My name is Julia Luft and I am a recent grad from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. This is the first year that I am not fortunate enough to have an artistic community supplied through academia. I am trying very hard to become an active member of the artist communities in Boston, but I am having a hard time for a number of reasons, mainly being that I, along with my fellow graduates, have no where to go.
I have looked into the Boston Arts and Culture department and only saw "affordable live/work space" listings that were nothing near what I could afford and furthermore, they had outstanding waitlists that more established artists have seniority for. I am a young artist with a lot of time and energy to contribute to the emerging arts but have no aide in doing so.
Mayor Walsh's "Housing a Changing City: Boston 2030" publication states that the city's goal is to accomplish, "strategic acquisition in order to lessen the impacts of gentrification....[and] creating opportunities for young, emerging artists to have live-work space, or creating innovative spaces where young entrepreneurs can cluster together and engage in their work." I have sought out such spaces mentioned and found them on Brookside ave in Jamaica Plain. Shortly after discovering these artist spaces, I found that 120 Brookside Ave was bought by developers to be made into luxury condos and is scheduled to be demolished in early 2018.
I urge you to revisit Mayor Walsh's publication that explicitly states that Boston is trying to prevent the impacts of gentrification. Not even four months out of school and I am already seeing the horrific impacts of gentrification on lower income artist communities. I worry for the future of myself and my fellow young artists.
It is to my knowledge that 128 Brookside is one of the last artist buildings of its kind and is in danger of a similar fate to its neighbor at 120.The arts are imperative to the culture and cultivation of the city. Please help us work together in saving these existing artist spaces in order to retain and maintain the creative economy and communities in Boston.
Thank you for your time.