City of Boston and #ARTSTAYSHERE Coalition announce opening of 88 music rehearsal studios in Dorchester
The City of Boston and the #ARTSTAYSHERE Coalition announced that after a build-out by The Record Co., the interim music rehearsal space at 55 Morrissey Blvd. in Dorchester has opened. The space will host over 500 musicians across 88 rehearsal rooms. The Mayor’s Office worked closely with the #ARTSTAYHERE Coalition, City Councilor Liz Breadon, the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, and the Boston Planning and Development Agency to secure this space as part of the immediate and long-term solutions to the artist displacement happening in Brighton.
In late December, Center Court Mass. LLC came to the aid of hundreds of potentially displaced musicians to rent the former Beasley Media Group site, rehoming those from 155 North Beacon Street in Brighton, which was sold in 2021.
“The arts are a large part of what makes our city special and we must do everything we can to ensure our artists and creatives can afford to stay and thrive in our city,” says Mayor Michelle Wu. “We’re glad all involved were able to provide an interim rehearsal space for so many musicians. We thank Center Court Mass LLC and The Record Co. for coming together so quickly to make the transformation possible.”
“We are glad to help the musicians, in the short term, find a practice space in the City,” said Matthew Snyder of Center Court Mass LLC, owner of the swing space. “Our development won’t begin for a while, so we’re happy to put the space to use until then.”
The 35,000 square foot location once housed commercial radio stations, yielding 88 studios which will house every musician who wanted to relocate from Brighton, among others. Located near the MBTA’s JFK/UMass Station, the building hosts ample free parking, security patrols and cameras, online tenant portal, and will offer on-site recording and streaming studios this spring.
“The opening of 55 Morrissey Boulevard will provide needed stability and affordable rehearsal space for many musicians displaced from 155 North Beacon Street in Brighton,” says Liz Braedon, City Councilor. “I thank the #ARTSTAYSHERE Coalition, The Record Co., Center Court Mass LLC, the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, and all other involved advocates for their collaborative work in realizing this space that will help keep musicians in our City. I look forward to continued collaboration with advocates and community members on future plans for 290 North Beacon Street, a facility in Brighton that will be designed as permanently affordable rehearsal space for Boston musicians.”
The interim space, known as The Record Co. @ 55, offers studios in five sizes with different levels of sound-proofing, from $374-876, with most big enough for multiple bands/musicians. The space will be operated by The Record Co., a nonprofit whose mission is to bring equity and sustainability to Boston’s music community through affordable space to record, rehearse, and gather.
“This is what we do at TRC,” says Matt McArthur, executive director of The Record Co. “We remove barriers for people to make and play music.”
“We’re not just relieved to have space,” says Jim Healey (Blood Lightning, Set Fire, Black Thai, We’re All Gonna Die). “We’re also excited about the work The Record Co. has done both to make the transition smooth and to offer professional security, digital access, room temperature control, online payments, elevator, and a kitchen/lounge area. It’s really starting to feel like the city cares about its musicians.”
"I am honored to have these artists in Dorchester and thank Matt Snyder and our partners at Center Court Mass. LLC for being open to different opportunities and realizing the importance of our artist community in Boston,” said City Councilor Frank Baker.
The New England Musician’s Resource Fund provided moving support for musicians moving from Brighton to Dorchester.
“When we heard about the demolition of the rehearsal space, we knew we needed to step up and help,” said Gabe Rice, President of NEMRF. “We’re here to support New England’s music community and are committed to investing in and advocating for the professionals whose talents bring the music alive.”
“This is one important step toward ending arts/music/cultural displacement in Boston,” shares Ethan Dussault of the #ARTSTAYSHERE Coalition. “Through collaboration among artists, advocates, developers, and government, the tide is starting to change.”
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- Published by: Arts and Culture