The year 2020, with all of its challenges, proved to be a transformative year for Brain Arts Organization and Dorchester Art Project (DAP). DAP transitioned from renting out space and organizing indoor events to focusing more on public outreach efforts such as protests, mutual aid, and a variety of outdoor gatherings. At their core, Brain Arts and DAP are focused on equity and advocacy to support undervalued communities in the arts sector, and at large, to build a brighter future.
This large community impact started with modest beginnings. Brain Arts Organization began as Boston Compass, a free monthly magazine distributed all over Boston in 2010. In 2017, Brain Arts started work as a volunteer non-profit, DIY punk show collective. After looking for a place to call home for years, Brain Arts held their first show at DAP and took over the lease in 2018. This started a process of building trust, partnerships, and connections in the Dorchester community.
With the adaptations required in 2020, partnering with volunteer run groups became a staple form of business. Free food was a fixture of local gatherings and community support, including a community fridge stocked with food. Grant writing generated an outpouring of support from groups like Mass Cultural Council, Mass Humanities, Save the Harbor, and New Urban Mechanics. These grants and continued work in the community allowed DAP to increase their workforce to 10 part-time workers. The expansion of the store front to include the first floor allowed for a greater presence in the community.
A strong emphasis was placed on supporting local artists, highlighted by a fundraiser launched in April 2020 which raised $17,000 for assistance with rent relief. DAP also helped to organize gigs for local musicians, providing over $35,000 in income and $15,000 in logistical support like equipment and set up.
DAP’s presence has continued to grow and blossom with 15 artist studios, a gallery, an exhibition space, a space for co-work, and a cozy performance hall. DAP is supportive of all the arts, with live music, art exhibits, and space rental program for a wide variety of creative works. Brain Arts and DAP are dedicated to supporting the artist community, and in 2019, they modified their approach to focus on equity with systematically undervalued artists.
Moving forward, DAP plans to secure additional real estate by working on grants and growing revenue streams. This will allow further hiring in the local community, and larger growth in a hopefully Covid-free future. DAP is very appreciative of all support in the form of donations, membership, shopping at its physical or online store, and volunteering. Please visit their website here to explore DAP’s offerings and lend your support.
DAP is also making a concerted effort to pursue sustainability measures in the local community and work towards an equitable future. HomeWorks Energy is proud to partner with and support Dorchester Art Project in everything they do. We’re donating $25 to DAP for every no-cost virtual Home Energy Assessment performed.
Schedule online here or call (781) 528-0822 and mention Dorchester Art Project.
A no-cost Home Energy Assessment shows you how your home consumes and loses energy and you get access to generous Mass Save® rebates such as 75%+ off insulation, 100% off air sealing, and no-cost items such as LED light bulbs and programmable thermostats. You receive a custom energy report of your home and DAP gets $25 to help support their community efforts.
Join us and let’s build a stronger community together!