‘More than a beer garden’: Prova launching in downtown Brockton

July 9, 2018 : The Enterprise, by Marc Larocque

BROCKTON – Don’t call it a beer garden.

“It’s much much much more than that. Anyone can build a beer garden,” said George Durante, the TDI fellow for Brockton who was hired in 2016 by MassDevelopment to help spur downtown revitalization, speaking at a recent event. “This is more than a beer garden. This is about bringing the community together.”

PROVA! is hosting a pop-up multicultural arts and performance venue, featuring a beer garden and a rotating group of restaurant vendors at 121 Main St. in downtown Brockton.

After exceeding its goal to raise $50,000, which is being matched through the state’s Commonwealth Places program through MassDevelopment, the newly formed PROVA! group announced plans to hold an opening night on July 19, starting at 4 p.m. PROVA! plans to hold its second event on the following day, a Friday, at the same time.

“It is this full and robust project that I think is going to do a tremendous job for us, in not only proving that downtown is a viable market for businesses to invest in, but also that our diversity in this city is an asset,” said Durante, speaking at a recent fundraiser for the project. “We can bring all the culture in the city together through arts, entertainment, food and craft beer, and have a great time doing it. I think that’s really what our objective is with this project.”

According to PROVA!’s fundraising page, $84,440 in donations were raised through a Patronicity web page, with 120 contributors. One of the biggest contributors was Eastern Bank, which provided $25,000 to the project. The Metro South Chamber of Commerce, HarborOne Bank, Trinity Financial, E.O.M.S. Recycling, Inc., and Rockland Trust each provided $5,000.

Partners in the project include Shovel Town Brewery, the Easton-based company, which will provide beer for the beer garden.

Other partners in the project include the Fuller Craft Museum, the Sabura youth program and Neighborworks Southern Mass, which owns the now-flattended former Kresge department store property, where the events are being held at the corner of Main Street and Frederick Douglass Avenue.

Prova is the Cape Verdean Creole word for “proof.” Supporters of the project said that the PROVA! beer garden is intended to prove that downtown Brockton can be a successful destination for dining and entertainment.

Durante also thanked Mayor Bill Carpenter and the city of Brockton for their “fantastic” support of the PROVA! project. Organizers are continuing to recruit vendors and performers for the PROVA! initiative, with application forms available on the “PROVA Brockton” Facebook page, or by emailing

“The city has been a fantastic supporter,” he said. “We are continuing to build momentum and get the word out there.”