By Anthony Boiardi
Students and alumni of Fitchburg State University have created a business in downtown Fitchburg to promote the creative arts as well as interest in the creative economy.The brainchild of alumnus Jeff Anderson, Artistree is a gallery and concert venue that sets out not only to encourageenthusiasm for the arts, but “to boost Fitchburg’s economy by creating a cultural district downtown.” Anderson says.
Located at 454 Main St., in the Cornerstone studio space right next to TD Banknorth, Artistree has two floors and several studio spaces for everything from art galleries and open mics to dance performances and yoga classes. The next open mic night is March 10, and hooping classes start on March 15.
“It’s sort of a jam space for the mind,” says coordinating member Casey Taylor, a junior at FSU.
Artistree has been receiving attention and gaining support from local organizations including Design 639 and the Fitchburg Art Museum, and has been awarded a total of over $2,000 in Fitchburg Cultural Council grants.
“We have open mics every first Saturday of the month,” says Alex Cohen, a supporting member of Artistree, “as well as free shows with local artists.”
Officially an art gallery and creative expression firm, the Artistree has been designed to enhance life in Fitchburg for both students and residents.
“There are several store fronts that are closed down, and no new businesses opening up,” says Anderson. “The city is overlooking, neglecting, the positive aspects of integrating students into the city’s businesses itself.”
With a modern business approach to a modern world, Artistree organizers hope to expand the city’s cultural horizons and ultimately branch out to other communities as well.
Further upcoming events include a concert on March 24, starring Beware the Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion!, Ipomoea, and Freres La Pierredoors, with tickets priced at $3. For more details, contact Artistree at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out their Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/FitchburgArtisTree.
This month at the Artistree:
Saturday, March 10, 8 p.m. – open mic night; no cover
Thursday, March 15 – Hooping lessons with Nikki Steez; $5; hoops will be provided; lessons continue every other Thursday.
Saturday, March 24 – 7:30 p.m. – concert featuring Beware the Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion!, Ipomoea, and Freres LaPierredoors; $3