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Wayland Student Press

The student news site of Wayland High School

Wayland Student Press

The student news site of Wayland High School

Wayland Student Press

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Wayland Arts searches for a new storage space

A+preliminary+image+design+of+the+potential+new+Wayland+Arts+building+which+will+be+built+in+Cochituate+if+the+zoning+is+approved.+Wayland+Arts+says+the+new+building+will+have+a+village+feel+and+look+like+a+farmhouse.+
Credit: Courtesy of Robyn Grey
A preliminary image design of the potential new Wayland Arts building which will be built in Cochituate if the zoning is approved. Wayland Arts says the new building will have a village feel and look like a farmhouse.

Wayland Arts hasn’t had a permanent space since July 2022 after KidStrong took over at 57 Andrew Avenue. Since then, Wayland Arts has been a nomadic organization, finding a new space to hold each event.

“We quickly decided to pivot after we lost the space and became a nomadic art institution, so [we began] doing pop up events and partnering with other local organizations so that we could continue to fulfill our mission,” Wayland Arts Clerk and Director of public relations Robyne Gray said. “And yet, at the same time, we have been furiously trying to find appropriate space so that we can have a more permanent solution, have more control over programming and have a better ability to fundraise and cultivate donors.”

During the May 13 town meeting, Wayland residents will have the opportunity to vote on amending the zoning bylaw to add a retail self-storage for commercial use (page 82, Article 27). If the Article receives a two-thirds majority vote in favor of rezoning the land, Wayland Arts will have the opportunity to bid on the space.

“So the project was first started by a private developer who came to the Economic Development Committee,” Chair of the economic development committee Rebecca Stanizzi said. “He wanted to [build a new arts space] but didn’t have that zoning in Wayland at all. So we were talking with them and he was saying where he was proposing doing it.”

Stanizzi says that if the zoning article is passed, they would not have to spend any money because a private developer would build the Wayland Arts space.

“A lot of people when they first hear about it, they’re like, ‘Oh, I don’t want to have self storage near me,’” Stanizzi said. “But it’ll actually look good. It’ll look like an office and retail building. It’s good for the tax base. It has a good, nice design and fits into the village setting.”

Throughout the time that Wayland Arts has not had a permanent space, they have had to float from place to place for different events. These events include art classes, exhibits and musical performances.

“I think we’ve established really important connections in the community by having this sort of nomadic style,” Gray said. “We are really partnered deeply with the First Parish and with Vokes theater, and have been in constant communication with various boards, government boards and the town [of Wayland], who are aware of our needs. We’re optimistic that out of the struggle, opportunity will come.”

The Wayland Arts building used to be located in the town center. President of Wayland Arts Judy Stein hopes that people in the Wayland community will gather at the new arts space.

“We really loved the idea [of having a space in the town center] where audiences could come and they could enjoy an art exhibit in addition to whatever the performance was,” Stein said. “It was also a community space, like certain organizations would come and have their meetings there. So it’s just a nice gathering place. We’ve never quite managed to do that. We lost the space before we were able to really implement that idea to the fullest.”

Wayland Arts has been in Wayland for around 40 years. On the site for the new Wayland Arts space, they say the storage space would have a cozy village feel.

The site also says the space will be around 3,500 square feet. According to the Home for Wayland Arts site, tax revenue will be three to four times higher than regular zoning, which would equate to between 1.2 million and 1.6 million over 10 years. However, the Wayland Arts space would be free for the group if it is approved at the town meeting.

“[The new arts space would] really provide all kinds of different art experiences, music and a place where people can really come to enjoy it and enjoy each other as well,” Stein said. “We have a lot of artists in the community, and Wayland Arts really supports them by trying to find as many opportunities for them to exhibit their work and for classes. It’s just really great to have a space that is really devoted to art.”

 

This article was updated to clarify the specific intent of the zoning bylaw Article. 

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About the Contributor
Ainsley Jay
Ainsley Jay, Staff Reporter
Ainsley Jay, Class of 2027, is a first year reporter for WSPN. She runs for the school’s cross country team. Outside of school she enjoys reading, watching TV, listening to music and spending time with friends and family. Contact: [email protected]
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