As you may know, the Central Square BID, Community Arts Center, and Dance Complex were accepted as a cohort to the Boston Foundation’s Place Leadership Network. Beginning this summer, our Executive Director, Michael Monestime has participated in monthly trainings, workshops, and site visits alongside 40 other community leaders from Massachusetts to learn about maintaining and growing spaces for creative expression.

Part of the program includes playing host. In November, we welcomed the entire group to Central Square for a day in the Cultural District. We started bright and early with dance and movement at Central Square’s iconic Dance Complex, discussed strategies for building public support of arts initiatives, took a tour of our mural project, enjoyed food from our friends at Andala, and challenged our biases at IDEO.

One of the framing questions for the day was simple, yet consequential: What is your biggest communication challenge? For us, a brand new organization in the community, defining our role and work is essential. We are place keepers who occupy a unique niche as a partner to the city, local businesses, and residents. We’re excited to be collaborating with Eryn Johnson (CAC) and Peter Dimuro (Dance Complex) to champion an arts-led vision for Central Square that creates intergenerational connections and opportunities for the people and businesses who call Central Square home.

The day wrapped with a lively discussion at IDEO about branding new spaces and the politics of representation. Next month, we’ll be in the Dudley Square (Nubian Sq.) Cultural District. Look for another recap after that trip!