NCA in the News

Where Hull Artists compiles what is published about our future art center

The following news items are listed from present to past

Hull Artists’ Storm Prep Included Current Gallery and Future Arts Center Site

Copyright 2022 The Hull Times 2/3/2022 page 2

Submitted by Bart Blumberg

Hull Artists, the regional nonprofit arts association, prepared for Saturday’s nor’easter not only by shoring up the front entrance of Gallery Nantasket, but also took proactive steps to protect the former state police station where it hopes to open an arts center.

Sandra Weeks, the manager of Gallery Nantasket on the ground floor of the Ocean Place Condominiums at 121 Nantasket Ave.,picked up sandbags from the Hull Department of Public Works and put them in place following the gallery’s closing on Friday.

“We are located directly across from Nantasket Beach, and the last couple of storms have either threatened or damaged the gallery,” Weeks said. “We were fortunate to have not suffered serious damage, but we need to be extra careful with a storm like this. We’re appreciative that the Town of Hull provided full sandbags to businesses and residents who needed them.” Besides protecting Gallery Nantasket, Hull Artists members took it upon themselves to help protect the former police station building located at the corner of Wharf Avenue and Nantasket Avenue directly across from the Paragon Carousel. The 100+ year old building is owned by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation.

HA board member Betsy Taylor and her husband, Scott, took the initiative to obtain filled sandbags from the DPW and stack them at the building’s main entrance.  Taylor, who is on the HA board and the committee to create the Nantasket Center for the Arts in the long-vacant building, explained that she “was appalled that the DCR had taken no action to protect the building that has suffered serious physical damage from recent storms. The front door is now missing a small panel, and the gap is open toward the ocean.”

Hull Artists has, for the past couple of years, been actively involved in setting up a relationship with the DCR for the local artist group to rehabilitate and convert the building to a regional arts center.

“The DCR, which owns the building, should be interested in and taking active measures to protect this gorgeous building from further deterioration and decay,” Taylor said. “I’m seriously concerned that the building won’t survive much longer if it continues to be ignored and neglected by those responsible for maintaining this historic property. If it is damaged beyond reasonable repair it will be a huge loss for Hull Artists, the residents of Hull, and surrounding communities.”

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DCR Ghosts Artist Group in Hull

Local artists seek to convert empty state building into arts center

Commonwealth Magazine January 23,1922

COLMAN M. HERMAN
A FEW YEARS AGO, the state Department of Conservation and Recreation put an early 1900s dilapidated, long-vacant building it owns across from Nantasket Beach in Hull out to bid for renovation and repurposing. The agency got no bids.
Now a group called Hull Artists wants to come to the rescue, telling DCR that they would like to raise $1.8 million, renovate the building (which was once a police station), and turn it into the Nantasket Center for the Arts. The group says the center could be a workspace for many local artists and offer art and cultural activities for the community

After a couple of meetings took place last year between the two parties, DCR officials ghosted the artists, ending the conversations with no explanation.

“I can’t wrap my mind around what’s going on,” said Irwin Nesoff, the treasurer of the artist group and himself a photographer. “We have tried every which way to get the project off the ground, but nothing works.”

As requested by DCR, Hull Artists completed a $39,000 feasibility study for the project financed with a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council along with matching funds from over 200 residents of Hull and neighboring communities.

“We went back to them last August with our study and finally met with them in November,” said Nesoff. “They have taken no action, nothing, since then. I emailed them two, three weeks ago and got no response.”

“When we first started the project, everyone told us, ‘Good luck working with DCR,’” Nesoff said. “In fact, we were warned that if we upset DCR, they won’t work with us. To that I said, they’re not working with us now.”

In words reminiscent of a Janis Joplin song, Nesoff said, “At this point, we have nothing to lose, and so have launched a letter-writing campaign to Gov. Baker asking for his help in moving the project forward.”

DCR did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Hull Artists is not the only nonprofit group in the town having difficulty dealing with DCR. The Friends of the Paragon Carousel owns and runs an authentic 1928 carousel and the building that houses it on land leased from DCR. The carousel is just steps away from the dilapidated building sought by Hull Artists.

The Friends’ lease with DCR ran out in 2016. Legislation passed that very same year authorizing the agency to issue a new lease, but DCR and the Friends have been battling ever since then over the terms. The Friends remain a tenant at will.

Patriot Ledger 1/18/2021

One step closer: Hull Artists match grant to build Nantasket Art Center

HULL – Hull Artists are one step closer to a new arts venue thanks to a $1,466 donation from the Social Service League of Cohasset, a local philanthropic organization.

With the donation, the Hull Artists group, a non-profit, has met its fundraising goal of $22,000 to obtain a matching grant awarded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.  “We can now begin the next step in making our dream of the Nantasket Center for the Arts a reality,” said Bart Blumberg, president of Hull Artists.

The money will go toward converting the long-vacant Department of Conservation and recreation police barracks at 213 Nantasket Ave., into a regional arts center. It allowed the group to move forward with hiring a firm, Fort Point Consulting, to complete a feasibility study to look at what will be involved in the renovation of the state-owned building. The study will begin in February.

Stefenie Thieleman, a board member for the Social Service League of Cohasset, called the project “ambitious and exciting.”  “It will benefit residents of all ages and is consistent with our mission of assisting local programs that support more inclusive and vibrant communities,” said Thieleman.

Hull Artists is a regional group of about 90 artists and was founded in 1995. The organization works to bring artists together and showcase their work around town.

Other donations came from more than 200 individuals and local businesses, Rockland Trust, South Shore Bank, the Hull Nantasket Chamber of Commerce, helping the group to reach its fundraising goal in eight months.  “It is so gratifying to enjoy the support of local organizations as well as the strong backing of our members and the public,” Blumberg said.  

The plan for the center will be to provide a wide range of arts programming and services including: space for art and performance classes for adults, teens and children; after-school arts and culture programs for local youth; a workspace for artists; retail gallery space displaying the work of local artists; and a community meeting space.nt

The barracks, built in the 1930s, served as a police station for the State Police and then the Department of Conservation and Recreation Police until 1992 and has been vacant since. It is owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and maintained through the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

“It will be a true community resource, providing a range of art, cultural and recreational activities for all to enjoy,” said Irwin Nesoff board member of Hull Artists and chairman of the fundraising committee.

Plan to convert DCR Barracks into Art Center Advancing

Hull Times 1/14/2021

Jack Conway Realty and The Hull Chamber of Commerce gave Hull Artists the two checks that move us much closer to our dream of creating the NCA. Below is an article from the Conway Newsletter and a photo of Adrienne Muir, President of the Chamber, handing over the check to Bart Blumberg, president of Hull Artists.

As Funds Flow in, Hull Artists Inching Closer to Move into Old Police Facility

10/30/2020 Hull Times

NCA has a New Billboard!

A digital billboard about Nantasket Center for the Arts was jut put up on Route 3 north toward Boston just after exit 15.  The advertising space was created and donated by John Mahoney of Out Front Media, for which we are very thankful for his support. 
The images are by HA members Susan Hagstrom (photo) and Judith Green (painting)

Boston Globe 10/11/2020

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Hull Times Article October 8, 2020

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June 11,2020 Hull times

Patriot Ledger May 2020

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12/26/2019 Hull Times

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