On Jan. 8, the Social Service League of Cohasset presented Hull Artists with a check that enabled the artists to reach their goal of raising $22,000 to match a grant awarded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The Social Service League contributed the $1,466 needed to attain the $22,000 goal.
The Massachusetts Cultural Council had awarded Hull Artists a $22,000 matching grant in May to engage in a feasibility study to renovate the police barracks and create a center for the arts. The required match had to be successfully reached within one year. But Hull Artists was able to raise the needed funds in eight months, with donations from more than 200 individuals, Rockland Trust, other South Shore banks, the Hull Nantasket Chamber of Commerce, and the Social Service League of Cohasset.
Hull Artists’ president, Bart Blumberg, expressed his appreciation to the Social Service League and the Hull Chamber of Commerce for their generous contributions. “Together, these two broad-based community nonprofits helped put Hull Artists’ fundraising over the top,” he said. “It is so gratifying to enjoy the support of local organizations as well as the strong backing of our members and the public.
“Having reached our goal, we can now begin the next step in making our dream of the Nantasket Center for the Arts a reality.”
“The Social Service League of Cohasset is pleased to support Hull Artists’ ambitious and exciting plan to repurpose a vacant police barracks into a regional arts center,” said Stefenie Thieleman, representing the board of the Social Service League. “It will benefit residents of all ages and is consistent with our mission of assisting local programs that support more inclusive and vibrant communities.”
Irwin Nesoff, board member of Hull Artists and chairman of the Fundraising Committee for the art center, said: “We could not have gotten this far pursuing our dream of a regional arts center in Hull without the enthusiastic support of our neighbors and friends, including former Hullonians from across the commonwealth and more than 10 states across the country. The Nantasket Center for the Arts will be a true community resource, providing a range of art, cultural, and recreational activities for all to enjoy.”
Scheduled to begin in md-February, the feasibility study will develop schematic drawings showing how the building can accommodate the projected programming, including general planning and a functional layout, project cost estimating for the renovation, and a financial analysis of costs related to maintaining the building after the renovation.
While the feasibility study is underway, Hull Artists plans to survey the community to determine the types of programs that would best serve the people of Hull and the South Shore. Tentative plans call for a retail gallery featuring the work of members of Hull Artists, classroom and meeting space, workspace for artists, and space for juried art shows.
Fort Point Consulting, with a background in architecture, urban design, development, and project management, has been hired to do the feasibility study. Its founder, Richard Graf, has developed, among other projects, nonprofit art spaces and has overseen the adaptive reuse of existing buildings to improve the quality of the public and private realms through planning, development, and investment.