The Evolution of a Harvard Square Pop-up

Special Thanks to Asana Partners

Moonbox Productions Presents Rocky Horror Show
Thursday, October 17th – Saturday, November 2nd, 2019  
In early October 2019, Asana Partners presented Harvard Square Business Association member, Moonbox Productions, with access to 25 Brattle Street, a vacant store front in the heart of the Square. Within a few short weeks, the location transformed into Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s mansion for a live theatrical experience of The Rocky Horror Show. Over the course of its run, over two thousand people came up to the lab!
December 7th – January 17th
Due to the overwhelming success of Rocky and the community’s desire for unique interactive experiences, Asana extended access to the space to the HSBA.  In short order, HSBA members responded and here’s what happened:   

December 7th HSBA Produced Santa Claus Jazz Band Concert
December 7th Sake 101 hosted by Vintnicity  
December 13th  Cambridge Office for Tourism – Informational Session  
December 13th Harvard Art Museums – Informational Session   December 14th HSBA Produced Christmas Caroling with Fermata Town  
December 15th  Sake and Cheese Class Hosted by Vintnicity   December 16th First Church in Cambridge – informational session about the church, their homeless ministries, volunteer opportunities and safe injection sites  
December 17th  Sparkling Wines of the World Class Hosted by Vintnicity  
December 18th Cambridge Art Association’s Holiday Small Works Sale  
December 18th Harvard Art Museums – Informational Session   December 20th  Cambridge Office for Tourism – Informational Session  
December 20th Harvard Art Museums Informational Session   December 20th Adria Katz Ceramic Sale  
December 21st HSBA’s 13th Annual Everyone Loves Latkes Tasting Event

December 21st Adria Katz Ceramic Sale
December 21st Moleskine Demos and Sale
December 22nd Book Reading and Signing with Matt Robinson
December 27th Bubbles & Cheese Class Hosted by Vintnicity
December 28th Moleskine Demos and Sale
January 4th Wine & Chocolate Class Hosted by Vintnicity
January 5th Specialty Sake Class Hosted by Vintnicity

January 5th Georgia Wine Class Hosted by Vintnicity  
January 8th Winter Wine & Cheese Class Hosted by Vintnicity   January 9th French vs California Wine Class Hosted by Vintnicity   January 10th Akita, “The Land of Sake” Class Hosted by Vintnicity   January 11th Sake 101 Class hosted by Vintnicity  
January 11th Moonbox Productions’ Cabaret: A Night of Debauchery with Peter Mill  
January 12th Moonbox Productions: Schoolhouse Rock  
January 12th Wines of Burgundy Class Hosted by Vintnicity   January 13th  Opening Reception for “Seas & Shores,” “Mountains & Streams,” and “Forests & Deserts” Photography Exhibition by Ocean River Institute  
January 14th – January 17th “Seas & Shores,” “Mountains & Streams,” and “Forests & Deserts” Exhibition by Ocean River Institute   January 14th A Beginners Guide to Meditation Hosted by Inner Space
January 14th Wine Tasting Class Accompanied by Oysters Hosted by Ocean River Institute  
January 15th Sake & Chocolate Class Hosted by Vintnicity   January 15th  Maude Morgan Arts Silk Screen Demo  
January 16th Italy vs Spain Class Hosted by Vintnicity  
January 17th Drinking Games: 4BlindWines (Belly Style) Class Hosted by Vintnicity

Here’s what our members said:

The Cambridge Art Association appreciated the opportunity to bring a selection of artworks from our Holiday Small Works Sale to bustling Harvard Square. Opportunities like this are so important for nonprofit organizations with small budgets – they give us a low investment chance to engage with new audiences in an informal setting. During our one-day pop-up at 25 Brattle Street, we sold two artworks and engaged with approximately two dozen visitors – almost all of whom were previously unaware of the Cambridge Art Association!
-Erin Becker, Cambridge Art Association

We enjoyed a lot of quality interactions with local people mostly. We’re rarely afforded the opportunity to take the museums out of the building and it was great to engage with people to remind them where we were and that we were open to them 7 days a week. From being in the building we also had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with other local organizations. Sometimes we can get siloed from those types of opportunities. The more we chatted with each other, the more we found ground to work together. One of the vendors is now a museum ambassador and another vendor got us talking with a local tour company about a potentially beneficial partnership. Thanks for the opportunity!
-John Connolly, Harvard Art Museums    

There was great benefit in COT’s pop-up sessions at 25 Brattle. The experience helped our office serve the local community as well as visitors to the Square. Locals and visitors stepped inside to learn about all things Cambridge while enjoying a respite from the cold. We got the chance to answer tourism-related questions and inform many of our offerings. At both pop-up sessions, our giveaway items were popular with everyone we met (Cambridge info materials and swag like cloth shopping bags, pop sockets, coasters and luggage tags). The holiday tunes we played from outside the space also made for merry shopping experiences. Paired with all the window decorations, our music piqued the interest of a steady stream of traffic. Locals in particular told us they were thrilled to see (and hear!) a vacant storefront come alive during the Friday afternoons before Christmas.
-Breanna Caires, Cambridge Office for Tourism    

On January 15th Maud Morgan Arts set up shop in the vacant 25 Brattle Square storefront. 50 guests (folks of all ages) arrived promptly at 11am to watch artist and instructor Boriana Kantcheva explain the art of silkscreen, as well as create a piece of art to take home! It was a fantastic crowd and a new space for our MMA community brought to us by HSBA, an amazing organization and partnership that brings community to Harvard Square! Especially in a time of transition in the historical neighborhood, organizations coming together is paramount.
-Cory Shea, Maude Morgan Arts

The dark days of January were brightened when 25 Brattle Street afforded the Ocean River Institute the opportunity to cover the walls with gorgeous landscape and seascape photographs by Dan Wells. With The Red House, we held a wine pairings with oysters class where ORI Spring Intern Kaitlyn Carpenter gave a slide talk about her work farming oysters at Powder Point Oysters of Duxbury. At 25 Brattle Street there were more than a few smiles and exchanges of good cheer

.Rob Moir, Ocean River Institute