UMass Memorial Healthcare to Grant $ 500,000 Loan to Creative Hub Worcester to Help Rehabilitate Former Boys Club

Creative Hub Worcester’s fundraising campaign to rehabilitate a community center in the Main South neighborhood will receive a boost from UMass Memorial Healthcare.

On Monday, UMass Memorial will announce a $ 500,000 investment loan to Creative Hub Worcester that will be used for renovations to 2 Ionic Ave, the site of the former Boys Club.

Creative Hub Worcester plans to transform the 40,000 square foot space built in 1914 into a versatile arts center serving at-risk youth and local artists from the Deep South.

Creative Hub Worcester was co-founded in July 2015 by Laura Marotta, president of the Massachusetts Art Education Association, and Stacy Lord, art teacher in Worcester and co-founder of the non-profit art festival “stART on the Street” .

The vacant building will soon house art exhibitions and after-school programs.

The first floor will be an event space available for rent that will generate income to support the programming, the maker space and the studio. Artists will pay a monthly membership fee to access equipment for printmaking, textiles, ceramics, drawing, painting and more.

The former Boys Club basketball court and elevated running track on the building’s first floor will be converted into a space for weddings, corporate and cultural events, music, dancing and more. Marotta said the revenue from this space would be used to support the organization’s mission-based programming.

The second and ground floors of the building will house affordable artist studios.

In the basement, a terrace covers the empty swimming pool, which will be converted into a classroom for young and adult workshops. At the end of the corridor, a basketball court below will be converted into a dance floor for the programming of dance and movement.

A second event space is planned on the third floor of the building, which opens onto a 4000 square foot roof.

Creative Hub Worcester and the Arts and Business Council have already secured $ 4.5 million in tax credits, $ 1.1 million in funding and over $ 1 million in fundraising, according to its website . The organization hoped to raise an additional $ 900,000 and close the funding this summer. The building is slated to open in fall 2021.

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