About The Center

Our Mission

Educate, Entertain, Illuminate, Inspire, Include

The arts are essential. Our mission is to be a welcoming home for Cape Cod’s artists, performers, students, and audiences, working together to make the creation and experience of art accessible, nurturing, and thrilling to all.

Cotuit Center for the Arts Nondiscrimination Policy

Cotuit Center for the Arts is committed to the principle of equal opportunity in education and employment. Cotuit Center for the Arts does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, veteran status, ancestry, or national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, employment policies, scholarship and loan programs, and other Institute administered programs and activities.

Main Bldg Brian Vanden Brink

Our Story

Incorporated as a non-profit charitable organization in 1995, Cotuit Center for the Arts is an established, award-winning, dynamic arts and cultural hub serving Cape Cod, Southeastern Massachusetts, and beyond, hosting more than 40,000 visitors yearly for free and paid programming in our gallery, main theater, black box theater, and classrooms, and serving disabled teens and adults and incarcerated youth through our outreach programs.

Our offerings include art exhibits, live theater, concerts, classes and workshops, film screenings, and special events. We collaborate with local artists, musicians, actors, performers, teachers, volunteers, and the occasional celebrity to provide a rich experience to our audiences and attendees all year long.

Our goals at the Center are to educate, entertain, illuminate, inspire, and include - five concepts that serve as the pillars of our philosophy. We strive to connect people of all ages and demographics to interesting and meaningful classes and workshops, to powerful and thoughtful live theater and music, to innovative and thought-provoking art exhibitions, and to an overall creative experience that enriches and transforms their lives.

Our calendar is jam-packed - an average week at the Center juggles an average of 130 hours of programming across ten schedulable locations on campus. Our roster for 2023 features 5 Mainstage theater productions, 11 Black Box shows, 130 class and workshop offerings, 12 Gallery installations, 12 staged readings, and over 60 special events including concerts, festivals, student collaborations, showcases, open mics, film viewings, and craft fairs. Our ticket sales cover only half of our financial needs - we are supported by the contributions of our generous donors, sustained by a dedicated force of 600 active volunteers, grounded by the vision of a 17-member Board of Directors, and driven by the dedication and passion of 12 full-time and 6 part-time employees. We strive to be a welcoming hub at every level.

Cotuit Center for the Arts… from an artist or audience perspective, who could ask for anything more?

The Barnstable Patriot

A brief timeline of the development of our campus:

  • Cotuit Center for the Arts was founded in 1993 in a 1200 square foot former mechanic’s garage located behind the Cotuit Village Coop, offering art classes and exhibition space.
  • In 1996, the first theatrical productions were staged. Offerings included Hamlet, Macbeth, Fool for Love, The Gift of the Gorgon, and Terra Nova.
  • In April 2000, the garage burned to the ground.
  • In the fall of 2000, the current site on Route 28 was secured to rebuild. The two acre site included the 1800 square foot "Botello" house and a 1200 square foot garage.
  • From December 2000 through May 2004, art and theater classes were taught in the “Botello” house and garage. Art exhibitions and minor theatrical productions were staged in the house, garage, and at Cotuit’s Freedom Hall.
  • In June 2002, a ground-breaking ceremony was held, initiating the construction of a new performance and exhibition facility.
  • Also in 2002, the adjoining one acre “Savinelli” property was procured. This included the 1200 square foot “Savinelli” administration building.
  • In May 2004, our main building, the 9,000 square foot performance and exhibition space opened, housing the Mainstage and Gallery.
  • In 2005-2006, the garage was renovated to better serve the growing enrollment of Cotuit Center for the Arts’ educational programs and renamed the Art Studio.
  • In 2010, "Botello" House was converted into our Black Box Theater, with a premiere production of Ibsen's Ghosts.
  • In 2015, two adjacent residential properties were acquired, with the long-term plan to expand the Center's educational and administrative space.
  • In 2016, the Black Box was renovated to increase seating capacity, upgrade the tech booth, improve handicapped access, and create a large upstairs classroom/rehearsal room.
  • In 2017, we purchased the gas station next door, which expanded our campus to a contiguous 7.5 acres, with 600 feet of frontage on Route 28.
  • In 2018, an adjacent residential property was connected to the main campus by a paved path and converted into the Schoolhouse, a teaching and meeting space with additional administration offices and an outdoor educational stage.
  • In 2019, the gas station was converted into the state-of-the-art John and Marjorie McGraw Family Ceramics Studio.