Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Fort Point & Boston Seaport Neighborhood Forum Recap

The neighborhood forum of Boston’s historic Fort Point and the Seaport District at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) on October 22, 2015 focused on the arts, culture and planning. The event was organized by Mayor Walsh’s administration in partnership with the Fort Point Arts Community, the Institute of Contemporary Art and the Urban Culture Institute. View slideshow.

ICA Executive Director Jill Medvedow welcomed the speakers and attendees. The eighty year Institute of Contemporary Art moved to the waterfront in 2006. 

Jen Mecca, Chair of the Board of Directors introduced the Fort Point Arts Community (FPAC). Founded in 1980, FPAC has developed three artist live/work buildings in Fort Point and hosts two open studio weekends every year in the spring and the fall. 

Christina Lanzl, co-founder of the Urban Culture Institute, gave an overview of her 20-year history in Fort Point and highlighted current projects in partnership with the City of Boston, the MBTA and FPAC. 

City of Boston presenters were Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture, John Fitzgerald, Deputy Director of Imagine Boston 2030, and Rich McGuinness, Deputy Director of Waterfront Planning.  

Richard McGuinness shared his current work on the downtown waterfront and his insights on the series of planning projects he completed for the Boston Redevelopment Authority in Fort Point and the Seaport from 2000 to 2015. He concluded his remarks with lessons learned and inspirations drawn from a recently completed research trip to Seattle. 

Julie Burros gave an update on the ongoing Boston Creates city-wide cultural plan, which is expected to build a shared vision for arts and culture for the first time in the city's history. Of note are her plans to update the BRA's Artist Certification program and to increase the number of artist housing units. To bolster the capacity of the office of Arts and Culture, a new planner has been added to the team in October 2015.

​John Fitzgerald introduced the recently launched municipal urban design plan Imagine Boston 2030. The City's last master plan was completed 50 years ago. A robust community participation process is part of this initiative, similar to the cultural plan process.

Full summary at the Urban Culture Institute.

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