Opinion: How to fix Boston’s shortage of affordable rehearsal space

Posted on: May 8, 2014

In Sunday’s (5/4) Boston Globe Pat Hollenbeck, president of the Boston Musicians Association, writes that the city of Boston “has run out of rehearsal space.… In neighborhoods across Boston, musicians lug unwieldy instruments up the stairs of triple-deckers for ‘house’ rehearsals because it’s the only place to practice.… Some of the cheapest in-city rehearsal rooms cost $20 an hour.… Live-work complexes such as the Midway Studios have not become havens for working musicians.… The solution to the two-pronged problem of rehearsal space and affordable housing lies in the Percent for Art program. … Boston’s Percent for Art should welcome musicians into the fold by earmarking funds to convert industrial spaces into rehearsal studios. … Historically, Bostonians have celebrated music as a public art. I’m reminded of this each July 4 as hundreds of thousands of people pour onto the Esplanade to hear the Boston Pops, and throughout the summer as thousands of residents picnic at Boston Landmarks Orchestra concerts. … Between the Boston Conservatory, Berklee College, the New England Conservatory, and the music programs at the city’s countless other schools, Boston is one of the world’s greatest launching pads for aspiring musicians. Now let’s work to prove to our students that Boston is a viable town for a music career.”

Posted May 8, 2014