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Documenting the creative assets of a community to develop strategies to protect and grow arts, culture, and creativity

Arts and culture in Allston-Brighton encompass diverse creative practices, cultural and ethnic traditions, venues, and businesses. The community hosts long-time residents who have raised families there, newer Bostonians searching for opportunity and making new connections and lives, and a vibrant and large student population. Some parts of Allston-Brighton are known for their scrappy environment and welcoming atmosphere to new artists, particularly musicians and makers. Parts of the community host large institutions and repurposed light industrial structures and warehouses that provide affordable spaces for visual artists, makers, and other creatives. The commercial and industrial spaces of the community, and their affordability to artists, makers, and creatives of all types, are key to Allston-Brighton’s character as this community is a “make and sell/buy” place.

CivicMoxie worked with the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture in the City of Boston to address the major changes underway in Allston-Brighton; loss of affordability and arts and cultural spaces, shifting demographics, and new development all present challenges to the community that require constant advocacy, diligence, and time. This placekeeping report takes stock of the cultural environment to understand: what exists, what is treasured, and what contributes to the unique characteristics of Allston-Brighton.

The recommendations outlined in the report draw together ideas and precedents for action which are responsive to the needs and opportunities captured during the planning process and from precedents in similar places. The recommendations consider the full range of public, private, nonprofit, individual, and business stakeholders who might have a role in implementation. Some of these ideas and actions are relatively simple, others long-term and complex, and almost all require multiple parties working together in some fashion to move forward.

Project type:

Arts and culture, community revitalization, corridor / main streets, downtown / district plan, placemaking, urban design

Allston-Brighton Arts, Culture, and Placekeeping

City of Boston, Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture


July 2021

Project Type:
Arts and culture, community revitalization, corridor / main streets, downtown / district plan, placemaking, urban design

Project Team:
CivicMoxie (lead)

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