Boston Globe: North Adams rebounds with art, education

Throughout Massachusetts, the message rings true: art builds community!

Brian MacQuarrie of the Boston Globe wrote an in-depth piece about the role of art in raising North Adams to become a cultural destination and an economic driver in the Berkshires. Prior to the city's arts & cultural prominence, North Adams faced tough economic times: 

"When the bustling mills here sputtered and failed over the last several decades, much of the soul of North Adams went with them. Residents dispersed, unemployment soared, and rates of teenage pregnancy and domestic violence followed suit." North Adams rebounds with art, education," The Boston Globe

When the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) opened over a decade ago, it sparked a transformation: galleries and art venues began to sprout up downtown and flesh out the local arts scene. Now home to 21 galleries and museums as well as 10 pieces of public art, the city's enriching experiences attract tourists and art enthusiasts alike.

“It’s kind of an amazing thing to have a depressed town reinvigorated through art,” said Jonah Emerson-Bell, a designer working at MASS MoCA.

Local colleges like the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts also deserve recognition. With its concentration of young talent and enthusiasm, MCLA has become a vibrant, innovative partner to the city. As an institution, MCLA also feeds into to the local economy through its pertinent investment plans. Its recent $30 million science center promises to bring in more money and create local jobs. 

To read more about this story, read Brian MacQuarrie's article over at the Boston Globe

As neighborhoods, cities, and regions around the Commonwealth move forward in times of economic uncertainty, narratives like this prove there is a lesson to glean from the creative sector: if nurtured, arts and culture can serve as a transformative tool in building community.  

 

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