We’re creating a new local institution housed at St. Augustine’s, the Black Space for Arts and Empowerment, to host performances, educational opportunities, and community organizing events that serve the neighborhood and beyond.
Disintegration of community bonds results when we allow gentrification to run unchecked. Our efforts at St. Augustine’s aim to create a reinvigorated space for community empowerment and connection through the arts and organizing, and thereby resist community disintegration.
Cambridge has lost a significant amount of arts spaces over the past decade, leading to a crisis for many performing groups in the area.
Since 2020, we have been reactivating the space at St. Augustine’s as a space for arts groups to practice and perform. We have cultivated partnerships with local groups including the Jean Apollon Dance Company, the Cambridge Youth Steel Orchestra, the Cambridge Jazz Festival, the TEMPO International Rhythm Section, and Cambridge Public Schools. We also partner with local groups involved in Black and Brown organizing and advocacy, such as My Brothers Keeper, the Loop Lab, and the Cambridge NAACP.
On a regular basis, the space at St. Augustine’s is used for concerts and gatherings. We want to increase the foot traffic and the use-cases in the coming years so that St. Augustine’s serves as a space for the neighborhood to connect, and as a grassroots solution to the disintegration brought on by gentrification.
Interior restoration is necessary to cultivate a space truly conducive to arts and community empowerment. Our goal, working in close partnership with the church members of St. Augustine’s, is to renovate the church’s basement as an inviting multipurpose space, and to preserve and upgrade the main level for dual use as a place of worship and as a flexible studio and stage for artist groups.
We are beginning a new capital campaign to fund the interior transformation of St. Augustine’s into a house of worship that also contains a multipurpose space for arts and community empowerment. We need your help to kickstart this $1.5 million interior transformation and reactivation plan.
Invest in our work! 100% of your donation goes towards our mission of community-based reparation, the fight against Black displacement caused by gentrification, and the creation of the new Space for Black Exuberance at St. Augustine’s.
Donations are tax deductable; BHAC’s tax ID/EIN is 85-2043123.