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Letter: MassDevelopment program key to Mastheads project

May 11, 2017 : The Berkshire Eagle

To the editor:

The April 22 story "An architecture of the imagination: In Mastheads Studios, new building material shapes creative environment" sheds light on Mastheads Studios' cutting-edge construction technologies and dynamic approach to supporting creativity and the arts, but does not mention the equally innovative fundraising campaign that helped finance the project — Commonwealth Places. 

This collaborative fundraising initiative from MassDevelopment and the civic crowdfunding platform Patronicity advances placemaking projects such as art installations, parks, and markets, that enliven downtowns and engage community members. The initiative mobilizes community members to make individual contributions that MassDevelopment matches dollar-for-dollar (up to $50,000) if the crowdfunding goal is reached. To date, the initiative has successfully funded 12 projects across the state ranging from an accessible floating dock and kayak launch in Athol to a pollinator meadow and community garden in Maynard.

Through Commonwealth Places, Mastheads Studios successfully raised $50,655 from 134 community members and won a $50,000 match from MassDevelopment to support the construction of the five writing studios described in "An architecture of the imagination." These writing studios pay homage to this Gateway City's rich literary history and provide much-needed space for writers and the public to engage with the written word.

MassDevelopment has been thrilled to partner with Patronicity and the city of Pittsfield on this important placemaking project, which aligns with our redevelopment work in the city's Transformative Development Initiative District. We look forward to seeing the poems, novels, short stories, and essays these brilliant Mastheads writers will surely produce this season in their new studios. 

Amanda Maher
Vice President of Real Estate Services, MassDevelopment