VIDEO: Munroe Center a Local Arts Hub
The Munroe Center for the Arts is home to a number of arts courses, students and classes, but the cost of running and inhabiting the town-owned building continue to cloud the future of the building.
It’s a sunny Thursday in early October.
The sun is shining and temperature just so, making this the kind of early autumn afternoon on which just about every kid can come up with a reason for being outside.
But, for a few dozen local children and adults, an old school building on Massachusetts Avenue is the place to be.
In a basement room, middle-schoolers in leotards and kneepads shimmy and slide across the floor to some Top 40 song. Upstairs a level, a man with an instrument walks into a dark room while children make mugs and bowls out of clay. On the top floor, young girls pirouette and relevé while a woman paints a country landscape.
Welecome to the Munroe Center for the Arts, a town-owned building where Lexingtonians go to create, participate and enjoy artistic outlets.
That’s the Munroe Center now, and in the immediate future. For the time being, the Munroe Center for the Arts and ArtSpan have a license agreement to inhabit the town-owned building for a modest price and maintain it as a cultural center for the arts.
However, the old building has mounting capital needs, and the Munroe Center folks say short-term licenses and constant renewals would make it hard to mount the kind of fundraising campaign needed to address access and envelope issues.
In the not too distant past, the town passed on an opportunity to sell the building to inhabitants at a low price in exchange for them taking over capital and maintenance responsibilities.
Recently, Selectman George Burnell raised questions about the possibility of increasing the MCA’s monthly rent from $2,000 per month to something closer to the estimated $100,000 per year he believes the town could fetch renting the building at its market rate.
However, on Modnay, Oct. 17, Burnell withdrew his questions, citing cost increases of operating the building.