85 West Newton Construction Update

85 West Newton Construction Update

In 2021, major progress is being made on construction at 85 West Newton Street, the future home of IBA’s new multipurpose community arts center. Read on to learn more.

What progress is being made at 85 West Newton Street?

Removal of the old Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, to make way for a functional and safe community center, has been completed. This is the first step in the process of bringing a new multipurpose community arts center to the neighborhood.

Why was Villa Victoria Center for the Arts removed in the first place?

The old Villa Victoria Center for the Arts building was structurally unsafe, at risk of collapse, and posed a threat to public safety. As a result of these conditions, and after studying the feasibility of all other options available to IBA, we decided to carefully remove the building from 85 West Newton Street.

For years, the center served as a place of gathering, learning and celebration. Its legacy is deeply rooted within IBA as an organization and the South End neighborhood, and it’s one that will live on in the future of the site.

What comes next?

The next step in the construction process is finalizing the selection of the architecture firm that will work with IBA and the community to design the new space. Once the firm is picked, they will start drafting plans for what will be built on the now empty lot. We are dedicated to designing a beautiful multipurpose center that celebrates and preserves the diversity and vibrancy of our community, that empowers our residents and neighbors, and that is accessible to all that wish to enter.

Is there a way that I can get involved in the planning of the new building?

Yes! In the months ahead, we will be working very closely with our residents, community members and the City to design a center that serves everyone. Please continue to check our main website and our social media channels to learn how you can participate in virtual meetings that we will be holding about the project.

Without a performing arts center currently, is IBA still holding arts events?

Yes! IBA has been hosting virtual livestreamed events over the past year due to the pandemic and resulting public health guidance. This has allowed IBA’s community and audience to enjoy arts programming from the comfort and safety of their own home. Check out this past year’s Festival Betances , Tito Puente Latin Music Series, and more!

In addition, the program has several exciting events coming up in 2021. IBA’s next event, Mesa de Artistas will be streaming live on April 8th on IBA's Youtube and Facebook channels. Keep an eye out for more information about events like these and IBA’s annual Festival Betances and Tito Puente Latin Music Series this summer.

If you have additional questions or comments about the construction at 85 West Newton Street, please email us at or call (617) 535-1753 to connect with somebody on the IBA team.