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Malden opens applications for Arts Center Advisory Committee

Applications Advisory Committee
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  Mayor Gary Christenson has announced the creation of the Malden Center for Arts and Culture Advisory Committee. The seven-member Committee will be a group of Malden residents that will, in partnership with the City of Malden, ensure that the redevelopment and future operations of the Malden Center for Arts and Culture remain consistent with the vision and values for the space established in the concept plan. The City is now soliciting applications from interested residents to serve on the Committee for a three-year term.

  Project background and progress: The City of Malden is working to redevelop the decommissioned Malden District Courthouse on Summer Street into the Malden Center for Arts and Culture. In May 2021, Mayor Christenson formed a Steering Committee led by Ward 3 Councillor Amanda Linehan and a diverse coalition of arts and cultural leaders and practitioners. The Steering Committee worked with Malden’s Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), the Boston Society for Architecture (BSA), UX Architecture Studio and Silverman Trykowski Associates to create a concept plan based on broad community input.

  The concept plan provides a roadmap for the redevelopment of the former Malden District Courthouse into an arts center to serve Malden residents and surrounding communities. The plan was finalized after a year-long community engagement process that included a citywide survey of artist space needs, multiple focus groups with community groups and artists and an outdoor cultural festival. The Steering Committee adopted the following vision statement for the center:

  The Malden Center for Arts and Culture will be a memorable destination for performing and visual arts for Malden residents and visitors. The building will be a hub for creative practice and community engagement and create a warm and inviting atmosphere where everyone feels welcome. From Malden youth recording and producing music to arts working in digital media studios to theater and dance performance offerings, the space will be a dynamic center of creative activity in Malden.

  In addition to the community engagement work the Steering Committee led, the concept plan is also based on research into similar cultural centers and arts spaces. The Committee and the consultant partners have tried to find a model for how the building can meet community needs and desires for the space, while also generating enough revenue to sustain itself. The final concept plan is available to view on the project webpage: https://www.cityofmalden.org/915/Project-Updates.

  The City is currently working with the Commonwealth to finalize the acquisition after the Governor approved the sale of the property in August 2022. Reportedly, the acquisition will be completed in early 2023.

  Advisory committee role: The Committee will primarily be tasked with overseeing the Operator to make sure the Malden Center for Arts and Culture stays true to the vision and values set in the concept plan. The Operator will be selected through a competitive procurement process managed by the City. The Committee will serve as the selection committee and make recommendations to the City on which proposal best meets the criteria set forth in the Request for Proposals (RFP). The Operator, when selected, will be required to adhere to certain performance metrics, which will be reviewed by the Committee periodically.

  During the redevelopment phase of the project, the Committee will receive updates from the City and the Operator and make recommendations on design, fundraising and community outreach as needed.

  Committee members will be appointed by the Mayor and serve three-year terms.

  Who are we looking for? Malden artists and cultural leaders are encouraged to apply, especially those with knowledge of arts facilities and nonprofit operations. Youths, Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) community members and immigrants are especially encouraged to apply. The Committee will be reflective of Malden’s artistic and cultural diversity. Advisory Committee members must commit to attending quarterly meetings, which will most likely be held on weekday evenings. Please note: If you or an organization that you are affiliated with is planning to submit a proposal to be the Operator of the building, you should NOT apply to serve on the Advisory Committee.

  How to apply: Please send a cover letter and resume to Senior Planner & Policy Manager Evan Spetrini at espetrini@cityofmalden.org. In your cover letter, be sure to state why you would like to serve on the Committee and what expertise you would bring to the group.

  Applications will be accepted until January 5, 2023. Candidates will be interviewed as a part of the selection process.

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