Inspire Arts & Music, Inc. (IAM) is proud to announce that it will be the recipient of a 2021 City of Boston Community Preservation Act (CPA) grant of $150,000 for the refurbishment of the Riverside Theater Building. The Riverside Theater Building is a historically significant building located in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Boston. The building serves as IAM’s home office and the home of the Riverside Theater Works community theater. Following CPA guidelines for historic preservation, the grant will be used to repair the building’s foundation as well as the exterior masonry.
Since 2015, IAM has worked to preserve the Riverside Theater Building through the completion of many projects after years of deferred maintenance. The improvements include wiring and plumbing upgrades, a roof replacement, and repair of essential fire escapes. In 2020, with the assistance of two grants from Mass Cultural Council (MCC), IAM was able to complete a full assessment of the building’s envelope (roof, walls, and entry system) and its mechanical systems (heating, cooling, ventilation, and plumbing). Through the assessment, IAM was able to determine the usable life-expectancy of the building systems and approximate replacement costs. With the help of the MCC grants, IAM was also able to contract BWA Architecture to provide space-planning concepts that address accessibility, life safety, theater and music education programming, office improvements, and leased tenant space. Additional experts hired through the MCC grant included: Cavanaugh Tocci Theater Consultants also provided expertise in theater redesign/renovation; and Universal Environmental Consultants for hazardous material abatement. With the planning and assessment now complete, IAM is ready to begin a long-term rehabilitation of the building, starting with the repair of the exterior brick walls and foundation being funded through the $150,000 CPA grant.
In support of its CPA grant application, IAM was honored to receive letters of support from District 5 City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo, former State Representative Angelo Scaccia, and Riverside Theatre Works Artistic Director, PJ Terranova.
IAM would like to thank the staff of the Community Preservation Act administrative office, the Community Preservation Committee, the Office of Mayor Walsh, and the Boston City Council for this grant award and the opportunity it provides to preserve an important part of IAM’s Hyde Park neighborhood.
A little bit about CPA:
In November 2016, the City of Boston adopted the Community Preservation Act, creating a special Community Preservation Fund. Financed by a 1-percent property tax surcharge and a state match, the City raises about $25 million annually to fund affordable housing, historic preservation, open space, parks, and outdoor recreation.
A nine-member Community Preservation Committee (CPC) reviews all applications. The Community Preservation Committee recommends a slate of projects to the Mayor, who in turn sends the recommendations to the City Council for a public hearing and final vote.