Gentrification: Opportunity, Threat, or Both


It always bears repeating, “gentrification without displacement” is not just a catch phrase for artists who live in Mattapan.  Since the vast majority of us create art where we live, the threat of gentrification is doubly real.

Now that Mattapan Cultural Arts Development (MCAD) and the Mattapan Arts Council have joined forces to re-brand Mattapan, the question becomes how do we get our neighbors to see local artists and arts organizations as allies in the fight.

Deeper dives into our conference notes from this year’s Americans for the Arts convention yield some things for us to consider.   If arts and culture sustain “the delicate weave that preserves the fabric of a community,” is Mattapan an exception, somehow,  to this rule?

Over the next few months MCAD will prod the Mattapan Arts Council (M.A.C.) and the Mattapan Alliance to Promote the Creative Economy (M.A.P, the Creative Economy) to elicit responses to one central question:  what role will their networks play towards building a healthy, vibrant, and equitable arts ecosystem—one that is fully integrated into  other sectors key to community resilience.

Our previous ‘division of labor’ no longer applies.  New models are required.

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