West Cambridge Youth and Community Center Dedication Sept. 25
The City of Cambridge will hold a special dedication ceremony for the new West Cambridge Youth and Community Center Friday, Sept. 25, from 6-8 p.m. The event will include a reception and tours by youth center participants, followed by a formal program with City officials and special guest speakers.
The new facility is being named the Mayor Sheila Doyle Russell Youth Center in honor of the former Cambridge Mayor and long-time youth advocate.
Construction of the new facility at 680 Huron Avenue was completed in June and incorporated green building technologies into the design. Youth Center programming began in July. The center includes a full size gym with dividers for multiple use; a fitness room with exercise equipment and free weights; a “teaching kitchen;” computer learning and homework center with 20 stations; a multi-purpose performance room with a platform stage; an arts and crafts room; an art wall for temporary youth exhibitions; and a community meeting room plus various open lounge areas. The performance space includes state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment and a drop-down viewing screen.
In addition to these amenities, the Cambridge Arts Council, working through the city’s award-winning Public Art Program, commissioned artist Michael Oatman to develop a permanent artwork to represent the diversity and activity in the neighborhoods of West Cambridge. Entitled, The Cantabrigians, Oatman created 23 ten-minute "video portraits" of residents, posed with objects and backgrounds of their choice highlighting their connections to the neighborhoods as well as their individual interests and personal and professional pursuits. The video portraits can be viewed in rotation on three large-scale monitors that will be permanently installed on the second floor of the Youth Center.
The City of Cambridge gratefully acknowledges VFW Mount Auburn Post #8818 for its support of the city’s efforts to provide expanded youth programming and activities in West Cambridge. The city also wishes to thank the Cambridge Housing Authority and the Haggerty School for hosting the West Cambridge Youth Center prior to its move into the new location.