The Foundry

Public Artwork Picked for Cambridge's Foundry:
A Jukebox Of Community Stories

Elisa Hamilton's sketch of a jukebox stocked with recordings of community stories that she plans to create for Cambridge's Foundry.

A jukebox stocked with recordings of community stories has been chosen as the public art for the City of Cambridge’s Foundry.  

Elisa H. Hamilton will refurbish a one-of-a-kind vintage 1960 jukebox to “play podcasts and community recordings, featuring the authentic stories and voices of the Cambridge community.” 

“’Jukebox’ will be a platform for community voices that empowers the public to be heard, to hear, and to come together in celebration of the richness of the Cambridge community,” the Boston-based artist says.

Hamilton will be awarded a $100,000 commission to implement "Jukebox" for the 130-year-old industrial building at 101 Rogers St., which is being repurposed by the City of Cambridge and Cambridge Redevelopment Authority into a public community space for art, entrepreneurship, technology and workforce education. Hamilton’s project is expected to be installed in time for the public opening of the building, scheduled for 2021.

The jukebox will eventually offer 100 audio tracks from recordings Hamilton produces in collaboration with The Loop Lab, a community-based non-profit social enterprise in Cambridge specializing in digital storytelling and workforce development. Soon after the Foundry opens, Hamilton will organize a free public series of live story-sharing events at the Foundry in addition to gathering recordings of stories submitted by members of the community. Visitors to the Foundry will be able to play selections on the jukebox, to be located in a dedicated space in the main lobby, and via a custom website.

Elisa Hamilton (Photo: Joel Benjamin)
Elisa H. Hamilton. (Photo: Joel Benjamin)


Artists were invited to apply via Cambridge Arts' artist registry. Out of hundreds of artists, a three-person art jury selected three finalists to be paid to develop proposals. After a series of public meetings, Hamilton’s proposal was selected by a site committee comprised of residents, community-based organizations, project representatives and City staff. Cambridge Arts is overseeing the public art process in partnership with the Foundry Consortium and the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority. 

The public art project is funded by the City of Cambridge's award winning Percent-for-Art Ordinance, which requires that 1 percent of the construction costs on municipal capital investment projects be designated for use in developing public art.

The Foundry property is owned by the City of Cambridge, which plans to start construction there this year. The Cambridge Redevelopment Authority holds a master lease on the property and is responsible for ensuring that the Foundry building meets its mission. Through a request for proposal process in 2018, the Redevelopment Authority selected the Foundry Consortium to operate the building, oversee programming, and recruit sub-tenants.

The Foundry

The Foundry Exterior

The Foundry, a brick and timber frame industrial building, built in 1890, will be repurposed into a creative, innovative and collaborative multipurpose center. When completed, it will provide public community space and programming for art, entrepreneurship, technology and workforce education. 

The building will be accessible and inclusive to Cambridge residents of all ages and backgrounds, and its location on the border of Kendall Square and East Cambridge provides an ideal opportunity to connect residents to some of the world's most visible companies in life sciences, technology and innovation.

The Foundry property is owned by the City of Cambridge and is being developed by the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority (CRA). Through a Request for Proposal process in 2018, the CRA selected the Foundry Consortium to act as operator and master tenant, with responsibility for managing the building, establishing and managing a programming framework, and recruiting sub-tenants.

As part of the Foundry construction project, Cambridge Arts will commission an artist, team of artists, or multiple artists to create public art as part of the percent-for-art ordinance. A jury met and selected three finalists: Masary Studios, Elisa Hamilton, and Innovators for Purpose. 

Learn more about the Foundry:

Click here to download the Foundry Percent for Art Criteria for the Public Art Proposals. 

Click here to download the Foundry Process Flow Chart. 

Learn more about the Foundry at the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority website: http://www.cambridgeredevelopment.org/foundry/

Learn more about the Foundry Consortium on their website: https://cambridgefoundry.org/