The “X” Main Street Corporation
The “X” Main Street Corporation (XMSC), a 501 (c) 3 non-profit, was formed in 1995 to work towards revitalization of Springfield’s Forest Park neighborhood, the “X” commercial district, and the Sumner Avenue corridor. The organization started the Forest Park Farmers’ Market, operated a food security program, and was instrumental in securing significant streetscape improvements for the area.
XMSC also managed a façade improvement program and developed and presented a series of technical assistance seminars for local businesses. In 2002 the board of directors decided to adopt the strategy of arts accessibility to strengthen the community culturally and economically. XMSC became the preferred developer for the former Bing Theater, which had been taken by the City of Springfield in 1999 for non-payment of taxes. In December 2004 the organization purchased the property and began renovation efforts, opening the facility for public use in June 2010.
The Bing Arts Center now presents regular cultural and educational programming in addition to hosting meetings for other community groups, serving as a neighborhood hub. XMSC also produces the Bing Bulletin, a monthly e-newsletter and is part of a collaborative creativity network of area organizations and businesses. The organization is working with the Forest Park Civic Association and Forest Park Business Association to improve and promote the neighborhood.