NEMPAC is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2001 by a group of five local mothers who were seeking arts enrichment programming for their children. These mothers began the organization out of their own homes and used community spaces in the neighborhood to offer private piano lessons. As NEMPAC grew, its Board of Directors sought a physical home and began to work with the City of Boston and the office of Mayor Thomas Menino to acquire and renovate an abandoned 590 square-foot 1920s wash house in the heart of the North End.
The building had been abandoned since 1968. City Councilor Paul Scapicchio called it a “disgusting building, old and decrepit” (Boston Globe, 12/3/00). Located along the Freedom Trail in the Paul Revere Mall (known as the Prado), it stands between the Old North Church and Cyrus Dallin’s statue of Paul Revere.
With headquarters to house administrative offices and four private studios, NEMPAC began to flourish. As a music school, NEMPAC reaches approximately 1,355 students per week, offering programs across several art disciplines, including dance, movement, and theatre, focusing on music education. Through partnerships with local schools in the North End and surrounding neighborhoods, students receive free, in-school music education.