The Foundry for the Arts
The Foundry for the Arts
The Foundry, dream of a Special Place
If you've followed me, you know the Foundry building, at the corner of 3rd street and Roger. The Foundry is a 50,000 sqft building donated to the city by Alexandria Real Estate, the company now building all those beautiful lab spaces on Binney st. This donation occurred because East Cambridge residents got heavily involved in trying to get proper compensation for the up zoning given to Alexandria. In this deal, the park opposite the Foundry was also given to the city, with a $1.5 million for planning and construction of a new green space in East Cambridge.
The building ownership was transferred to the city in January of 2012. I don't know the exact date, but $1 million was giving to the city in 2011 for planning of the new park facility. Since then, the planning for the park and Foundry have moved at a snail pace (a very slow snail), not unusual and so frustrating. The city, to date, has spent close to $240,000 to maintain the Foundry. As for the planning on the park, if you heard anything let me know...
Because of some absurd politicking, the building was not, in the zoning, entirely dedicated to the community, only 10,000 square feet, an arbitrary amount, chosen by whom, nobody knows, or would tell.
The city is now considering usage for the Foundry and ECPT (east cambridge planning team) is doing the same. Unfortunately, both are working under the assumption that building cannot be housing community oriented projects alone, businesses must be a part of the equation.
Well, I forcefully disagree, the mere concept of having businesses in the Foundry makes me more than a little sick... I find it offensive. You might ask, but why... the answer is simple, businesses are taking over our neighborhood, transforming East Cambridge in a dorm for enterprises.
East Cambridge is my home. I've been a resident here for 11 years now and the longer I Iive here the more I love it. I want East Cambridge to keep it's charm and character. Its amazing community to have the tools and spaces to grow and thrive. The elders to have a place to gather, the kids a place to hang out, learn and play....
My vision for the Foundry, the entire building, not just 10,000 sqft, is an Art/Community Center, where all the non profit organizations, of our dear city, would have a home.. artist loft spaces, an art gallery... I want the Foundry to be a special place, a very special place. Art is as essential to our daily life as business. There is enough businesses in our neighborhood, let make room for Art. Although I keep on saying 'my neighborhood', this project will affect the whole of Cambridge, all cantabridgians, so don't feel excluded by my language...
In the next months, I will put out my best effort in order to try to get this to happen. Unfortunately, like everyone, I have to make a living, so I cannot dedicate the time necessary to insure success.. and doing things alone doesn't really make much sense, after all we're a community. So I need your help.
This being an election year, we have power, because ultimately it is the city council, which we elect, which will make the decision. I ask you to join me in this effort. Lets take back the Foundry, and make it what it deserves to be a very special place.
Here is my plan:
1. Contact ecfg and all local community groups and ask for help
2. Door to door petition through out Cambridge to have the whole building dedicated as Art center and forbid sale of said building.
3. CCTV weekly program, I'm still trying to figure out best times, to inform, update and discuss.
4. Get all of Cambridge non profit organizations involved
5. Get Cambridge involve, this is not just an East Cambridge issue
6. Contact news organizations to get coverage.
Throughout I'll be keeping a blog right here... keeping you abreast.
I, we need your help, we need to come together and make this happen. Drop me a mail if you want to join.
Thx for reading and getting involved
To join please contact me at: thefoundry (at) rsmep (dot) com (replace what's in parenthesis for correct address)