Expectations for the Artists from the Neighborhood
This program is designed to build a stronger community of artists in Springfield while rebuilding the Enos Park neighborhood. The intention is to offer artists an affordable and supportive environment in which to grow and prosper. We seek applicants that will engage with the Springfield community, participate in the Neighborhood Association and their activities, and community events. The Neighborhood and Art Association look forward to a productive collaboration with the artists to create new opportunities and expand community engagement.
The Enos Park neighborhood reached its peak during the late 1910’s and 1920’s and is a historic neighborhood in the capital city of Springfield. During the 1930’s through the 1960’s, many of the large, single-family homes were converted into multiple family dwellings and the neighborhood began a slow but steady physical decline. Many of the original immigrant families (particularly German, Italian, Lithuanian and Portuguese) also began to move out of the neighborhood as the city grew to the west and south. Fewer properties were owner occupied, and many of the residents are now renting apartments in homes originally built for single family occupants. A disproportionate number of rental properties led to both physical deterioration of the neighborhood and a changing demographic. By the late 1970’s and 1980’s this process had intensified and some areas within the Enos Park neighborhood had become fairly blighted with many structures being condemned and demolished.
In recent years, several groups and individuals have taken a strong interest in the neighborhood, rehabilitating many of the structures and attempting to bring pride back to the neighborhood. A number of properties with architectural significance have been restored to their former glory, and the historic character of the area still prevails.
Since 1913 the Springfield Art Association, one of the partners facilitating this program, has been at the heart of Enos Park. SAA is Springfield’s community visual art center with a school of art which offers classes year round in a broad range of media in two multi-purpose studios, a ceramics lab, metals/jewelry lab, computer lab, and papermaking studio; an exhibition gallery; an off-site sales gallery with juried artist members; a dedicated visual arts library and an historic house museum. These facilities will be available to the resident artists, some of whom will be living on the grounds of the SAA.