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Society of Arts and Crafts opens at new location in South Boston Waterfront

October 7, 2016

Arts and Culture

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Arts and Culture

Mayor Walsh says the opening will further establish the area as a 'cultural destination.'

BOSTON - Thursday, October 6, 2016 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the opening of the new home of the Society of Arts and Crafts, the nation's oldest craft nonprofit. The winner of an open competition conducted by the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA), the Society of Arts and Crafts advocates for and showcases the work of contemporary craft artists.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh Cuts the Ribbon for the Opening of the New Space in Seaport

"The opening of the Society of Arts and Crafts gallery brings another cultural institution to the South Boston Waterfront, further establishing the area as a cultural destination," said Mayor Walsh.  "We look forward to seeing the incredible exhibition and programming that this institution will offer."

The Society of Arts and Crafts was selected for the Pier 4 civic/cultural space after a competitive request for information (RFI) process last summer.  Mayor Walsh and the BPDA conducted this public process to solicit citywide interest and ideas to encourage Boston's waterfront to be active and inclusive.  With today's opening, the Society of Arts and Crafts joins other major cultural and civic waterfront destinations, including the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston Children's Museum, Boston Tea Party Museum, Community Boat Building, Artists for Humanity, Midway Studios, and the Fort Point Arts Community.

"We are incredibly excited to bring the Society of Arts and Crafts to the Seaport," said Fabio J. Fernández, Executive Director of the Society of Arts and Crafts. "The larger space provides us with opportunities to advance public appreciation of fine craft by offering additional programming and exhibitions. We look forward to welcoming residents of South Boston, across the city and beyond to the new home of the Society of Arts and Crafts."

In its new location, the Society of Arts and Crafts will expand its reach and become a center for the craft and design community, connecting students, artists, collectors, and the public. Planned retail and exhibition galleries will show larger and more experimental work and the outdoor civic plaza will allow for collaborative and educational programming, and exhibitions can expand into this space to include public sculpture.

The 20,000 square feet of civic and cultural space at Pier 4 is part of a larger plan to activate 127,000 square feet of dedicated interior public civic and cultural space along the waterfront, as envisioned by the municipal harbor planning process that the BPDA has led with the community. An additional RFI for a 13,000 square foot space at Fan Pier is expected to be released this fall.

The opening is also a step forward in the implementation of the Boston Creates Cultural plan.

"Keeping artists in Boston and creating ways to allow them to showcase their work and thrive is one of the key goals of the cultural plan. We are also striving to ensure that cultural organizations have sustainable, affordable spaces where they can provide access to the arts to all the residents of and visitors to Boston," said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston.

The Boston Creates Cultural Plan was created out of a year-long community engagement effort designed to help local government identify cultural needs, opportunities, and resources and to prioritize, coordinate, and align public and private resources to strengthen cultural vitality over the long term. The full cultural plan can be found online.