"ACE looks absolutely amazing" according to Christopher J. Carino, Chairperson and Construction Project Manager for the Albion Cultural Exchange. In March of 2020 the Albion Cultural Exchange was set to debut phase one of facility improvements including new accessible bathrooms and then the pandemic hit. "We had to cancel everything" according to Carino.
After some reflection, the Albion Cultural Exchange Committee (ACE team) continued to move forward with phase two of a renovation plan outlined by many studies and funded by grants from the State. The concept is to bring the facility into a true arts incubator as envisioned by work done with the Massachusetts Area Planning Council (MAPC). The ACE team along with MAPC was able to project a direct correlation to improvements in the Downtown Economy by integrating elements of the local Creative Economy.
"The Creative Economy is key to the overall health of Downtown and the community at large" according to Carino. "When people come to our facility, they also patronize local restaurants and shops," he said. Additionally, "The Creative Economy supports Mindfulness of our town residents and visitors."
The list of improvements over the last two years is long and includes:
"We believe we have created a first class gallery space that will serve the community for many years to come." according to Carino.
Along the way the ACE team included local vendors such as Bob Sardella of Sardella Sign and Displays, Daniel Lozzi Jr. of Dan's Floor Covering and Rich Testa of Testa Lighting Design. ACE has also received donations from The Savings Bank & Laurie Hunt of North Star Realtors this past year.
The Albion Cultural Exchange has many events coming up where the recent renovations will be on full display and available for the public to see including:
In addition to the upcoming shows, the ACE team is working with State officials (Senator Jason Lewis, Representatives Donald Wong & Representative Kate Lipper-Garabedian) to secure funding for more accessibility improvements throughout the facility along with other multi-year goals for the facility. The ACE team is also very grateful for the assistance of Town Administrator Stephen Maio and DPW Business Manager Ann Waitt for helping us process our construction contracts and bills.
The Albion Cultural Exchange is located in the heart of Downtown Wakefield at 9 Albion Street. The building was originally constructed as a Post Office in 1910 and also used for many years as administrative offices for the Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light Department (WMGLD). For the past 7 years, the building has been known as the Albion Cultural Exchange and the facility supports Art, Culture and Community by integrating the Creative Economy into the community for the benefit of all. For more information please email AlbionCulturalExchange@wakefield.ma.us.
Below are a list of events scheduled. If you would like to host an event at the ACE, please fill out an application. Proposals may be submitted any time, there is no deadline.Submit Event Application
Albion Cultural Exchange
9 Albion Street
Wakefield, MA 01880