes be exposed to their work. When we go out, let us hear their sounds. Allston-Brighton artists deserve the elevation of exposure that makes hard work worth it. To have someone enjoy your work is an unparalleled feeling and we should applaud our artists for all that they do to make Allston-Brighton truly feel like home.