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Cultural Facilities Fund Backs Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre Upgrades

February 24, 2014


Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077 (cell)
Greg Liakos, Mass. Cultural Council, 617-858-2720
Julie Banks, Citi Performing Arts Center, 617-532-1247

MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council have provided a $59,104 Cultural Facilities Fund grant to Citi Performing Arts Center in Boston’s Theater District. Formerly known as the Wang Center for the Performing Arts, Citi Performing Arts Center is the largest cultural venue in New England and currently operates the Wang, Shubert, and Emerson Colonial Theatres. Citi Center is using grant funds to repair, upgrade, and improve the safety of the Wang Theatre’s loading dock, which provides access to the loading doors and stage.

“For theaters around the Commonwealth, the Cultural Facilities Fund fills a critical need: addressing facility repairs so Massachusetts cultural centers can focus on their true purposes,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “Citi Performing Arts Center hosts a variety of artistic performances that help define the diverse culture of Boston, and we're pleased this grant will improve its facilities for those productions.”

Over the past five years, Citi Performing Arts Center has welcomed more than one million patrons to more than 600 performances. All three theaters date to the early 20th century and are rich with artistic and regional history. The Emerson Colonial Theatre, built in 1900, is the oldest continuously operating theater in Boston. Across all three theaters, Citi Performing Arts Center hosts a wide variety of cultural performances including theater, comedy, dance, opera, classical and pop music, one-night engagements, and Broadway musicals.

“While projects like the loading dock are not glamorous, they are critically important in our ability to attract world-class talent with their truckloads of production-related equipment. The Cultural Facilities Fund makes that important investment possible with an ROI that benefits the entire community, while also serving as a forward-thinking model for cultural venues across the nation,” said Josiah Spaulding Jr., President and CEO of Citi Performing Arts Center.

MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council administer the Cultural Facilities Fund, an initiative of the Commonwealth to increase public and private investment in cultural facilities throughout the state. Created by the Massachusetts Legislature in 2006, the Fund offers capital, feasibility, technical assistance, and systems replacement grants for eligible nonprofits engaged in the arts, humanities, or interpretive sciences. The Fund has awarded more than $55 million in grants to cultural organizations across Massachusetts. For more information, visit the MassDevelopment and Massachusetts Cultural Council websites.

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2013, MassDevelopment financed or managed 350 projects generating investment of more than $2.4 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create more than 7,000 jobs and build or rehabilitate 800 residential units.

Citi Performing Arts Center [formerly The Wang Center for the Performing Arts] is a nonprofit innovator and steward of iconic venues, providing arts, entertainment, cultural, and educational experiences to the greater community. Citi Performing Arts Center is one of the nation’s foremost nonprofit performing arts institutions. As guardian of historic venues – the Wang, Shubert, and Emerson Colonial theatres – Citi Performing Arts Center honors all aspects of the arts. Through numerous community outreach educational efforts, collaborations, and partnerships, Citi Performing Arts Center strives to educate and inspire greater appreciation for creativity as an essential component to the fabric of our society. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in Boston’s historic Theater District, Citi Performing Arts Center offers a diverse mix of educational workshops and community activities through its education department; collaborates with artists and local performing arts organizations, and acts as a champion for the arts in the Greater Boston community. For further information, please go to