The local arts community received some bad news when Green Street Studios, a popular Cambridge dance studio, announced it would be closing its doors at the end of the month after serving the community for 28 years.
The thriving center for the performance of movement and dance, Green Street Studios announced it will be ending its contract housing countless performances in Central Square due to a “significant rent increase” issued by the new landlord. Regular operations are set to continue through the month of October until Green Street Studios officially closes its doors on Oct. 27th.
The board of directors for Green Street Studios, a non-profit arts organization, released a statement on the matter expressing its financial position in the past and clarifying the reason for the closure. The studio mentions their prospering financial history stating, “Green Street Studios is thriving both artistically and financially.”
While the explanation for the cessation reads, “Following a turn-around initiated in 2016, exponential growth has continued under current leadership. Despite this success, GSS cannot sustain a significant rent increase brought by new ownership of the building. Tragically, the increase reflects the prohibitive cost to operate in the Central Square Cultural Arts District and broader Cambridge.”
The performing arts organization founded in 1991, welcomed over 5000 artists and community members every year to their Central Square studios and beautiful Black Box Theater. The mission for affordable dance spaces paved the way for many performances, classes, rehearsals and artist residencies.
The acting chair of the board, Stephen Ursprung, spoke to Cambridge Day about new building owner Peter Givertzman, stating that he was “not interested in reaching an agreement for long-term occupancy” unless a new “market rate” was agreed upon. The rent increase was said to be triple the cost of the previous lease.
Unfortunately, Green Street Studios is just one of many recent arts organizations in Cambridge that have been forced to shut down or move out of the area. Others in recent years include Out of the Blue Art Gallery, Deborah Mason School of Dance, Comedy Studio, and New Alliance Gallery, to name just a few.
Many have bemoaned the recent loss of the arts community in Cambridge and are fighting to save what’s left.
Green Street Studios leaves us with this message, “Get involved. We encourage you to lend your support to existing arts organizations. If the arts have enriched your life, please advocate for meaningful arts funding and protection in Cambridge.”
In the meantime, if you’re looking for something to do around the Boston area, take the time to attend a class or enjoy a performance at Green Street Studios between now and its final day on October 27.