Cambridge Organizations Launch Commonwealth Places Campaign for Mural Project Supporting Local Businesses

$25,000 goal to win matching grant through MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places Initiative

September 20, 2018


​Kelsey Schiller, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2011 & 617-694-9695 (cell)

Jonathan Berk, Patronicity, 617-750-6008

Michael Monestime, 617-448-7186

MassDevelopment and the civic crowdfunding platform Patronicity have launched a new Commonwealth Places campaign with the Central Square Business Association (CSBA), an organization that works to maintain and support a lively business environment and enhance the experience of visitors to Cambridge’s Central Square Cultural District. Together with the Cambridge Arts Council, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, local businesses, and residents, the CSBA will use campaign funds to support the Central Square Mural Project, an initiative to create mural paintings on iconic buildings throughout the city’s Central Square neighborhood. The murals – which will be painted on the Gas and Light building, the Barron building, the Green Street Garage, and other highly visible buildings on and around Massachusetts Avenue – will celebrate the local creative economy, equity, inclusion, and social and environmental justice.

“Cambridge’s Central Square is home to unique restaurants, retail shops, and a bustling student population,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “The public art created through the Central Square Mural Project aims to reflect what makes this community special, while drawing visitors and economic activity to the neighborhood. MassDevelopment looks forward to supporting this important placemaking initiative.”

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $25,000 by October 26 at midnight, the project will win a matching grant with funds from MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places program. Learn more and donate at

“It’s important that art be accessible, and through this mural project we will be creating an open gallery in Central Square honoring our past, present and future,” said Michael Monestime, Executive Director of the Central Square Business Association. “This initiative will celebrate our longstanding residents and usher in new visitors who will dine and shop within our cultural district.”

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 and 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.