For Immediate Release
March 23, 2010
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Mayor Thomas M. Menino today joined city officials and community members in celebrating the new home of local after-school music education organization, ZUMIX, in a newly renovated firehouse at 260 Sumner Street in East Boston. The new 9,000-square-foot facility benefitted from $4.6 million in renovations over the past five years, and boasts a performance stage, several soundproof rehearsal rooms, a recording studio, and a radio station. The renovated firehouse, which was vacant for more than 30 years, replaces former ZUMIX headquarters on nearby Maverick Street.
“As a community we should be tremendously proud of this wonderful transformation as ZUMIX and the East Boston Community Development Corporation have worked tirelessly with the City, community groups, and funding partners to turn this building into a state-of-the-art performing arts center for Boston’s young people to enjoy,” said Mayor Menino. “This is a great example of how strong partnerships at the community level bring new energy to our neighborhoods. I want to thank ZUMIX for helping to transform the lives of our residents by providing access to the arts in a unique setting.”
In late 2003, Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) initiated a community process with neighborhood residents and local organizations to determine a suitable redevelopment plan for the reuse of the vacant former firehouse, which had come into the City’s property inventory years after it was no longer in use by the Boston Fire Department. DND subsequently issued a Request for Proposal (RFP), and in May of 2005, selected the proposal of ZUMIX and their development partner, East Boston Community Development Corporation (EBCDC), to renovate the space and significantly expand their music education programs.
The renovation of the firehouse have been made possible in part, by contributions from numerous private foundations totaling more than $1.7 million, and over $300,000 in corporate donations, substantial contributions that enabled ZUMIX and EBCDC to take advantage of $1 million in New Market Tax Credits, and an additional $50,000 in State funding. Additionally, ZUMIX received $200,000 from the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund.
ZUMIX is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) cultural organization dedicated to youth empowerment and community development through music and the arts. Their after-school program gives young people from all neighborhoods of Boston alternative ways to express their creativity while building cultural understanding.