TEENSPACE, Opening Reception
“The commitment to revitalization is under way” asserted Meri Jenkins, Programme Manager of the Massachusetts Cultural Council during the Opening Reception of DownStreet Art, Thursday June 23, at MCLA Gallery 51.
North Adams is becoming an example of a revitalized city thanks to the use of art as a tool for economic development. “You, as a community, took a bet that art would turn the community around.” Jenkins said.
Stuart Chase, Leslie Ferrin, Helena Fruscio and Meri Jenkins at DownStreet Art
Beyond innovations in housing and public space, DownStreet Art suggests that preserving heterogeneity requires the strengthening of North Adams’s transit system in order to facilitate connections between MASS MoCA and downtown. Such a move would allow people to visit the galleries, shops, and restored Mills that make North Adams unique, yet will continue to be threatened by redevelopment if they remain largely disconnected from the MASS MoCA tourist-heart. By establishing new networks that move and connect people, both physically and intangibly, the city can continue to hold on to its unique diversity and remain a place that attracts a continuous influx of people rather than compels them to make their homes elsewhere.