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Rockland Launches Commonwealth Places Campaign to Create New "People Powered" Map

$5,150 goal to win matching grant through MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places Initiative
June 11, 2018


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

Jonathan Berk, Patronicity, 617-750-6008

Marcia Birmingham, Town of Rockland, 781-871-1874

MassDevelopment and the civic crowdfunding platform Patronicity have launched a new Commonwealth Places campaign with the Town of Rockland to design and implement a community-built public art installation: a map that will showcase residents’ favorite spots in town while paying homage to Rockland’s shoe manufacturing roots.

“Sole of Rockland” is an interactive art project that will strengthen the fledgling Rockland Farmers Market and support the “REiMAGINE ROCKLAND” downtown revitalization effort. Visitors to the 2018 Rockland Day and Rockland Farmers Market will have a chance to leave their mark in the form of wet footprints colored with watercolor paints. These prints will reappear in an artistic map of downtown Rockland that highlights the places that local residents, workers, and visitors value. The project will culminate in artistic sidewalk paintings at each location and interactive exhibits where visitors can share their own memories of the past, reflections on the present, and hopes for the future of Rockland.

“Placemaking projects like art installations and farmers markets contribute to the local economy by activating public spaces and creating community connections,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “This interactive map, part of the larger downtown revitalization effort, will use Rockland’s past and present to have a positive impact on its economic future.”

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $5,150 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

"The Sole of Rockland project is an exciting opportunity that will help us continue to revitalize our downtown by literally putting it on the map," said Mike Mullen, Jr., a Rockland selectman and chair of the REiMAGINE ROCKLAND initiative. "We are grateful for our partnerships with MassDevelopment, Patronicity and MAPC to make this project possible, and we're looking forward to working with residents at Rockland Day and our Farmers' Markets this year to help identify the history, places and stories we value most about Rockland Center."

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.