MASS MoCA — which opened in 1999 in North Adams, MA — is a multi-disciplinary arts center occupying a 16-acre, 25-building former factory campus in a struggling former mill town. If you haven’t visited MASS MoCA, then you haven’t experienced the best that a contemporary arts center can offer. It’s in a class above.
There’s an extraordinary history that goes with MASS MoCA’s facilities and their transformation from textile mills to electronics manufacturing to cultural center. MASS MoCA is about nourishing new ideas and innovation, both in the arts and in economic development: in that regard, MASS MoCA has been a logical lead partner for the launch of Assets for Artists.
The museum has generously contributed substantial staff time toward launching and operating the program, which originated as a pet project of staffmember Blair Benjamin, rather than as a mission-critical program. As in any good laboratory, there’s a tolerance for creative experimentation beyond an employee’s regular job description, and MASS MoCA has remained a strong champion and home for this collaborative program since its inception.