At ArtsEmerson’s meet-and-greet for Julie Burros on her first day as Boston’s Chief of Arts and Culture, of those who queued for questions, many had the same concern on their minds: space. Earlier this year, The Factory Theater—a longstanding, ramshackle venue in the South End that served the Hub’s thriving fringe community—learned that their lease would not be renewed, and subsequently closed this fall. While this example was offered to Ms. Burros—a concern that she seemed well-aware of, even if she didn’t have a finite answer for a solution (yet)—the Factory’s shuttering speaks to a larger problem of Greater Boston’s arts scene that extends beyond the theater community: Musicians seek alternative performance venues and practice spaces, visual and performance artists have seen staple galleries shutter, permitting and licensing is a nightmare, and artists living in the city continue to be pushed farther from the city center in order they can continue to afford toilet paper.
Some of this is the natural ebb and flow of business, some is straight-up saddening, and amid all that, there have been some spacial triumphs. Wherever it falls on the spectrum, allow us to recap the openings, closings, changes, close calls, and celebrations of 2014. Because that’s just what we do in December.
After five years adorning the walls of 132 Brookline Avenue, Fourth Wall Project announced their final shows in May.
A new poetry night, the House Slam, took up residence in the beloved Haley House Bakery Cafe in June.
A new online database, SpaceFinder, which seeks to hook artists up with venues for performance, rehearsal, recording, and whatnot, has doubled its listings since kicking off this September.
ARCH Gallery put their plan to become a music venue on hold in September, but they’re still kicking as a gallery space.
October 8 marked a milestone moment as Tremont Street’s Calderwood Pavilion celebrated t10 years of being awesome.
Taking over a Jamaica Plain storefront, the improv-centric Riot Theatre opened its doors Halloween weekend.
Harvard Art Museums reopened its doors this November after seven years of renovations that brought the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Sackler collections under one roof.
At the start of December, weekly live music returned to the newly refurbished Rosebud.
Earlier this month, the Middle East Club announced the owners would buy the building, securing the once-hazy future of the multiple stages it houses in Cambridge.
Taking over the old Radio Bar spot, Thunder Road has been permitted for entertainment and liquor licenses, and renovations are underway.
Out of the Blue Gallery vacated its long-held space after rent increases, but found a new home in Central, which saw its grand reopening this past weekend.
Lincoln Arts Project ended its tenure with a bang this past weekend.
The Hallway Gallery also said ta-ta this month, with Secret Boston moving into the narrow space.
A gussied-up Middlesex Lounge will reopen in the new year as a Thursday-through-Saturday venue.