Northshore Magazine

Northshore April 2016

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

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Page 34 of 180

32 | APRIL 2016 MEDIAN 36 Atkins Ave., 4 bd., 1 ba., 1,477 sq. ft., Lot 4,791 sq. ft. PRICE $259,900 AGENT Connor Real Estate HIGH END 7 Holly Ave., 3 bd., 2 ba., 1,458 sq. ft., Lot 5,227 sq. ft. PRICE $349,000 AGENT A. James Lynch, Inc. Real Estate Lynn Date of settlement 1629 Date incorporated as a city 1850 Area 13.5 square miles Population 90,329 ZIP codes 01901, 01902, 01903, 01904, 01905 Household income $44,849 says that when he first moved to downtown Lynn in 2006, many of the buildings were boarded up. There were glimmers of what was to come: RAW Art Works had long been established there, and Gulu- Gulu Café hadn't yet made its move to Salem. Inexpensive, trendy loft living spaces were becoming avail- able. But there was little else going on in the neighborhood. "When I moved there, I saw a blank canvas, and it was very clear to me that we could do so much," Jackson says. He founded Arts After Hours in 2010 "to be the thing that happens when we get out of work." "Our mission is to engage and transform the downtown Lynn area through theatre," he says. Arts After Hours has grown into a destination theatre company with almost 4,000 patrons per year. It's producing four shows in 2016, including ART, The Last Five Years, and Silence! The Musical, all staged at LynnArts Rantoul Black Box Theatre, and A Midsummer THE DETAILS photograph courtesy of St. Mary's (above) Lynn is coming into its own as an exciting gateway city that's em- bracing and enlivening its rich arts base and cultural diversity to transform its downtown, its image, and its overall economy. "I grew up in this city, so I've seen in the 35 years that I've been alive a lot of changes. Lynn is on the upswing again," says Drew Russo, ex- ecutive director of the Lynn Muse- um/LynnArts. "Lynn has had a tough [reputation] for a long time. I think the reality is Lynn is a city that's on the cusp of something great. As a na- tive of Lynn, I can see it happening." At the heart of what's happen- ing is the transformation of Lynn's downtown, which was bolstered by the area's designation in 2012 as one of the first five recognized cultural districts in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Stretching across several blocks, Lynn's cultural dis- trict is a concise, walkable area that contains within it not only amazing restaurants like The Blue Ox and the legendary design and home store Zimman's but also LynnArts, RAW Art Works, Arts After Hours, the Lynn Museum, the Grand Army of the Republic Museum, and many other cultural spots. "There's quite a lot that happens within that area," says Kate Luchini, director of the Downtown Lynn Cultural District. "It does have such a diversity. It's an urban area surround- ed by the suburbs. And that's why it's kind of a magnet for the arts." It also has affordable live-work spaces, "like so many cities that are on the rebound," Luchini says. "Arts and culture are great catalysts for that." The area has changed rela- tively quickly, says Corey Jackson, founder and managing director of Arts After Hours, a theatre that aims to help revive the city as well as entertain. The Peabody native Art classes at St. Mary's in Lynn offer students the opportunity to explore various visual art forms and techniques that teach the elements and principles of art and design. St. Mary's students are also engaged with Lynn's RAW Art Works.

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