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Artists can preview space available at old Avery school

Posted by Dave Eisenstadter  January 31, 2013 04:38 PM

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Artists looking for studio space will soon get a chance to view Dedham’s new arts and community center.

The Mother Brook Arts and Community Center officially opens its doors on March 1, but is offering potential tenants the opportunity to look around weeks earlier, according to center co-director Sarah Blum.

“We have lots of work to do, but our aim is to begin renting artist studio space the first week of March,” Blum said. “The response so far has been very encouraging.”

The center will be open to artists on Friday, Feb. 8, from 4 to 7 p.m.; Tuesday, Feb. 12, from 10 a.m. to noon; Wednesday, Feb. 13, from 3 to 7 p.m.; and Thursday, Feb. 14, from 10 a.m. to noon.

Nearly two dozen artists have already contacted the organization looking for information, according to Blum. The renovated building is expected to have 27 studios.

Selectmen voted at a meeting Jan. 17 to grant the Mother Brooks Arts and Community Center a 10-year lease for the former Avery Elementary School building at 123 High St.

The building had been used as a school until April 2012, when construction of a new school at 336 High St. was completed.

While the Mother Brook Arts and Community Center is not scheduled to take possession of the property until March 1, a memorandum of understanding with selectmen allows the organization access to the building prior to that.

Rented studio space is a key component of the organization’s lease with the town, as the town collects a portion of the rent beginning July 1, 2014.

As a part of the lease, the Mother Brook Arts and Community Center organization will renovate the 39,000-square-foot building and maintain the 3.8-acre grounds. Starting on March 1, the organization will pay utility costs for the building.

For more information about the tours, contact Blum at info@motherbrookarts.org.

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