Skip to content
Two visitors standing outside the storefront of CultureHouse Peabody

June 1st–June 31st 2021

86 Main St, Peabody, MA

CultureHouse Peabody was a month-long pop-up community space that served as a public living room, indoor public park, and host for cultural programming. The idea began in 2017 when Emily Cooper, a resident, reached out to us to explore creating a pop-up community space in the city. Working with local leaders, artists, and activists, we formed an Advisory Group to steer the project forward. After countless brainstorming meetings, a location search, and raising over $10,000 from 89 supporters, we opened the space to the community on June 1st, 2021. Over our 33 days on the street, we hosted events and collaborated with community members—sharing our goal of creating a more vibrant downtown. Through conversations and observations, we gained invaluable insights and cultivated an amazing community in Peabody. 

CultureHouse Peabody storefront

What happened

Over the month that CultureHouse Peabody was open, we hosted a total of 46 events.  We planned 76% of the programs in collaboration with community members and local partners. Uses of the space included gallery showings, art workshops, wellness workshops, live music, pop-up artisan shops, and book readings. 

By the numbers
440 – visitors
38 – visitors on the busiest day 
6pm–8pm – busiest time of day
95% – stayed for an hour or longer
Visitor demographics 
Increase in representation at CultureHouse in comparison to U.S. Census Data.
3x – visitors over 40
3x – BIPOC visitors
2x – Black/African American visitors


Providing a hub for businesses and entrepreneurs

CultureHouse Peabody provided space for pop-up businesses to test out their ideas, existing businesses to have a place to promote events, and local business leaders to share frustrations and brainstorm solutions. 

Supporting artists

We paid over $2,000 to creative partners, providing new possibilities for artists in the city. We found that while 60% of the artists we partnered with had exhibition and/or performing opportunities on the North Shore similar to those offered at the CultureHouse pop-up, only 20% had similar opportunities in Peabody.

Empowering teens

Peabody has few opportunities for youth to gather; the pop-up community space allowed them to participate in the downtown in a new way. After the teen skill share night, 100% of the attendees stayed after the event to continue to use the space to play ping pong, draw, and hang out. 

Improving downtown vibrancy

The pop-up demonstrated new possibilities for Main Street, including storefront and street activations. We saw a 60% increase in respondents’ positive association with the area after visiting CultureHouse Peabody.

Impact report

Over the five short weeks we were open to the public, we observed how the space was used, opened minds to new ways of using public space, and gained valuable insight into needs and potential opportunities in Peabody. We hope that our findings, analyzed in this report, will build on current successes in the city and offer Peabody and cities beyond additional ways of becoming more vibrant and lively! To learn more about the impact of the project, download the report below.

Advisory group

We worked closely with the CultureHouse Peabody Advisory Group, a team composed of local artists, residents, and activists, to bring CultureHouse Peabody to life. They advised us on everything and worked to ensure we met the needs of the community.

Photo of Daybar Lisa Bugler

Daybar Lisa Bugler

Social Media Manager, Podcast Host, Food Blogger

Photo of Emily Cooper

Emily Cooper

Community Activist, Writer, Musician, Artist

Photo of Stephanie Johnson

Stephanie Johnson

Humanitarian, Rotarian, Interior Designer, Loan Processor

Photo of Rita McAteer

Rita McAteer

Entrepreneur, Communications Expert, Fundraising Leader

Photo of Jeannette McGinn

Jeannette McGinn

Director, Newhall Fields Community Farm, Member, Green Peabody

Photo of Erin McNaughton

Erin McNaughton

Lewis Museum Fundraiser, Painter, Volunteer

photo of Anya Tseitlin

Anya Tseitlin

Apprentice Community Activist, Volunteer, Bookworm, Music-Enthusiast

Where is it now?

After wrapping up CultureHouse Peabody, a local business owner who was so excited about the energy the pop-up brought to downtown, she decided to start a community space of her own—drawing off the lessons we uncovered! We worked with her to develop a plan to bring her idea to life. Learn more about that project here.


Barr Foundation logoEastern Bank logoMass Cultural Council logoMassDevelopement logoSarah G. McCarthy Memorial Foundation logo