by Sara Frazier for Cambridge Wicked Local
Cambridge’s Central Square is a well-known artistic hub. As a state-designated arts and culture district, it’s home to popular arts institutions such as the Central Square Theatre Company, ImprovBoston and the Dance Complex.
Recently, though, increasing rents and limited funding for the arts have pushed out several long-standing businesses, such as the EMF music building and Green Street Studios dance space.
As rising costs in Central Square deprive arts agencies of their longtime spaces, a number of organizations are aiming to provide new, shared homes for dance and music groups. But some artists and art advocates say this is not enough.
Green Street Studios announced its closing in early October after 28 years of operating in the city. In a press release, the organization said the closure was due to a significant rent increase after new owners purchased the building. Public response was “surprise, sadness [and] shock,” according to Leah Thiffault, managing director of the studios.
“We know that Green Street is an integral part of Cambridge,” Thiffault said. “And I think the reaction just confirms that Green Street Studios is really embedded in the fabric of Cambridge.”
To tackle the arts crisis, various arts advocacy groups are attempting to find solutions.
The Mayor’s Art Task Force — an advisory committee comprised of 22 city staffers, artists and stakeholders– has debated how the city could support the cultural district. They focused on issues of licensing and permitting as well as funding.
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