Mayor's Arts Task Force - Meeting #9 Notes
(as reported for the June 24, 2019 Cambridge City Council meeting)

Final Meeting of the Mayor’s Arts Task Force - Meeting #9
Final Recommendations and Wrap-Up
Date: June 13th, 2019
Location: La Fabrica Central
Meeting Start: 5:50pm

Members of the Task Force in Attendance: Councillor Alanna Mallon, Chair; Liana Ascolese, Executive Assistance to the Task Force and Legislative Aide to Councillor Mallon; Afiyah Harrigan, Mayor’s Office Liaison; Ellen Shakespear, Co-Founder of Spaceus; Olivia D’Ambrosio, Executive Director of Bridge Repertory Theater; Geeta Pradhan, President and CEO of the Cambridge Community Foundation; Jason Weeks, Executive Director of the Arts Council; Katherine Shozawa, Lesley University; Michael Monestime, Executive Director of the Central Square Business Association; Khalil Mogassabi, Deputy Director and Chief Planner, Community Development Department; Ben Simon, musician and Cambridge Arts Coalition; Kristina Latino, CEO of Cornerscape; Sarah Gallop, Government Relations at MIT; David De Celis, architect and member of the Public Arts Commission; James Pierre, visual artist; Lisa Peterson, Deputy City Manager.

Mayor McGovern was also in attendance to say hello and thank the Task Force members for their work at the beginning of the meeting.

Mayor McGovern thanked everyone for their work on the Task Force. This has not been a typical Task Force, because we’ve all been able to see the work as it happens through the Policy Orders that have come through. He thanked Councillor Mallon for her leadership on this Task Force and on the issue of the arts.

Councillor Mallon thanked everyone for coming to the last meeting and outlined the agenda for the evening. She stated that Ben Simon will make a presentation, followed by update from The Foundry team where they also want to solicit our feedback. She stated that her and Ms. Ascolese had gone through the past 8 meetings and teased out themes and recommendations that were discussed throughout the past 9 months. They have been posted in different “buckets” on large sticky notes on the wall. The group will give feedback, contribute their own, and then we will have a Task Force wide discussion to get to a consensus.

Councillor Mallon thanked Dennis Benzan, former Councillor, who is a part-owner of La Fabrica and has generously offered the space, food, and drink tickets for a celebration at the end of the meeting.

Mr. Simon began his presentation. He gave background on his organization’s attempt to fight their displacement from the EMF building that closed last year. He stated that we need to be talking about the role that development plays in erasing artists and arts spaces from the City, and that this is the most important issue we could be talking about. He thanked Councillor Mallon for allowing him to speak on this issue, and he put together some ideas that could be significant for protecting the arts community.

He stated that there is an arts crisis right now including displacement and arts spaces disappearing. This is not a standalone issue and we have to acknowledge the interconnectivity between gentrification and displacement. He stated that developers are de facto city planners and that they are responsible for the disappearance of arts spaces, affordable housing, groceries, retail, and eateries. There has been a lot of development by MIT which has razed entire city blocks for biopharma and whatever the rest of their campuses are. Low income renters don’t think this is for them and they can’t work there.

Mr. Simon shared demographic data which showed that The Port neighborhood has seen its white population go up 10% and black population decrease 10%. He stated that you cannot drop thousands of high paying luxury class jobs in a neighborhood and expect no displacement to happen. He asked why developers should get to do what they want and stated that arts need to be a bigger part of the conversation. He asked where we draw the line when property owners are pursuing their profit dreams.

Mr. Simon stated that there is a straightforward solution, which is democratized development where all voices of a community should be given a say in whether our city should be changing at all. He stated that it’s an obvious fact that developers should be disempowered because the real estate market is out of whack, and we need massive public investment to counteract development. The private sector is unable or unwilling to provide affordability.

Mr. Simon stated that we should not be contracting public land, we should be expanding public land. He asked about making deals with developers and that we cannot assume benevolence or neutrality, and seek redress for negativity. He stated that inclusionary units do not help people. He stated that we need land to build affordable housing and community spaces.

Mr. Simon stated that the attempt to separate arts from the bigger picture won’t get us fundamental change. It is connected to social justice problems. He quoted Bernie Sanders that there is a 1% that has rigged the system to their benefit.

Mr. Simon presented his policy ideas. The first was an EMF 2.0: the loss of the EMF was the loss of the only affordable music rehearsal space, and that a building like EMF is unlikely to be developed again by the private sector. He stated that the idea here is that people like himself - low income artists - need spaces. The most dire consequence of a rigged local economy is the housing crisis. There are people on the street and people being displaced. It would be right to build a dedicated rehearsal space with City money, but it would be a good idea to build City-owned housing units with community arts spaces. He stated Mike Connolly has been talking about this but that there are definitely legal obstacles. However this is what’s right. He stated that as a low income renter, what we’re calling affordable housing is actually inaccessible, and that Mass and Main is being billed as a great victory for affordable housing but it is not. The inclusionary unit minimum is 50% of the AMI to get a unit. Mr. Simon stated that he is on the list for a voucher but there’s a 4,000 person waiting list. He stated that buildings are getting snapped up by developers, stripped, and turned into luxury units which causes real life social consequences for low income people. He stated that market housing of any sort is not the solution, but it’s city-owned social housing, whatever it may be. He stated that markets are not designed to distribute things to everyone, but it gives limited resources to the highest bidder. He stated that with education we have an idea that everyone deserves an education so everyone gets one. We are coming around to this idea with healthcare as well, but we haven’t done this with housing which is a human right. We need to be talking about social housing, and an EMF space in something like that is a great idea.

Mr. Simon recommended a displacement advisory committee, which would be an ongoing advisory committee and a modest step forward in the inbalance of power. He suggested that the committee would meet monthly and would advise the City on displacement impact for proposed developments and impact on the community. The community should be taking the lead on development and advise the City on what and if developments are needed.

Mr. Simon suggested redirecting the 1% for arts funding to address the arts crisis but stated there would probably be some legislative obstacles. He stated that it’s crazy that we have funding mechanisms going to something like public art when we have a crisis of displacement. We are rapidly losing artists and arts spaces, but if we have arts spaces, it will slow down artist displacement. When spaces disappear, it puts a huge financial burden on artists. He stated that places in Charlestown and Union Square are about to close, and we need to direct money into funding a City-owned EMF. He stated that the Public Arts Commission benefits one artist but City owned community arts spaces benefit the whole arts community. This is a significant amount of money generated by this funding mechanism, but the City says we can build the artist community an EMF. He stated that this is a reasonable request.

Councillor Mallon thanked Mr. Simon and stated that she wanted to speak to a few aspects of his presentation. She stated that the last meeting that he wasn’t able to be at involved the Task Force recommending putting together a working group to figure out how to allocate additional revenue from both hotel/motel taxes and the Tobin School renovation. She stated that the Task Force had discussed at the last meeting how funding should not just go to site-based public art but instead be for the whole artist community. To speak to the housing piece that Mr. Simon discussed - the displacement advisory committee, Councillor Mallon informed Mr. Simon that Councillor Siddiqui had been leading a tenant protection and anti-displacement task force, and that they are looking at displacement and protections. She advised that Mr. Simon’s second recommendation would likely be a recommendation of Councillor Siddiqui’s task force. Councillor Mallon also informed everyone that Mr. Mogassabi, Ms. Ascolese, Mr. Roberts, and herself had been meeting to speak about zoning changes that would protect existing arts spaces and incentivize additional arts spaces with funding. She stated that Mr. Mogassabi can speak in more detail about what we may be able to move forward with.

Ms. Shozawa, who shared a spot on the task force with Ms. McKenna, gave a presentation and update on The Foundry building. She stated that their timeline to open is 2021, and gave an overview of The Foundry as a City-funded and owned STEAM space with flexible arts and performance space. She outlined The Foundry team: Martha McKenna is the director of the Creativity Commons, Sue Cusak is the director of STEAM learning and coordinating teams with external organizations and public schools. Graduate student Stephanie McKay is a musician, singer, and songwriter who has merged with churches and synagogues to build new relationships. Ms. Shozawa does work with the college of art and design. The team has had a series of 3 community-wide meetings abou flexible performance space for musicians and makers space and workshops for visual artists and crafters. She explained these community meetings informed their work.

Ms. Shozawa stated that the community-wide objectives for the building were to have a space that’s culturally responsive, accessible, inclusive, reducing barriers, community trust, and benefit for this large, community-funded building that’s coming online in the City.

Ms. Shozawa gave some more specifics on The Foundry. She stated that the building is 50,000 square feet total. It will have 3,300 of flexible performance space, 3,700 square feet of maker spaces, 2 funded artists in residence, 2,100 square feet of art studios, multi purpose community meeting rooms, and 19,000 square feet of office, operating space, and a demonstration kitchen. The market rate office space will fund the rest of the programs in the building so that it’s self-sustaining. The Foundry team has been great at the attention and ethos of how we care for the arts in the City asking what people want and why. Community feedback informed architectural design and programming to foster community and community-ownership with an emphasis on East Cambridge residents - mainly youth and seniors. Their mission is to bridge the socioeconomic gap and be good stewards of a building that is a vessel of possibility.

Ms. Shozawa stated that artist Candy Chang was being brought to Cambridge this fall in partnership with The Foundry. She is famous for projects such as “I Wish This Was” and “Before I Die.” Artists should be in the realm of public space, community engagement, and social equity. Art should elevate the voices of those not heard.

Councillor Mallon stated that it was interesting to watch this progression, because the City was gifted the building and had a years long conversation about what to do with it. She stated that STEM was big at the time but now it’s really taken on an identity as an arts space. She stated that Biomed Realty is having a conversation and community meetings about the site that was supposed to be the Constellation Center, at 50,000 square foot arts space, but that didn’t happen. Biomed has purchased the space and is going to build the arts component. Jennifer Hanley and Sal Zinno, who are working on the project, have been attending almost every Arts Task Force meeting and other community meetings to answer the question of what the community needs. They are having a great opportunity for artists and the community to add their voices to this conversation at their open house on June 27th.

Stephanie Couch from The Foundry team added to Ms. Shozawa’s presentation, saying that it’s easy to talk about improvements that they need to make, but that she thought The Foundry was an example of getting it right. She stated that she did not know of another City that was providing a space for both arts and STEM to come together under one roof. This offers so many possibilities. She stated that her generation did not invest as much in the arts as prior ones did. She stated that she was interested in building connections between artists and those who live and work in Kendall Square so that we can rekindle investment in the arts and adding more than 1% contributions. She stated that she heard a lot of interest among artists who want to explore the intersection of arts and opportunity.

Ms. Johnson stated that she appreciated Mr. Simon’s presentation. She asked that he think through his comments about displacement and new arts spaces, and to think about community organizations that already exist. She stated that her work at the Community Art Center is the hardest but most beautiful thing she would ever do. She stated that The Foundry isn’t supposed to compete with existing organizations, but that it will and it already does. Cambridge has a congested nonprofit space already and she would like to see concrete ways in which this is going to be addressed, especially since the City is investing so much money in the space.

Councillor Mallon thanked Ms. Johnson for her comments and asked everyone to think about them as we move into the recommendations section of the meeting.

Ms. Pradhan stated that change is happening at a rapid pace and that we don’t need another task force or advisory committee to solve problems. She stated that we need to put into immediate action the recommendations for this process. She stated that this task force has dealt with fundamental problems of losing our artists, organizations, and spaces, and that we can come up with a very powerful recommendation. She stated that we can explore land trusts and City property, and that once you lose arts spaces, it’s very difficult to bring them back. We have lost a lot, but we still have a lot to save.

Councillor Mallon instructed everyone to look at the posted recommendations and to start ones that we should be moving on at the Council immediately so that we can prioritize. She asked people to write in recommendations where they thought things were missing, and that if their recommendation didn’t fit neatly into a “bucket” that there was a blank sheet for other ideas.

Ms. Latino stated that she was excited for The Foundry but was nervous about people and organizations that aren’t the first in the door. There is a perception in the arts community that if you’re not first, you lose out on a space, and some organizations have greater connections and ability to make their presence known and get in the door. She asked The Foundry team to ensure that as the building comes to fruition to make sure that individuals know that no matter what, the door is open and they haven’t been locked out. They need to find a way to keep bringing new artists and creators into the space.

Ms. Couch stated that the way The Foundry is structured, all spaces are shared and an artist can book them for free, market rate, or nonprofit rate for varying lengths. No one person or organization gets to own anything and it will constantly turn over. There’s also criteria to make the process fair.

Mr. De Celis asked whether the artist residency would address this.

Ms. Couch replied that right now they can only afford 2 artists in residence, and that there was also public accountability because the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority (CRA) still has a public advisory committee.

Ms. Monestime asked if the building was run by a committee or a board.

Ms. Couch stated that they were setting up a nonprofit, so there will be both a board and an actual staff for The Foundry. The staff will report to the board.

Mr. Monestime stated that the BID has been newly approved and that they are working on putting together a board. Ms. Johnson had asked how we build a conscience into the BID, and stated the importance of values being set in place on day 1. He stated that she will be chairing one of the BID committees so that the BID will have bylaws that reflect values and we will have a vision we can constantly revisit.

Ms. Couch stated that bylaws came out of a public process and they have to stay true to the mission of the building. She stated that the consortium only has a 5 year lease, so if there are concerns that they are not good stewards of the building, the CRA will not renew their lease.

Councillor Mallon went over the accomplishments of the Task Force so far:

Councillor Mallon also stated that she heard recommendations about creating land trusts, taking an inventory of available real estate (buildings, open space) that could be used for arts space development. She also stated that she will be sending out a note to see who from the Task Force might be interested in continuing on a working group that will outline guidelines of how to allocate additional funding from the Tobin School. She stated that it would be great to have an artist in residence like in New York City, for creative problem solving. She stated that in NYC they have them in DPW to help the department think creatively.

Councillor Mallon also discussed recommendations related to incentivizing free spaces for artists. We currently have a 1% for art program for public funding, and MIT has a private 1% for art program. She stated that we should incentivize other private developers through zoning and other mechanisms to fund the arts. We also need to support the arts in K-12 schools.

Ms. D’Ambrosio stated that it’s amazing to have $4 million coming online, but that $5 million for an entire City is still very very small. She stated that if it were her, a concentrated large change using a critical mass of money each year might be more effective, visible, and tangible than such a thing spreading of the money - i.e. allocating $5,000 to each artist as opposed to using $5 million to do something that the entire community can benefit from. She spoke to quality vs. quantity.

Ms. Latino also asked if there was a way to set aside half the funding per year for several years. We can use some money now and spread it around, but then save a few million per year so that one day we could do something like buy a building.

Ms. D’Ambrosio agreed that if you saved $2 million per year, we could have $10 million at the end of 5 years for a large project.

Councillor Mallon stated that we won’t decide this tonight and that it would be the job of the working group to figure out how to proceed. She stated that we can also use this money to attract greater investment, and that CCF can help us connect with organizations that will match gifts or do challenge grants. We can figure out how to make this small piece bigger.

Ms. Pradhan stated that we don’t want to spread our money so thin that we cannot see the impact and that every year we should commit to something big.

Ms. Johnson asked how the money is being distributed.

Councillor Mallon stated that there would be a working group coming out of this task force to decide.

Ms. Peterson stated that Councillor Mallon has been successful in getting the percentage of the hotel/motel tax, which is annual funding, which is what you really want. Annual money is a base that you don’t have to go after every year, and that we need to focus on what percentage of the hotel/motel taxes arts gets annually.

Ms. D’Ambrosio confirmed that ultimately the working group would make a recommendation to the City Manager who would then make a recommendation to the Council.

Ms. Peterson stated not to discount the role Councillor Mallon has played because everything needs to come back for Council approval.

Mr. Weeks stated that the Barr Foundation money has been critical and has accomplished a tremendous amount for the arts in Boston.

Ms. Johnson stated that statewide, arts organizations are missing liquidity which stifles creativity.

Councillor Mallon stated that if Mr. DiMuro was here, he would be arguing that we need to take care of our existing organizations so they don’t continue to get lost.

Ms. Pradhan stated that one of the issues with public benefits money and new development is that it often gets disbursed into small things or put into issues that consistently come up, or used in ways that benefit newcomers. She stated that people who really live through changes like Mr. Simon and other artists get left out of the equation, and that we need flexible money that gets distributed based on what the needs of the community are. She suggested that money is an arts issue and that we need to get money that people can voice their ideas about instead of always tying it up and stifling creative potential.

Councillor Mallon stated that there are some development projects where part of the community benefits packages are now including money for arts. She stated that many developers were at our meeting on funding, which kickstarted a conversation on how they’re displacing people and what responsibility they have to support the community and artists.

The Task Force split up to review, make, and prioritize final recommendations.

The Task Force went over recommendations “bucket” by “bucket” with members stopping to call out certain recommendations that they had questions about or wanted prioritized.

Public Art
• Value statement in Zoning Ordinance
• Purpose, applicability, use, general development, design guidelines
• Revamp public art process
• Include a vision/community narrative, transparent, diverse in socioeconomic and art mediums
• Priority bump for local artists
• Broaden the definition of public art in the percent for art ordinance
• Maintain and update the public art website
• Include community narrative for each piece
• Increase percent for art ordinance higher than 1%
• Encourage the City to be fully compliant with all future percent for art ordinances on all new projects

Ms. Harrigan asked what a priority bump for local artists was.

Councillor Mallon answered that when we put out a call for artists, local artists will get a preference.

Cultural District
• Reconvene the cultural district advisory committee
    • Backwards mapping for redesignation
    • Consider expanding the committee to add the Port and Coast neighborhoods
• Update zoning and design guidelines to incentivize arts-related uses
• Create an arts and culture anchor or collaborative
• BID civic/cultural compact
    • How does the BID have a conscience?
    • Create placekeeping and equity mission for the cultural district
• Concentrate arts and cultural activity in and around the district to communicate the range of arts activities and programming for the highest visibility
• Ensure places for the community, particularly youth, to include them in the economic development that comes with the arts
• Think about the 5 minute “pedestrian shed” (5 minute walk) when programming and creating spaces to keep things accessible

Councillor Mallon stated that the Council just signed off on the BID Monday night and Mr. Monestime did a great job explaining how it will have a cultural impact. The BID has a conscience and an arts and culture component, not just cleaning, safety, and that’s it.

Mr. Monestime stated that the BID is concerned with quality of life, arts and culture, transit, and business association, and that there will be more to come online.

Councillor Mallon asked about a recommendation to concentrate programming and visibility in the cultural district that communicated the range of arts activities available.

Ms. Pradhan answered that was her recommendation. She meant that you should feel like you’ve arrived in arts and culture when you walk into the district. She stated you feel it in the evening with lights, but in the daytime we need more murals, buskers, and more so you feel like you’re in a place.

Mr. Monestime stated that resident Peter Valentine wants the Square renamed Starlight Square and the telephone polls painted pink.

Ms. Johnson stated that she wanted to add the Port and Coast neighborhoods to the advisory committee.

Mr. De Celis explained the district boundaries and the 5 minute pedestrian shed, which is what most people are comfortable walking. If you live in the Port or Coast you’re able to walk to the Central Square Theater. He stated that this is a best practice to keep in mind.

Arts Economy
• Soft skills classes from the Arts Council
    • Presentations, budgets, community engagement, entrepreneurship, business development, seed funding
• Office hours with the Economic Development Division
    • Walk-ins, artist specific workshops, business side of arts
• Partner with the Office of Tourism
    • Cultural events and festivals, maintain a calendar of arts and tourism events
• Public market in Central with vendor spaces prioritizing local culture markers
    • Owned as a community land trust
    • Include culinary as a “craft”

Councillor Mallon stated that there are soft skills classes with the Arts Council but they need to be better funded. She stated that during the budget process, she asked EDD, the Arts Council, and the Office of Tourism to convene monthly to figure out how to make a bigger impact in the community, especially as economic drivers in the City that can all work together.

Mr. De Celis asked if the three departments would have access to the City Manager.

Ms. Peterson responded that she would also be at the meetings. She informed everyone that the Office of Tourism is 95% City funded and should be focusing on the local and bringing people in on a more neighborhood level. They want to engage with businesses and local artists.

Councillor Mallon stated that the recommendation of a public market that is community owned could go back to the mention at a former meeting of using the AME Church as an arts space or anchor.

Licensing and Permitting
• Create a tiered permitting fee structure
    • Based on IRS operating budgets that are either greater or less than $500,000
• Make and distribute a permitting tree chart infographic
• Enact acoustic performers’ ordinance
• Streamline permitting process for events and art installations

Nonprofit Sector Support
• CCF role in aiding the arts
    • Fiscal agent for private percent for art funds, cultural planning especially in Central Square, arts displacement fund or giving platform for small arts organizations
• Mentoring between established and emerging arts organizations
• General operating support from the City for longstanding cultural institutions and initiatives

University Responsibility
• Engage with museums run by universities
• Employ local artists
• Provide live/work/rehearsal space for artists, permanent preferred
    • Use tools like the space finder in Seattle
    • Permanent space held in land trusts
• Subsidize their students’ attendance at local arts venues
    • Outreach to our public school teachers as well
• All new place-based or Cambridge-based arts initiatives should require a shared lead partnership with an existing Cambridge arts or culture institution
    • Don’t create new things on your own
• Where will the ART theater in Harvard Square be going? What will happen to that space?

Ms. Johnson emphasized that academic institutions should not create new things on their own, and that they should partner with existing institutions.

Ms. Pradhan stated that ART is moving from Harvard Square and asked what was happening to the space. She stressed that universities have enormous arts resources like the museums, and that we don’t really have a reference to that in our task force discussions. We should think about what our goals for our relationships with these museums are.

Racial Equity
• Hire a consultant for an equity audit
    • Art juries, community outreach, RFQ process, artists/artwork represented
• Update Arts Council mission statement and budget narrative to include diversity and equity goals
• Create City position for liaison to serve communities underserved in the arts

Mr. Pierre stated that he had a new recommendation to present to the group to piggyback off of a comment Mr. Weeks had made. He stated that we need to be honest about arts living up to diversity goals and talk about going into communities that don’t have the same knowledge, experience, and love of arts that we do. Perhaps aren’t isn’t high on their priority list because of where they are economically or they’re facing other challenges. We need to go into these communities and talk about the benefits of having arts in their lives, and help them become artists themselves.

Councillor Mallon stated that this goes back to Ms. Latino’s point about how people not “in the know” access spaces that are opening.

Ms. Latino added that people have to feel that they have access and belong. She referenced the recent incident at the MFA. She stated that even if you have a free ticket to a venue, how do you feel like you can go and belong.

Councillor Mallon stated that we don’t talk about culture enough, and to think about cultural events like the Iftar at City Hall, which shouldn’t only happen because we have a Muslim City Councillor who is responsible for the event. The events in our City need to fully represent the cultures that are here. We also have some events at City Hall that are still going on, and she isn’t sure why, or that they should still be happening.

Ms. Pradhan stated the importance of celebrating the amazing richness of cultures that we have.

Other Ideas
• Displace local art in municipal buildings with artists’ bio and info
    • Should be effectively/prominently displayed and publicly accessible
• Future arts and culture office director
• Artist networking portal
    • A “LinkedIn” for artists - ways to for developers, event planners, artists to network
    • Can establish a group on LinkedIn so that artists can join and follow each other
• Write an arts plan and implementation strategy for the City
• Separate arts and public celebrations into its own Council committee
• Role clarity re: the Arts Council
• Immediate resources dedicated to the acquisition of real estate for artist studios and rehearsal space
    • Ex) EMF, Green St. studios, so that we don’t lose more spaces
    • Inventory of City property that can be dedicated to arts
• Invest in actual people across the arts spectrum
• Ask what spaces can be used at night or after-hours
    • Ex) CRLS

Councillor Mallon also discussed the recommendation that all of these recommendations can be consolidated into a living arts plan for the City. We also need to ask what will happen to the task force, because in the future we need to ensure that we’re still bringing people’s voices to the table. She clarified the recommendation about breaking off the arts and celebrations aspect from the neighborhood and long term planning committee. She stated that the committee mostly focuses on neighborhood issues, and that it would be effective to separate the arts piece so that there is a Councillor responsible and has the ability to bring forward ideas.

Ms. Harrigan commented that it’s true that certain cultures get attention at the City level, such as the Caribbean Heritage celebration that just happened, but we need to ensure that all cultures are recognized, seen, and get equitable funds and resources. She stated that it’s a complaint that they get in the Mayor’s Office, that some cultures get more resources and celebration than others.

Ms. Johnson stated that it’s important that in the future, we seek to deeply understand why we use arts and culture separately.

Ms. D’Ambrosio stated that we need an examination of the Arts Council, its jobs, and the jobs within the Arts Council. She stated that sometimes things seem like an octopus where each arm doesn’t know what the other is doing.

Ms. Harrigan emphasized the recommendation of dedicated arts spaces within existing properties.

Ms. D’Ambrosio asked if there were pockets of time within these properties that could be shared. She stated she hates saying this because artists shouldn’t be squeezed into after hours space, but there could be creative opportunities here.

Mr. Pierre asked what CRLS would like like if, once students left, there were a whole group of people that came in at 6 or 9pm. There is no other building as nice and it’s a shame the lights go out at 6pm.

Ms. Johnson stated that the City has too much money, which causes us to keep seeing a need and generating a new thing. She stated the importance of having a cohesive approach and plan.

Ms. Pradhan agreed and stated the need to make this a living document so that not everything is fractured.

Councillor Mallon briefly thanked the group for tonight’s meeting, and for sharing their thoughts, dreams, and hopes for the past 9 months.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:00pm.