If you haven’t driven down Roxbury Street in Keene in recent months, it might look a bit different. The spot where the former YMCA once stood is now a clean slate ready for MoCo Arts to build anew. This prime site, directly across from Hannah Grimes Center, will have the chance to serve the families of the Monadnock region once again.
MoCo Arts was founded 25 years ago in its current building, a modest former machine shop. Since then enrollment has grown 225%; the building has not! MoCo is an important part of Keene’s creative economy and a significant contributor to a vibrant Main Street. Serving 2,300+ students a year, MoCo children and their families are patrons of local coffee shops, restaurants, grocery stores, and many other businesses that keep Keene’s downtown thriving. Many community leaders believe this hub for the arts will have a spillover effect to further redevelopment of Keene’s East Side.
For MoCo, the chance to create a vibrant downtown hub for creative arts education for children — just steps from Main Street and Central Square — is a chance to enhance their mission of Transforming Lives Through Movement and Creative Expression. For many young people, transportation to activities and events is a barrier to opportunity. Remaining downtown ensures that students can access MoCo’s highly-regarded dance and theatre classes and award winning multi-arts camps by school bus, public transportation, bicycle, or on foot. Accessibility is a MoCo guiding value; welcoming and inclusive arts education for all, regardless of financial, social or other barriers.
MoCo Moves: Building MoCo Arts’ Future is a $5 Million dollar capital campaign to build new studios and reach more students. Currently, $4.1 Million has been fundraised and MoCo needs your help to get to the finish line. For more information about this exciting project, visit www.move.moco.org, or call MoCo Arts at 603-357-2100.