Newburyport Artist Shanty Program

August 22, 2018

The Town Commons Featured Article
Newburyport Artist Shanty Program

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Additional Information

Initial Application for Grant

Creative County Initiative – Public Art or Creative Placemaking (use appropriate application portal)
Project Name*
Name of Project Character Limit: 100
Newburyport Arts and Culture Shanty Program

Project Description*
Describe your project concept.* Character Limit: 500
We will design and build several artist shanties to serve as affordable studio, gallery, and performance space for local artists and artisans. The shanty program will be an integral component of the Newburyport Cultural District’s summer program. It will start with a ͞community build͟ in which business partner, builder Ben Becker, leads community members in building 4-6 shanties of various sizes
and painted in vibrant colors. They will be placed on city-owned property near the waterfront.

Describe your project objectives. What need(s) of the arts & culture sector and the general community will be met?**Character Limit: 500
This will meet goals stated in our 2017 Master Plan: Goal CR-2 – Increase awareness of Newburyport as a destination for arts, tourism, and cultural affairs; and Goal CR-3 – Support a rich variety of cultural opportunities and activities for all groups and individuals in the City. The Shanty Program will help local
artists, artisans, and cultural organizations increase recognition and sales, and will increase visitors to Newburyport, thus increasing its reputation as a cultural destination. Describe the expected outcomes of your project. What change(s) do you expect will result from your project?** Character Limit: 500
The anticipated outcomes are: a positive cultural experience for those participating in the ͞community build͟ of the Shanties; increased recognition and sales for artists, artisans, and cultural organizations; increased number of visitors to the area; a creative way to use City-owned waterfront land; and an improved reputation as a cultural destination. Changes we expect will be a more attractive space; improved relations throughout the arts community and between the arts community and the City.
Project Partnership* Please identify your public artist, the lead applicant (501c3 status required), at least one municipal partner, and at least one business/corporate partner. Additional partners may be added if the project is invited to the full application process. All partners must demonstrate a meaningful connection to the project and its objectives. Character Limit: 200
Lead applicant: Firehouse Theater
Municipal partner: City of Newburyport
Business partner: Ben Becker, a local builder who will help get the program off the ground
Total Estimated Project Cost* There is no match requirement, but additional sources of funding are strongly encouraged. Please list any additional sources of funding that have been identified, committed, or secured. Character Limit: 50
CCI/ECCF Funding Request not to exceed $30,000. Character Limit: 10
CCI – $30,000

Artisan Revival Support Letter

2018 Inn Street Artisan Revival logo

June 22, 2018

Creative County Initiative – Public Art or Creative Placemaking

Carol Lavoie Schuster

Vice President for Grants & Services

Essex county Community foundation

175 Andover Street, Suite 101

Danvers, MA 01923


Re: Newburyport Arts and Culture Shanty Program


Dear Ms. Lavoie Schuster,


We are pleased to support Newburyport’s Arts and Culture Shanty Program and to serve as a community partner in this project. We believe the Shanties will improve the creative culture in Newburyport, enhance the waterfront area, and engage the entire community. They will provide affordable space for artists and artisans which is in short supply in Newburyport, and recognize the arts as a vital part of the local, co-creative, sustainable economy.

Due to our substantial experience in artisan management and cultivation, our role as a community partner will be to help with artisan outreach and marketing, as well as utilization of the Shanty Program itself. The Shanties bring to mind Newburyport’s history as a fishing/clamming/shipping community; yet at the same time celebrate a culture that is supportive of the local, small business that embraces the arts and serves as a vital component of a ‘Historic Cultural District”.

We are looking forward to being a part of this effort.


John W. Brown


Spirit of Newburyport

42 Federal Street

Newburyport, MA 01950

Artisans Revival Coordinator


Shanty Support Letter

2018 Inn Street Artisan Revival logo

August 6, 2018


The Honorable Donna D. Holaday, Mayor

60 Pleasant Street

Newburyport, MA 01950


John Moynihan, Executive Director

Firehouse Center of the Arts

One Market Square

Newburyport, MA 01950


Dear Mayor Holaday and John:


It was good news to me to learn that the Essex County Community Foundation has awarded a grant to Newburyport to launch an artist shanty program in the city. This will be an important addition to the cultural fabric of Newburyport and the region.


As a long time, established artist and businessperson in Newburyport, I am writing to offer my assistance and expertise, along with the Artisan’s Revival core team, in helping you execute this program. Together we have much experience in design, construction, operation, and implementation of such programs due to our extensive involvement with past projects, including Boston Winter last December.

You know that I enthusiastically endorsed the proposal through a letter of support and we stand ready to continue to help bring the project to a reality.

Please let me know how I can be of assistance to you.



John W. Brown


Spirit of Newburyport

42 Federal Street

Newburyport, MA 01950

Artisans Revival Coordinator




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