Over the course of multiple engagements over two years, Alexander and his studio helped to revitalize a tempered arts community in the 50,000 person city of Methuen in the Merrimack Valley of north-eastern Massachusetts.
In the first engagement, the studio conducted a great deal of community outreach and engagement and research to develop a comprehensive 52-page report on the city's downtown with associated recommendations and resources. This document was published by the mayor's office and has acted as a guide for future actions for the city ever since.
The second and third engagements focused on implementing some of the recommendations contained within the downtown public art report. The second engagement planted seeds of community engagement to eventually nurture self-sustaining arts organization. This work took place during the Winter and Spring of 2018. By the end of this period, two clear groups had formed, the Methuen Arts Partnership and Methuen Day. Since the period of engagement, both of these organizations have flourished: creating public art installations in the downtown and nearby rail-trail; and hosting a new annual Fall city fair that has already attracted over a thousand visitors and is poised to grow.
The third engagement explored, in partnership with IndusPAD, the developer of a major former factory space, the creation of a self-sustaining artist residency program. The project attracted 14 artists from across Northeastern Massachusetts. Now, a vacant factory space is a hub for artists who host events both within the building and in city center. In the five months since its inception, the residency program has created permanent works of public art, and developed a series of performances and events.