The nonprofit Artists for Humanity has announced that it will be adding 63,500-square-feet of space to its current South Boston structure. The $30 million construction project will involve building out nine floors of additional space on the parcel of land that was donated to the organization by Proctor & Gamble last year. The new structure will create a stunning contrast to the existing structure, which is only three-and-a-half stories tall.
The current structure, which is referred to as the EpiCenter, is located on A Street in South Boston. When the structure was originally constructed ten years ago, the Artists for Humanity organization hoped to someday acquire the adjacent lot that had been previously owned by Proctor & Gamble. As such, they designed the EpiCenter so that its west-side walls were bolted on rather than welded. This will make the process of adding the new development to the existing structure much easier.
In addition to adding more space and providing additional opportunities for the organization to expand, the new structure will also be breaking new ground for the state. The current design calls for creating an Energy Positive, or E+, facility. As such, the new structure will generate more power than it uses, making it the first E+ structure to be built in Massachusetts. Energy for the facility will be mostly generated through the use of solar panels, which will be placed on the roof. The current EpiCenter, which is an LEED certified building, also utilizes solar panels.
The building’s expansion is expected to be completed by the end of next year. During the time of construction, the organization does not expect to be able to host the events that it frequently has hosted in the past. Once the construction is complete, however, events will once again resume, with new events being added to the roster. Before the project can be completed, however, the organization still needs to raise an additional $15 million for the project. Approximately $20 to $25 million of the total costs are expected to be paid through private and corporate donations.
The nonprofit Artists for Humanity has the mission of partnering teenagers with professional artists. Through these partnerships, the teenagers learn how to design, create and sell their art to clients. These clients include a number of Boston-based companies and firms. With the addition of the new structure, the organization plans to expand its programs while also creating a Makers Studio. This space will be equipped with tools and other items that will be available for the public to use.
Artists for Humanity is just one of many resources available to artists in the South Boston neighborhood. These include several open studios, such as The Distillery and King Terminal: Open Studios, which offers ceramics, drawing, fabric work, installation, jewelry, metalwork, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, video and woodwork as well as three galleries. The Fort Points Art Community: Art Walk & Open Studios offers ceramics, digital media, sculpture, textile and video with artists gathering to exhibit in one large open space. South Boston Open Studios offers ceramics, drawing, fabric, installation, jewelry, painting, performance art, photography, printmaking, sculpture, video and woodworking.