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MassDevelopment and Northeast Arc Launch Crowdfunding Campaign for Black Box Theatre

May 8, 2017

$50,000 goal to win matching grant through MassDevelopmentā€™s Commonwealth Places Initiative


Meggie Quackenbush, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2011 & 857-208-2777 (cell)

Jonathan Berk, Patronicity, 617-750-6008

Susan Ring Brown, Northeast ARC, 978-624-2487

MassDevelopment and the Northeast Arc today announced a new campaign through the civic crowdfunding platform Patronicity and the Commonwealth Places initiative. The campaign will fund renovations to a warehouse adjacent to Peabody Square at 22 Foster Street that will transform the space into Peabody’s Black Box Theater, a center for the performing arts. Northeast Arc is partnering with the Peabody Cultural Collaborative, the Peabody Area Chamber of Commerce, Peabody Main Streets, Opportunity Peabody, and the City of Peabody on this project.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by June 30, 2017, at midnight, the project will win a matching grant with funds from MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places program. Learn more and donate at   

“This new theater will provide Peabody’s residents and visitors with a space for performing arts and community events, attracting increased activity to the city’s downtown,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “MassDevelopment is pleased to build upon our work in Peabody’s Transformative Development Initiative District and further our investment in its revitalization.” 

MassDevelopment designated Peabody a TDI District in 2014, and has since provided the city with focused redevelopment and technical assistance aimed at increasing engagement and economic activity. Through TDI, the City of Peabody received a $6,800 MassDevelopment placemaking grant to help fund the outfitting of Breaking Grounds, a café that employs individuals with physical and intellectual challenges in downtown Peabody that is operated by Northeast Arc.   

“Downtown Peabody doesn't have a space like this and being able to provide something for theatrical artists and singer-songwriters in a very private, intimate setting is going to be a wonderful puzzle piece of the equation in downtown Peabody,” said Corey Jackson, Executive Director of Peabody’s Citizens Inn and member of Friends of the Black Box, a group organized to support this project. 

Commonwealth Places is a collaborative effort from MassDevelopment and Patronicity that leverages public support for placemaking projects through crowdfunding and a matching grant from MassDevelopment. The program engages residents in the development of strategic projects in their towns and cities. The program has supported successful campaigns across the Commonwealth, from Northampton to Hyannis.  Communities, nonprofits and other entities can learn more about these successful projects, donate to ongoing campaigns, and apply at

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2016, MassDevelopment financed or managed 352 projects generating investment of more than $4 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 8,200 jobs and build or rehabilitate about 4,200 residential units.