BioMed Realty and Global Arts Live launch 585 Arts project

April 16, 2021 - Front Section

Cambridge, MA BioMed Realty, a leading provider of real estate solutions to the life science and technology industries, and nonprofit performing arts presenter Global Arts Live have formed 585 Arts, a new nonprofit dedicated to operating and programming the arts and cultural activation at 585 Third St. 585 Third St., which was recently rezoned by unanimous approval of the Cambridge City Council, is a planned 16-story laboratory and office building in Kendall Sq. The project, which is part of the larger Canal District, will include more than 30,000 s/f of indoor and outdoor public space to be used for performances and community gathering.

“585 Arts will play the vital role of programming, managing, and publicizing the incredible array of arts experiences we aspire to host at and around 585 Third St.,” said Global Arts Live board president, Nagesh Mahanthappa. “Our aim for this project is to create a thriving hub for communities and creatives to come together – one that will bring another dimension of diversity and culture to Kendall Sq. We are very excited to be working together with BioMed in bringing 585 Arts forward.”

“From the outset, we’ve been committed to working with community partners and arts organizations to develop a sustainable operating model for 585 Third St.,” said Sal Zinno, BioMed Realty’s vice president of development. “585 Arts is the culmination of that promise, and Global Arts Live is the right partner to help make it all possible. We can’t wait to get started.”

Once operational, 585 Arts will be an independent organization that will oversee the programming, presentation, and promotion of a diverse array of performers and artists throughout the Canal District. It will manage a 30,000 s/f indoor and outdoor public space at 585 Third St., including a 300-seat theater featuring state of the art audio and visual systems, a rehearsal studio, flexible multipurpose rooms for workshops and meetings, an indoor garden and outdoor performance spaces. 585 Arts will also activate additional indoor and outdoor public spaces throughout the 10-acre Canal District and is committed to diverse and inclusive programming.

“585 Arts is an important step forward in revitalizing the arts in Cambridge, which have faced tremendous losses in recent years,” said Cambridge vice mayor Alana Mallon. “When I voted to move this project forward, I knew the energy and creativity of the Cambridge arts community could do so much with the opportunity it presented. Choosing Global Arts Live to oversee the formation of 585 Arts as the operator for the space shows a tremendous commitment to local, cultural leadership and bodes well for the future of the space.”

Global Arts Live, which has pledged to raise operating funds for the new 585 Arts entity, will be an anchor tenant at the 585 Third St. theater upon completion, which is expected in 2025. Committed to hosting at least 100 nights of programming per year, Global Arts Live will bring its reach and 30 years of experience presenting international music, contemporary dance, and jazz to provide both the economic and artistic foundation for a diverse and inclusive performing arts series. More than 200 nights per year will be available for additional artists and cultural organizations to produce and present their work. The nonprofit will place a particular focus on attracting artists and audiences of color and tapping into the vibrant neighborhoods that surround Kendall Square. In this mission, 585 Arts will be supported by an expanded Arts Influencer Circle, a volunteer body of Cambridge and Greater Boston creatives who provided input from the cultural community during 585 Third St.’s initial design and feedback stages.

“This is great news, not only for artists like myself but also for the audiences that enable us to follow our passions,” said Alex Ambila, artistic director for street and club dance nonprofit The Flavor Continues. “Few organizations have the resources and organizational mandate to engage artists- especially artists from underrepresented backgrounds- and I can’t wait to see the wide range of artists that 585 Arts will discover, nurture, and show off to the world.”

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