By Mayor Gary Christenson and City Councillor Amanda Linehan
We are thrilled to announce that on Wednesday, August 3, Governor Baker signed into law a bill authorizing the Commonwealth to sell the Malden District Courthouse to the City of Malden to convert it into the Malden Center for Arts and Culture. Special thanks to our legislators, Representatives Paul Donato and Steve Ultrino, for leading this effort in the State House.
The timing of this announcement could not be more perfect as earlier this week we published a draft of the concept plan for the redevelopment of the property. We began developing this plan one year ago in collaboration with our Steering Committee of arts and cultural leaders and our partners at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and the Boston Society for Architecture. The plan is a roadmap for how we can create the Arts Center and plans for everything from what programming it will host to how it will fund itself.
The Malden Center for Arts and Culture will be a multicultural, multimedia, visual and performing arts center with both local and regional programming that will serve Malden artists and the community at large. The Center will include flexible spaces that can host activities ranging from classes and workshops to makers markets and performances. We incorporated public input during every step of the planning process, a commitment that has shaped the Concept Plan and made sure that it reflects the community’s vision for the space. The Center will be inclusive, accessible, equitable, and versatile, balancing community programming with revenue generating events to maintain financial sustainability.
While we are excited to share this milestone with you, there is much more work to do before the Center can open. Now that we have the Governor’s approval, we can move forward with the acquisition of the building, which we hope to finalize this fall. Once we own the property, we will work to determine what changes we need to make to the building and what the business model will look like. The long-term plan is for the city to own the Center and contract with an experienced arts nonprofit to run it on a day-to-day basis.
We are incredibly proud of the progress we have made and are excited to share a draft of the concept plan with you. You can read the draft by going to cityofmalden.org/915/Project-Updates and submit comments directly on the project website or by email to Evan Spetrini, a Senior Planner with the City, at firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, August 15. You can also come talk to us in person at the next Summer Festival on August 13th. We look forward to hearing your thoughts and continuing to work with you to make the Center a reality.
Pictured: Conceptual rendering by UX Architecture Studio