IAM Receives Mass Cultural Council Grants for Needed Riverside Theater Renovations

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IAM Receives Mass Cultural Council Grants for Needed Riverside Theater Renovations

On March 20, 2020, in News

In June 2019, Inspire Arts & Music Inc. was awarded two grants from Mass Cultural Council’s Cultural Facilities Fund: The Systems Replacement Grant in the amount of $7,000 and the Feasibility & Technical Assistance Grant for $30,000. Both grants required IAM to raise matching funds, which IAM successfully completed in February 2020. These grants will fund planning and assessment of the Riverside Theater, and provide detailed architecture plans for future renovations. Here is an update on our progress so far:

Systems Replacement Grant

“The goal of the Systems Replacement Plan grant program is to provide organizations who do not have full-time maintenance staff with the tools they need to prioritize their capital maintenance needs.” Mass Cultural Council website.

In January 2020, IAM entered an agreement with the Nonprofit Finance Fund and Olive Branch Consulting to complete a Systems Replacement Plan for the Riverside Theater. On March 10, 2020, the building survey was conducted to evaluate the theater envelope (roof, walls, and entry systems) and its mechanical systems (heating, cooling, ventilation and plumbing). In approximately 4-6 weeks, IAM will be provided a written engineer’s report and an on-line excel tool which will provide the estimated usable life expectancy of the building systems, the approximate replacement cost of said repairs, and a planning tool which will enable IAM to plan and save for these repairs over the next 20 years.

Feasibility & Technical Assistance Grant

“The purpose of the Feasibility & Technical Assistance grants is to help managers and board members of cultural organizations get the objective information and analysis they need before they commit their organization’s energies and financial resources to a facilities project.” Mass Cultural Council website.

At present time, IAM is preparing to sign a contract with BWA Architecture to provide architectural and technical services as outlined under the Mass Cultural Council’s Feasibility & Technical Assistance Grant. BWA Architecture will work closely with the building engineer from Olive Branch Consulting regarding the systems replacement evaluation. Additionally, BWA Architecture will provide space planning concepts to address accessibility, life safety, theater and music education programming, office improvements and tenant leasing.

Looking Ahead

In late fall/early winter 2020, IAM’s Grant Committee plans to pursue a Capital Grant from Mass Cultural Council’s Cultural Facilities Fund. “The Capital grants program provides matching grants to assist with the acquisition, final-stage design, construction, repair, renovation, rehabilitation, or other capital improvements or deferred maintenance of cultural facilities in Massachusetts.” Mass Cultural Council website.

If IAM is awarded a capital grant, the monies will be used to make the needed repairs, upgrades and renovations to the Riverside Theater. Mass Cultural Council awards Capital Grants up to $200,000 for building improvements.