Zumix sets opening for March 29

Zumix, the popular youth program that combines music and performing arts in an after school setting, announced that its new home on the corner of Sumner and Orleans streets will officially open on Monday, March 29.

“Zumix is thrilled to announce that after five years of hard work, their beautiful new firehouse is opening,” said Director Madeleine Steczynski. “Zumix’s spring programs will begin the week of March 29 and run until the week of June 14 and is open to youth ages starting at seven and going through 18.”

These programs range from song writing and performance to instrumental music, audio technology, radio and theater.

“We encourage neighborhood residents to come see our beautiful new space and sign up for programs at one of two upcoming open houses,” she said.

The two open houses will be held on Friday, March 5 from 4-7 p.m. and Saturday, March 6 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“Completed applications and 20-minute placement interviews must be done by March 12, so be sure to visit ZUMIX soon,” said Steczynski.

Program descriptions and applications are also available on-line at www.zumix.org.

In January, hundreds of volunteers formed a human chain from Zumix’ original location on Maverick Street to its new location at the Engine 40 Firehouse on the corner of Sumner and Orleans Street. The volunteers then handed everything that had to be moved down the chain to the new location.

“It was awesome,” said Steczynski. “Over 200 people showed up to help Zumix move. Joining hands to create a human chain these hardy volunteers braved the snow and the cold weather, passing boxes “brigade style” from one building to the other.”

Steczynski said the move was symbolic as well as functional, marking the important transition by connecting current participants, parents, staff and board members with friends, neighbors, and participants from years passed.

Zumix recently held several community open house and show off its new digs inside the firehouse.

Zumix, the neighborhood program that enriches kids’ lives through music and the arts, passed papers on the firehouse in December 2008 and officially became the owners of the property at that time.

In the summer of 2004 the Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) published application guidelines for the firehouse. Zumix worked with the East Boston Community Development Corporation (CDC) to present a very competitive proposal and in May 2005 were awarded the building be the city.

For Zumix, The Engine Company 40 Firehouse offered a very special opportunity – the potential to transform a long-abandoned building into a beautiful, functional, and inspiring cultural and performance space for Zumix programs, its young participants, and the East Boston community at large.

The CDC worked to create exhibition and performance space, a gift shop, recording studios, a computer lab, a dance studio, soundproof practice rooms, administrative offices and community conference rooms within the firehouse.

“On the first floor, the fourteen-foot-high ceiling and open floor plan unobstructed by columns or bearing walls are perfect for a state-of-the-art performance space. The basement and second level can be renovated for classroom, office, meeting, practice, recording, production, and exhibition space,” said Steczynski.

The Engine 40 Company Firehouse was built in 1923. A brick building, it’s ideally located one block from East Boston’s Maverick Square on Sumner Street and includes approximately 9,000 sq. ft. of space.

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