AFH Expansion and Cultural Ecosystems

Artists for Humanity broke ground last week on a 30,000 square foot expansion of their headquarters at the edge of the Seaport in South Boston. The physical expansion will allow them to employ twice as many teen artists and open a Makers Studio where members can take classes and access art resources and equipment. 

 A rendering of the new expanded Epicenter at the corner of W. 2nd Street at A Street in South Boston.

A rendering of the new expanded Epicenter at the corner of W. 2nd Street at A Street in South Boston.

This expansion comes at time of massive growth, especially commercial growth, in the surrounding neighborhoods of the Epicenter and throughout Boston. The New York Times reported last week that "Boston is riding the crest of what city officials say is the biggest building boom in its history, with cranes lifting glassy towers into place and raising the city’s unassuming profile." Much of this growth is in the Seaport and South Boston. 

With its new programming, especially the Makers Studio, AFH will be able to better partner with all of the companies that have moved into the area (a few examples - GE, Amazon, and Reebok). 

All of this is also happening in the context of a push for better public spaces in these same neighborhoods. This is all giving me hope that what has so far been largely commercial and residential development will start to give way to a cultural ecosystem in this area that we haven't seen since Fort Point was a true artists' community decades ago. 

 Construction in the Seaport. Kayana Szymczak for The New York Times.

Construction in the Seaport. Kayana Szymczak for The New York Times.

I look forward to seeing how all of this plays out.