Brockton Launches Commonwealth Places Campaign to Bring New Cultural Space to Downtown

$50,000 goal to win matching grant through MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places Initiative

May 22, 2018


​Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077 (cell)

Jonathan Berk, Patronicity, 617-750-6008

Peter Czymbor, City of Brockton, 508-580-7123

PROVA! BrocktonMassDevelopment and the civic crowdfunding platform Patronicity have launched a new Commonwealth Places campaign with the City of Brockton and Student Ambassadors Bonded Under Recreation & Achievement (SABURA) to transform an underused downtown vacant lot into a vibrant and lively space filled with music, events, food and festivities throughout the year.

PROVA! (a word that means “Proof” in Creole) is designed to be a rich, colorful “garden”: a dynamic venue to celebrate Brockton’s rich multicultural heritage through food and drink, family fun, and diverse arts and entertainment. The PROVA! team is made up of businesses, local nonprofits, city officials, and volunteers who are working to transform the vacant lot at 121 Main Street, in the heart of downtown Brockton, into a safe, fun and vibrant outdoor space for building community.

Beginning this summer, PROVA! will be open to the public on Thursday and Friday evenings from 4 to 8 p.m. and Saturday afternoons from 12 to 5 p.m. The mission is to prove that Brockton can come together as one community and have fun doing it, while also demonstrating the potential that exists for businesses to be successful in downtown Brockton.

“Through MassDevelopment’s financing solutions for businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities, alongside the Agency’s Transformative Development Initiative District in downtown Brockton, we have seen firsthand the economic development potential in the City of Champions,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “We look forward to supporting PROVA!’s goal to activate this vacant lot and transform it into a spirited space for the entire community.”

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by June 30 at midnight, the project will win a matching grant with funds from MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places program. Learn more and donate at

“PROVA! is designed to celebrate the multicultural heritage that exists in the City of Brockton and serve as a reminder of how we can showcase that through local cuisine, arts and entertainment,” said Aminah Pilgrim, PhD and Founder & Executive Director of SABURA. “Our diversity is a strength that will help us bring more businesses to downtown and create an environment where family and friends can gather and share their experiences as a community.”

Commonwealth Places is a collaborative initiative from MassDevelopment and Patronicity that leverages public support for placemaking projects through crowdfunding and a matching grant from MassDevelopment. The program engages residents in the development of strategic projects in their towns and cities. In June 2017, MassDevelopment announced $1 million in funding for the second year of the program, which has supported successful campaigns across the Commonwealth, from Northampton to Hyannis. Communities, nonprofits, and other entities can learn more about these successful projects, donate to ongoing campaigns, and apply at

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2017, MassDevelopment financed or managed 377 projects generating investment of more than $4.3 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 9,488 jobs and build or rehabilitate 1,863 residential units.