2014 Mural Project-Lynn, Mass

The Downtown Lynn Cultural District is happy to announce the 2014 Mural Project. The collective members of the District include a broad range of community organizations including the City of Lynn, the Office of Community Development, Centerboard, the Lynn Museum, LynnArts Inc., and Raw Art Works. 

The DTLCD invites artists to apply for a series of public art projects. These murals, showcased in the Cultural District,  newly dedicated by the Mass Cultural Council, will be an integral component to the redevelopment of Downtown Lynn.

Thanks to a grant awarded by the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) , the District will select four mural projects. Each of the four artists (or artist teams) will receive a $2500 honorarium.

Deadline for Submission Proposals is January 6, 2014. 

To download a PDF of the RFP, click here.

 

 

How does the Creative Economy work?

November 16th marked our 15th show at Visionspace Gallery. With each event, we attract more people and new faces into downtown Lynn. We had another impressive turnout for our Night Light opening.  Over 100 people got to see the fabulous night time photography of artists from all over New England.

Visionspace Gallery Director, Adam Miller, curates group shows as a means to growing and building an audience and giving as many artists as possible a chance to show their work. The happy by-product for us is that every month we have groups of whole new people coming into Lynn. Some have never been and all are delighted that Lynn indeed does NOT live up to its bad reputation. This is important to note. As we all keep working and creating momentum for the arts movement here, the willingness of people to come to our shows will increase that movement ten fold. We’ve already seen it in action. Someone might come for an event and the next time they bring a friend who the next time brings their friend and so on and so on. Word of mouth is the ultimate marketing tool and using it to our advantage is part of the plan.

 The patrons at the show marveled at the breathtaking colors and the clarity of focus to small details that night time photography employs. The absolute beauty of this show is remarkable and the crowd hung around all night enjoying it.

 The street level Visionspace Gallery is starting to draw notice in the gallery scene, evidenced by the 1000+ visitors who have purchased over 100 pieces of art during the past 16 months.

 Many of our attendees ask for directions to local restaurants after the show ends. Visionspace staff direct them to The Blue Ox and now, also to the new Rossetti's on Sutton Street.

 And this is the creative economy in action. We have been saying it for a while. These events are not solely about showcasing art, it is also about creating commerce for the downtown businesses that can serve the needs of the countless people that are coming in to Lynn to see and buy the art.

 At the end of the day, we are all in this together. Collaboration is key, it always is. More art means more people which means more business, which leads to more jobs, which translates to more spending which equals a better local economy. That is how it works, that is the goal so that is what we do. Come see some art!

 

 

Urban Art and Culture

Here at Centerboard, we have noticed that there has been a renewed interest in using art and culture to build stronger communities in urban areas across the country.  In this economy there is not much else for Urban Planners to point to in their revitalization plans, other than art.  Business growth is still sluggish and therefore new jobs are not easily created.

It is our belief that arts and culture projects need to be more than a page in a proposal submitted to the city council. As communities search for competitive advantages they look at what assets they already possess and utilize those assets in the best possible manner. 

What is unspoken in these discussions is that arts and culture programs are relatively cheap in comparison to wholesale urban building and redevelopment. Investing in art initiatives bring together the creative minds of artists and entrepreneurs and promotes outside the box thinking that is needed in times of a prolonged economic slow down.

Lynn has many positive assets. Of course we all know that we have the ocean, Gannon Golf course, Lynn Woods, cool architecture, amazing history and a dense downtown core that is easily accessible via public transportation. The city also has amazing organizations filled with dedicated people who are capitalizing on these assets and creating momentum that will propel the city onto the arts and culture map. As this happens, Lynn will enjoy the draw of people to the city. Whether to a restaurant, an art opening or to see live theater or a historical exhibit, these people will breathe new life into downtown, bringing their spending power with them. Pretty soon existing businesses will begin to flourish and new businesses will open which both lead to job creation. This is the essence of the creative economy.

So the time is now to get on board with the creative train in Lynn! The revival is happening and great things wait in the future. As all of our inner promoters know, the best way to spread the word is to speak the word! Word of mouth has been and always will be the strongest marketing tool out there. So we say to you, come visit downtown Lynn and check out the scene. Tell your friends and bring them too. We have developed a little saying around here and it goes like this. “That’s right, we said Lynn!”

 

Public Art 3.0, Central Square downtown Lynn.  Artist: Adam Miller

Public Art 3.0, Central Square downtown Lynn. 
Artist: Adam Miller

What I Learned from Twitter on my Summer Job

Twitter is a great social networking site. I’ve been using it personally for over a year now. I love tweeting, re-tweeting, favoring my friend’s tweets, all of that good stuff. But I did learn some new things after running Centerboard’s Twitter account as part of my summer job. There is so much more to Twitter than I ever thought.

First off, I was shocked as well as intrigued when I learned that people who work on social media get paid to tweet! This is something I do for my own entertainment, and I never suspected I could get paid for doing something I love. Secondly, after maintaining Centerboard’s Twitter account, I learned that Twitter is just as resourceful as watching the news (if you’re following the right accounts). All of the latest news stories are always being covered by Twitter, all of these fun facts and quotes being posted, staying up to date on all of the other nonprofit organizations, it is truly amazing! Twitter can be used for so much more than your own personal pleasure, and it deserves to be known!

Thanks to Centerboard for an eye opening summer work experience!

-Ethan DeJoie

Social Media Team, Summer Jobs 2013

 

The Big Red Bookshelf

redshelf.jpg

Here at Centerboard, we’ve launched a fairly new program called The Big Red Bookshelf. If you “like” us on Facebook, you’ve already seen some of our postings, but this will give you additional information and hopefully spark some interest among you!
 
Each week Centerboard is receiving 750-1,000 gently used children’s books from More Than Words, a nonprofit social enterprise that empowers youth who are in the foster care system, court involved, homeless, or out of school to take charge of their lives by taking charge of a business. The books we receive are sorted by our dedicated volunteers and redistributed throughout the city to elementary schools, childcare centers and other non-profits.  Our goal is to reach EVERY child in Lynn – from birth to grade 5 – with at least three books during each calendar year.  This is where we need your help!  Can you help us identify opportunities for placement of a Big Red Bookshelf? After placement, we ask that an on-site designee monitor the bookshelf. Ideally, this person – whether staff or volunteer - would straighten up the bookshelf and would be the liaison with Centerboard to let us know when more books were needed.  Currently we have the capacity to deliver 200-300 books per site on an on-call basis. We are also partnering with Lynn Tech, who will be building and painting a dozen Big Red Bookshelves for us to distribute around the city.  We are happily accepting “applications” for those bookshelves at this time as well.
 
We are sorting books into categories as follows:  board books, picture/story books, early readers, chapter books, and reference books (i.e. almanacs, history, geography, biographies, animals, etc. – more appropriate for a library setting).  In addition, we have some beautiful “specialty” books, specifically books in foreign languages – Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Portuguese and even Braille!  We even have some beautiful “coffee table” type books for adults on gardening, art, music and architecture.  We hope to find appropriate homes for all of these books as well. Last but not least, a task of this size requires a lot of peoplepower, so we are actively recruiting volunteers to help with the sorting of the books.  

 So, if you need books or would like to volunteer to help sort books, contact us today! Connect with Sharon at sfosbury@thecenterboard.org. We look forward to hearing from all of you regarding your organization’s interest in participating with us.  Of course, we encourage you to reach out to other non-profits within the city who may not already be on the list, and please feel free to come by and check out OUR Big Red Bookshelf in our lobby at 16 City Hall Square, downtown Lynn!