SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Love Art Collective Inc. (LAC) has secured funding from MassDevelopment and the Mass Cultural Council to establish the Block Art Studio (BAS) in the heart of Mason Square.
The LAC has been awarded a $174,000 Cultural Facilities Fund Grant from the Mass Cultural Council and MassDevelopment, as well as a $229,000 Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) Equity Investment program grant from MassDevelopment.
The Block Art Studio, a Black-owned and operated art and culture center, aims to invest in the creative and cultural ecosystem of Springfield. It will serve as an incubator for youth, creatives, and visionary entrepreneurs, fostering a vibrant and dynamic space for artistic expression.
Jasper McCoy, Senior Business Strategist of the Love Art Collective and Managing Director of Block Art Studio, highlights the significance of the project, stating, “Block Art Studio reflects the potential of a creative community when expanding local neighborhood culture, talent, and business becomes a priority. BAS will be a landmark example to creative cities like ours, showing the sustainability of a cultural ecosystem where the creatives are given the resources first.”
Jasper McCoy has collaborated with various stakeholders in western Massachusetts to strengthen the Springfield arts and culture community. He played a pivotal role in the formation of the Springfield Creative City Collective, which secured a $535,000 MassDevelopment Creative Cities Grant in 2022.
Tiffany Allecia M.Ed., Executive Director of the Springfield Creative City Collective, has been appointed as the Director of Creative and Cultural Development for the Block Art Studio. Allecia emphasizes the studio’s significance in advancing the Black and Brown community of Springfield, stating that it will provide diverse, equitable, inclusive, accessible, and culturally relevant opportunities for growth and sustainability within the city’s economic sector related to arts and culture.
The development of the Block Art Studio has garnered support from Springfield’s arts and culture executives, including Rosemary Tracy Woods, Executive Director of the Art for the Soul Gallery, who will serve as a consultant on the capital project.
Woods expresses enthusiasm for the initiative, stating, “We enthusiastically support the Block Art Studio project by the Love Art Collective. It is a transformative undertaking to uplift BIPOC creatives, expand the creative economy, and enrich our city’s arts and culture scene.”
Woods believes that the project will foster inclusivity, representation, and create opportunities for economic growth and social change, aligning with her commitment to building vibrant, equitable communities through Art and Culture.
The development of the Block Art Studio and the efforts of the Love Art Collective align with the City of Springfield’s commitment to investing in arts and cultural development as a sustainable economic initiative. City Council President Jesse Lederman acknowledges the grassroots movement spearheaded by the Love Art Collective and appreciates their contribution to expanding artistic opportunities and the arts and culture economy in Springfield. Lederman emphasizes the positive impact the project will have on local artists and the community as a whole.
The Block Art Studio will house a gallery space, offer professional development opportunities in arts and culture, provide cultural enrichment programming, empower youth through art initiatives, host community events, collaborate with the Springfield Museums, and offer collaborative spaces for strategic planning to enhance the Springfield creative economy. It will also provide fine art private experiences, further enriching the artistic landscape of the city.