Last week, Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture announced the North End Music & Performing Arts Center (NEMPAC) was one of 146 local arts and cultural organizations to receive grant money as part of the Arts and Culture COVID-19 Fund.
NEMPAC will share in $815,000 in grant money from the City of Boston’s CARES Act funding. The CARES Act funding was established earlier this summer to support small and mid-sized arts and culture nonprofits in adapting their programs, spaces, and operating models as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Supporting the organizations that bring transformative arts programming to every neighborhood in our city is imperative during this unprecedented time,” said Mayor Walsh. “These organizations have put a tremendous amount of effort into making sure Bostonians can still participate in the arts and express themselves creatively, and it’s important that we do what we can to ensure they remain a part of Boston’s arts community in the future.”
NEMPAC is a nonprofit community music school and a professional performing arts center with a strong focus on serving the North End, Charlestown and surrounding neighborhoods of the City of Boston by making quality music and arts programming accessible for all.
However, like many community programs, the COVID-19 pandemic has halted many in-person programs and forced organizations like NEMPAC to adapt and change how they operate.
In August NEMPAC announced it would reopen this month under strict COVID health and safety policies.
“North End Music & Performing Arts Center programs resume online and facilities are set to officially open for in-person programming under strict reopening policies in September,” said NEMPAC in a statement. “This fall we offer in-person classes and virtual programs.”
NEMPAC COVID reopening policies include wearing face coverings at all times in all studios, classrooms, common areas, and instructional sites; maintaining six feet between instructor, staff, or peer; hand washing and sanitizing before and after instruction; all instruments and equipment used will be sanitized after each use; there will be a 10 minute buffer between all in-person lessons and classes; and there will be only two people allowed at all times in the Prado Studios community room
“We are excited to meet again with our students in person and look forward to doing so safely,” continued the statement.
The City’s Chief of Arts and Culture Kara Elliott-Ortega said COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the arts and culture sector, particularly performing arts organizations. As organizations and cultural facilities begin reopening, the Arts and Culture COVID-19 Fund aims to mitigate costs for finding new safe spaces for performance and rehearsal, adapting existing facilities to comply with public health standards, developing new capacities in streaming and virtual engagement, addressing issues of equitable access on digital programs, retraining staff, and other costs associated with physically distanced program delivery.
“Providing ongoing support to Boston’s arts organizations is critical during this time,” said Elliott-Ortega. “We hope this will encourage Boston residents to do what they can to make sure these organizations are able to continue providing valuable programming to our communities in the future.”
For questions or concerns about NEMPAC’s reopening plans, please contact Executive Director, Sherri Snow at [email protected] For questions about specific programs, please contact Educational Programs Director, Allie Meek-Carufel at [email protected]