McGovern Forms Mayor Task Force to Support the Arts in Cambridge


Cambridge, MA (Monday, June 25, 2018)—Recent events have placed the importance of local Cambridge artists in the spotlight. High-profile stories like the sale of the EMF building, which served as a studio space for hundreds of musicians, were a catalyst for conversations amongst both the City Council and residents about displacement, investment, and the future of the arts in Cambridge.

 To begin this effort, Cambridge Mayor Marc C. McGovern announced today the creation of the “Mayor’s Task Force to Support the Arts in Cambridge.” The task force will be chaired by Cambridge City Councillor Alanna Mallon. The goal of this task force will be to bring together artists, City staff, business associations, and universities to discuss ways to better support both the arts and artists in the city, and to make short- and long-term recommendations to the City Council. This task force will also look specifically at Central Square, which is the city’s named “Cultural District.”

 “Arts are essential to any vibrant city, and Cambridge needs to invest in attracting and retaining artists through targeted public policy,” said Mayor McGovern. “By creating this task force, it is my hope that we will develop a set of recommendations that will enhance the arts in Cambridge in a lasting and sustainable way,” he added.

 Currently, the City has several initiatives that aim to rehabilitate Central Square, such as the proposed Business Improvement District and Arts Zoning Overlay, and other potential projects that should have future artist involvement.  

 The Artist Task Force will be a way for the City to engage directly with the artist community. “It’s clear that a general appreciation of arts and culture, or symbolic statements that go unsupported by concrete action are no longer enough. If we are going to brand neighborhoods like Central Square as an ‘arts and culture destination,’ and host events around the City that feature local artists or live music, they should have a prominent voice in our policy making,” said Councillor Alanna Mallon. “We can either let the identity of neighborhoods like Central Square be claimed by outside development pressures, or we can let it be created by a thriving local arts community.”

 Further information will be forthcoming as this task force moves forward. Please contact Wilford Durbin, Chief of Staff, at



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