Press Release: Cotuit Center for the Arts Announces Capital Campaign

Oct. 30, 2018 / Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 30, 2018

Cotuit, MA - The Board of Directors of Cotuit Center for the Arts announced a capital campaign today. Board President, Kathie Lynch Nutting, said in the announcement, “As one of the Cape’s largest resources for arts and cultural opportunities, campus expansion is necessary if we are to continue to meet the growing demand for programming and sustain our position as a leading cultural asset in the region for years to come. Equally important, Lynch Nutting added, “It will enable us to amplify our impact by elevating the artistic and cultural experiences of artists, performers, students, patrons, and the community.”

Executive Director, David Kuehn, said this was a logical decision, explaining, “We are out of space. Much of what we have is woefully inadequate, poses significant logistical challenges, and is simply unsustainable.” Kuehn continued, “Our calendar is jam-packed. An average week at the Center juggles an average of 120 hours of programming across ten schedulable locations on campus. With a full roster of rehearsals, performances, meetings, classes, and events, we are constantly buzzing with activity. A typical year will feature 8 Mainstage theater productions, 11 Black Box shows, 40 or so class offerings, 12 gallery installations, and 41 special events, from concerts to student collaborations. We also host annual festivals, talent showcases, craft fairs, magic shows, film screenings, plus all of our community outreach and partnership activities. Because of the lack of space, we are limited in so many ways. We have to turn away performers and groups and can’t offer all of the classes and programming the community wants.”

“The Center is at a crossroads. If we want to ensure that the Center will continue to serve the community well into the future, we must grow and ensure that we can achieve financial sustainability at the same time. This means that we need to reduce our reliance on charitable income by increasing earned revenue while keeping prices affordable,” Kuehn added.

Since purchasing the adjacent gas station and bakery at an auction last year (expanding the property to a 7.5-acre contiguous campus), Cotuit Center for the Arts has conducted market research and collected feedback from 300 focus group participants. These discussions have informed the planning process.

The Board of Directors, together with the staff, established strategic initiatives that aim to ensure the organization’s long-term sustainability, improve the current physical assets, and meet the growing needs of the community. “A forward thinking business plan demonstrates that with additional performance and educational spaces we will achieve revenue targets and reduce reliance on donations. The plan includes new and expanded programming, a redesigned campus, and plans for long-term maintenance. The future business plan is based on historical data and in-depth research. We believe the plan is reasonable and achievable,” Kuehn stated.

About the campaign, Lynch Nutting stated, “The Campaign has been divided into five phases. We have raised the goal of $600,000 toward Phase I of our project, which included purchasing the adjacent proprieties, conducting remediation of underground storage tanks, demolishing the dilapidated bakery building, and increasing parking. This early sign of generosity has been a gratifying vote of confidence and support for Cotuit Center for the Arts. We are now moving onto Phase II with a goal of a $1 million, of which $250,000 has been raised to date. This Phase includes design development, engineering, permitting, and septic planning. Additionally, the gas station will be repurposed into a Ceramics Studio. We are asking our patrons, private and public foundations, and local businesses to support this vital project in our community and move us to the next goal.”

The goal for Phases III through V will be determined this year. The plans include an addition to the existing main performance space, a new and expanded Lobby and Gallery, a catering kitchen, small café, gift shop, theater classrooms, screening room, costume ship, dressing rooms, green room, and an administrative office in the new Back of House. A new 400-seat Theater, a multipurpose event and Performance Space, and a new Education Village will complete the project.

The Architectural firm Flansburgh Architects of Boston, MA has been chosen for Phase II. Lead architect Betsy Garcia commented, "We are very excited about this project. We’ve received great input from the staff and community and have gained a strong appreciation for the spirit of the place. We are looking forward to designing spaces that will inspire creative expression and retain that intimate, funky atmosphere that everyone loves about the Center.”

Cotuit Center for the Arts Board of Directors invites the community to a meeting on Thursday, November 8, from 4:00 – 6:00pm. Attendees will be able to learn about project plans, review design scenarios for the new campus, and ask questions. If you are interested in attending,

RSVP by Monday, November 5 to Tracy LaBonte at Tracy@cotuitcenterforthearts.org.

If you have any questions, require information, or want to make a contribution to the capital campaign, please contact David Kuehn, Executive Director at (774) 368-0986 or via email at david@cotuitcenterforthearts.org.

About Cotuit Center for the Arts

Founded in 1993 and incorporated as a nonprofit charitable organization in 1995, Cotuit Center for the Arts has grown into an award-winning and dynamic arts and cultural hub serving Cape Cod, Southeastern Massachusetts, and beyond. More than 40,000 annual visitors attend programming in the gallery, main theater, black box theater, and classrooms. Annually, the Center serves 5,000 people through outreach programming and provides 700 disadvantaged people with free access. The Center’s offerings include art exhibits, live theater, concerts, classes and workshops, film screenings, and special events. They collaborate with local artists, musicians, actors, performers, teachers, volunteers, and the occasional celebrity to provide a rich experience to audiences and attendees all year long.

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