The baroque play of a minuet, the free-flowing drum beat of a jazz riff, or the squeak of someone trying their fi rst note on a violin. These are some of the sounds that fill the Portsmouth Music and Arts Center. A nonprofit community school for music and visual arts, its new facility allows them to add staff and maintain employment opportunities for four dozen instructors. The new PMAC is also doing more than just helping the city meet its cultural goals.
“We’re becoming an anchor of the city’s west end by revitalizing an empty building,” says PMAC Executive Director Russ Grazier, referring to efforts to rejuvenate the Islington Street corridor. Their move to this part of Portsmouth has stimulated rehabilitation of adjacent properties and businesses.
The organization was able to open its new facility thanks to $356,550 in Investment Tax Credits from CDFA.
“Receiving CDFA tax credit support was a critical turning point,” Russ says. ”It signaled to our donors that our efforts would have real economic impact for the community.
It also allowed local businesses to invest in our project in a more meaningful and signifi cant way than would otherwise be possible.”
Passing the rehearsal rooms or art displays, another discordant attempt to drag an F# from a bow fi lls the hallways. The note may be out of tune, but the sound of progress is music to their ears.