The Society of Arts and Crafts was recently awarded a 20,000-sq.-ft. indoor and outdoor area on Boston’s waterfront to conduct its programs and further expand its mission in the near future. The non-profit organization, which has been advocating and promoting craftspeople for the last 118 years, has been at its Newbury Street location in the city’s Back Bay area for the last 40 years.
In April, the Boston Redevelopment Authority and the Colorado-based real estate investment trust firm UDR announced a competitive public search for a non-profit tenant in the Pier 4 space. Five organizations responded and the Celebrity Series of Boston and the Steinway Society of Massachusetts, along with the SAC, were shortlisted and invited to present its proposals at a public meeting in early July. The BRA announced SAC as the chosen tenant on July 30 and the SAC is currently negotiating lease terms.
SAC marketing and communications manager Tess Mattern says it was perfect timing as SAC’s lease on its current building was almost up.
“We were actively searching for space when we heard about this opportunity,” Mattern says. “We had such a strong support system that came out when we had the public presentation for the building.”
The winning proposal included plans for a public craft library, space for lectures and workshops, larger space for exhibition and retail galleries and programming for the civic plaza.
SAC also proposed an inaugural exhibition, “Radius,” which will feature local artists working in clay, metal, wood, glass and fiber. Society officials say the concept for Radius serves as a clear signal of the organization’s intent to collaborate with neighborhood artists and support Boston’s creative economy.
“The Society of Arts and Crafts has a proud past and visionary future,” executive director Fabio Fernandez says. “We are thrilled to move to the Seaport District, a neighborhood that is as ambitious and forward-looking as we are.”
Contact: Society of Arts and Crafts. Tel: 617-266-1810. www.societyofcrafts.org
This article originally appeared in the October 2015 issue.