Somerville is blessed with vibrant musical talent showcased each Spring with Porchfest, when local residents host live sets of all kinds on their front steps. There’s also JamSpot, which has provided a local spot for bands to hone their sound since its opening in 2003. Now, a new team of artists and musicians is setting about creating a new rehearsal space on Mystic Ave near Sullivan Square. Known as the Mystic Arts Collective, the space will be a multi-purpose arts venue. While there will be plenty of music going on, there will also be an emphasis on supporting other facets of Boston’s artistic scene, including dance, painting, theatre, poetry and much more.
Currently, the team is seeking crowdfunding help for the project. Now 18 days after the start of their GoFundMe campaign, the group has nearly reached its initial goal of $4,250, the required amount to sign on and reserve the space. Once they hit that figure, they’ll have to raise a further $8,800 for the down payment on the building. Ronnica, one of the team members who has been instrumental in getting this idea of the ground from the start (and a member of local band Mint Green), said, “This idea has been in the back of my mind for a long time. Since many venues in Boston are 18+, 21+, or just not a safe space for LGBTQ+ people, women, or minorities, it’s always been a dream of mine to create a fun, and inclusive venue for all ages.” When Devin Utah posted pictures of the space to the Boston DIY Community group on Facebook, they quickly heard from Ronnica, and a crew was assembled to help realize the vision. Soon, they had added Jess Schmid, another local musician from the band, Ozlo, to help with the preliminary organization and Luke Paulino in an accounting role to keep track of the expenses and figuring out ways that the team can make rent once the space opens up.
The rough breakdown on the GoFundMe page lists the first floor as an event space for concerts, plays, art galleries, classes and more. They’re working on constructing a stage to help with this performance aspect. In the basement, there will be a band rehearsal area and shared studio space. Finally, the second floor will hold four 14×14 studios for rent, plus a shared kitchen area that will surely come in handy during those late night recording/jam sessions!
Once Mystic Arts Collective opens up, they have big plans for its possible uses: “[We] see it also being a resource for people who need a space for community meetings/discussions, cooking classes, painting lessons, poetry readings, literally anything. We want it to be multi-purpose and flexible. Currently, however, we’re on the hunt for an artsy business, organization, startup, or non-profit to rent out the second floor.” There is a clear emphasis in this project on supporting the creative output of the community, so if you’ve got an idea and need a space, then you should absolutely reach out to the team by sending a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also send inquiries by filling out their Google Form.