Making Space for Art

Image is text over a black background. Text says, "Making Space for Art. Securing Cultural Infrastructure in Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville."
Making Space for Art

Making Space for Art: Securing Cultural Infrastructure in Boston, Cambridge & Somerville

Project Overview

The Making Space for Art: Securing Cultural Infrastructure in Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville project is a joint effort by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) and the cities of Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville to establish policies and strategies that expand and protect the region’s cultural infrastructure—the physical spaces used across creative disciplines for making and experiencing arts and culture. By applying a regional lens to the project, MAPC will create guidance and tools to streamline and strengthen cultural planning and policymaking across city lines to make it easier for the users of arts and culture spaces to thrive within a regional ecosystem. The project will be grounded in the creative sector’s experiences; building on past outreach efforts conducted by the three cities, targeted engagement will seek to better understand the needs, priorities and barriers of culture space stakeholders.  

The timeline for this project is August 2022-December 2023. 

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Meeting Materials

February 2023 Meeting
Meeting Materials

November 2022
Meeting Materials

October 2022
Meeting Materials

September 2022
Kickoff Meeting Materials

Project Goals

Icon is a scale, and both sides are equal. Policy

Streamline policy that relates to cultural infrastructure (from preservation to new development incentives) across three Boston region municipalities.

Icon is gear wheel. Processes

Identify and recommend tools and processes to integrate cultural infrastructure policy into existing municipal policy, such as within development review.

Icon is a map. Data

Aggregate and share cultural infrastructure and facilities data across all three cities (Boston, Cambridge, Somerville) in an easy to access and maintain format.

Icon is of two people sanding and an arrow pointing at both of them between them. Partnerships

Strengthen partnerships and align priorities across arts and culture and other municipal departments within and among the three cities.


Regional Policy Recommendations

to maintain and expand access to cultural infrastructure

Built on a synthesis of existing policies and procedures and strengthened by conversations with community stakeholders in Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville, this package will include a framework for shared regional policy goals, briefing papers on priority policy topics; municipal action plans that identify priority actions to be taken by each municipality; and an implementation plan that identifies roles, responsibilities and the timeline for implementing the recommendations. 

Digital Planning Platform

to support cultural infrastructure development and preservation

MAPC’s Digital Services team will prototype a digital platform to support coordination and planning to protect and expand cultural infrastructure. Initial deliverables will include documenting the key problems a platform would help solve as well as developing the prototype and initial data schema, as well as a spec sheet for a minimum viable product (MVP). Municipal partners will have an option to contract with MAPC to build the planning tool as part of project implementation.