When Jim Braund sold the Commerce Building to Ashburnham Realty earlier this year, many in the arts community breathed a sigh of relief. But Kate Story, a pillar of Peterborough’s downtown theatre sector, still has concerns.
Although Ashburnham does not appear to have demolition in mind, it has made no firm commitment to retain affordable studios for artists in this literal and figurative cornerstone of the Hunter Street entertainment district.
In 2005 an extensive One Roof Project Conceptual Plan and Preliminary Feasibility Analysis (PDF) was developed for the now-defunct Peterborough Arts Umbrella, citing the same needs for proprietary artist space and protections that, over a decade later, have not come close to being realized.
The potential loss of artist spaces, coupled with the deferral of Artsweek this year, makes the timing critical for Story to produce the multi-venue, month-long Precarious Festival this November, designed to examine the relentless financial instability that dogs artists and arts organizations.
The Precarious Festival runs from October 25 – December 2, 2017.