CultureHouse is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving livability in local communities by transforming unused spaces into vibrant social infrastructure.
The Stoneham Chamber is initiating this project to fulfill a key recommendation of Stoneham’s Rapid Recovery Plan to “develop pop-up projects to fill downtown vacancies.” Stoneham Square lacks foot traffic and offers little beyond performances at the Greater Boston Stage Company and places to eat, particularly in the evenings. Activating a CultureHouse pop-up would begin to fill this gap and provide evening experiences downtown.
A CultureHouse pop-up space provides novel, time-limited experiences for patrons that will drive more travel and tourism into the downtown and create destinations for locals and visitors. Additionally, a CultureHouse in Stoneham would create a “third space,” a communal space distinct from the home or school and work, for people of all ages to congregate that would help re-imagine what Stoneham Square is and what it can be.
With the recent completion of the More Happens Here branding campaign, it felt like a great way to kick off the campaign formally and highlight the milestones happening in the next two years – 300th anniversary, 25th Season of the Greater Boston Stage Co. and (hopefully) a reconfigured Stoneham Square and a Cultural District Designation.
There are five phases of this initiative: research, community engagement, design/build, operations, and impact reporting.
- Research: Work with community partners to identify pain points, opportunities, and scope projects.
- Community engagement: Through advisory groups and participatory action, create plans that meet neighborhood criteria.
- Design/build: Using tactical urbanist methods, design and build spaces that are accessible and foster community.
- Operation: Invite people into projects, provide programming, and collect data.
- Impact report: Analyze qualitative and quantitative data, document findings and provide a path forward for continued development.