Northshore Magazine

April 2015

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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Page 28 of 204

26 | APRIL 2015 photographs by Robert Boyd PLACES Like so many North Shore towns, Beverly has a rich history. Original- ly part of the Naumkeag Territory and settled in 1626 by Roger Conant, Beverly played a major role in two revolutions. During the American Revolutionary War, one of the first 86 Pilitar\ sKips sailed IroP Beverly Harbor in 1775. Little more than a decade later, in 1787, Beverly EecaPe KoPe to tKe first cotton Pill built in America, helping to spark the Industrial Revolution. Today, though, Beverly is expe- riencing a renaissance that isn't powered by shipbuilding or cotton. It's powered by the arts. "There's a long 20- or 30-year tradition in tKe 8nited 6tates to understanding how the arts con- tribute to economic development," sa\s 6teYe ,PPerPan, president oI Montserrat College of Art and co- president oI tKe nonprofit doZn- town revitalization organization %eYerl\ 0ain 6treets "I don't think it's escaped any- body's attention…that people want to have the arts in their commu- nity," he says. And Beverly certainly does have arts in its community. It's home Clockwise from top left, On Kyeong Seong from the Zeitgeist Gallery; Montserrat College of Art; and the North Shore Music Theatre to tZo oI tKe 1ortK 6Koreȇs Post important and beloved artistic centers: Montserrat College of Art, which was founded in the late s and Kas ȵourisKed into a Kot- bed of vibrant creativity, and the 1ortK 6Kore 0usic 7Keatre, ZKicK has been transporting audiences with its musicals since 1955. In fact, the histories of the two institutions are linked: Montserrat 6cKool oI $rt initiall\ EeJan as an initiatiYe oI tKe 1ortK 6Kore 0usic Theatre before eventually becom- ing Montserrat College of Art, an independent, accredited institution that awards degrees. The Beverly Arts District— planned with the help of a National Endowment for the Arts grant—stretches from Montserrat Col- lege of Art's 301 Gallery on Cabot Street to the Beverly Historical Society at the John Cabot House museum, which was recently designated an of- ficial Essex National Herit- age Area Visitor Center. By the time this magazine hits newsstands, Bev- erly will have discovered whether it's among the latest cities to receive an official Arts District desig- nation from the Massachu- setts Cultural Council. "When we did our Downtown 20/20 strategic plan in 2010, that's when we decided that using arts and culture [for] driving downtown revitalization made sense for Beverly," says Gin Wallace, executive director of Beverly Main Streets. "There are a lot of people who are making their living using their art and creative talents in Beverly," at places ranging from Montserrat College of Art to the many galleries and studio spaces in town. Nearly every business within the Arts District is involved in arts in some way. Wallace points to not only places like the Cabot and Larcom theatres and Clay Dreaming Pottery Studio but also Atomic Café, the YMCA, Beverly Bank, and City Hall, all of which either sell or display art. Public art, music, and festivals are also on the agenda. Wallace says the long- term goal is to create a support system for artists in Beverly, through things like mentoring, grants, and networking programs. "We're trying to [make] art more visible to people," Wallace says. "Art comes in a lot of different forms… not just something they can hang on their wall." BEVERLY ARTS DISTRICT Today, Montserrat is at the center of Beverly's arts, culture, and creative economy, with several galleries, many of which are free and open to the public. Addition- ally, dozens of visiting artists from around the world arrive on campus each year to make art, share it with the community, and give talks— also free and open to the public. Date of settlement 1626 Date of incorporation 1688 Area 22.6 sq. mi. Population 39,502 ZIP code 01915 Median household income $53,984 DETAILS

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