The Medford Community Arts Center will be built on Mystic Ave.
After five years of planning, Arts Collaborative Medford (ACM) will enter its next phase and establish a new community arts center in the coming months.
This facility, located at 162 Mystic Ave., Medford, is expected to open in late 2022 or early 2023, following an extensive renovation of a former car dealership.
With a focus on arts and culture, ACM will include a variety of spaces for studios, exhibitions, classes and workshops, and events of all kinds. ACM seeks to become a long-term anchor and catalyst for the arts in Medford and surrounding communities that will welcome a wide range of creators and audiences to participate in its activities.
Arts Collaborative Medford was formed in 2017 to explore the possibility of creating a community arts center. Serving audiences and practicing artists, ACM represents a major addition to the cultural infrastructure of the region, which has long needed more reliable and accessible spaces. The arts center will be 10,000 square feet over two floors and will include a large open event space on the ground floor, classrooms, several multi-purpose rooms, as well as rental studios for artists.
The arts center is made possible through the support and partnership of Theory Wellness, a licensed cannabis brand that will occupy a retail dispensary in a separate space at the rear of the site. Theory Wellness is donating the arts center space and paying for the cost of its renovation as part of its community agreement with the City of Medford. Additionally, Theory raised $7,000 for ACM through a 10% stipend of sales from its mission-driven brand of mints known as Statemints.
Theory CEO Brandon Pollock said, “We are thrilled to support Arts Collaborative Medford and we can’t imagine a better organization to share our new home on Mystic Avenue with. Theory has spent over a year getting to know the city’s incredibly talented and passionate arts community, and can’t wait to see the city’s first arts center come to life. »
ACM President Laurel Siegel believes the opportunity to realize this vision for the arts will be transformative: “We are extremely grateful to Theory Wellness for their generosity in providing us with the space. Having a home for the arts in Medford has long been a dream for so many, and we are thrilled to be able to make it a reality by creating a welcoming space where all members of the community can enjoy and explore arts and culture.
Other community leaders have also expressed strong support. Sophy Tuttle, co-chair of the Medford Arts Council and prominent local artist, understands firsthand the difference ACM will make for many individuals and groups who need spaces where they can share and enjoy the city’s vibrant arts scene: ” With the opening of the ACM facility this year, we will have a valuable resource right here in our own community.When people come to us for a space for workshops, get-togethers, performances or exhibitions, we will be proud to be able to refer them to Medford’s own arts complex.
May Marquebreuck, a volunteer and patron of the arts in Medford, helped found and inspire multiple arts initiatives in the city and made a significant donation to kick-start the center’s first year. She sees the ACM as an important civic space, enabling social interaction and fostering dialogue through the arts across generations, ethnicities, race and gender: “Art plays an important role in our lives and in society because it has the potential to unify, to build bridges by bringing together diverse cultures and to strengthen communities. Art can be inspiring, sometimes emotional, and can enrich our lives. It is so exciting to know that Medford’s artistic community will finally have a home, fulfilling a long-held dream for many residents and artists.
In 2022, ACM became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. It includes representatives from CACHE in Medford, ArtsMedford, the Medford Arts Council and other key players in the local arts and culture community. Former Councilman Michael Marks and current Councilor Rick Caraviello also provided guidance for several years and were instrumental in introducing Theory Wellness to ACM.
Grants and private donations are used to equip the arts center, with space rental fees to support ongoing maintenance and operations. ACM accepts tax-deductible donations to fund its start-up and ongoing operations. You can learn more about ACM at acmedford.org, or follow him on Facebook (@ArtsCollaborativeMedford) or Twitter (@artscollabmdfd).