Arts and Cultural Community Unites behind Keep the #HuntingtonOnHuntington Campaign

January 20, 2016―Citing the important role that the Huntington Theatre Company plays in the Boston region’s arts and cultural scene, leading arts and cultural organizations today launched the #HuntingtonOnHuntington campaign to show support for keeping the Huntington at its current location on Huntington Avenue.

In October, after 33 years in which the Huntington served as the primary tenant of the BU Theatre in partnership with Boston University, the university announced it was selling its Huntington Avenue properties, which may leave the Huntington Theatre Company without a mainstage home.

On Sunday January 17, The Boston Globe reported that an investment group has emerged as a front-runner to buy the company’s Huntington Avenue theater. The Boston Globe indicates that the administration of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, officials from Boston University, representatives of the Huntington Theatre Company, and an investment group led by Boston-area developer John Matteson, are actively engaged in finding a solution to keep the Huntington Theatre Company in its home on Huntington Avenue.

The Tony Award-winning Huntington Theatre Company is a cornerstone of Boston’s theatre community. It routinely stages productions that continue to live on around the country and on Broadway, including its famous collaborations with the late August Wilson. It draws 200,000 audience members a year to its two venues – the BU Theatre on Huntington Avenue and the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA in the South End. The Calderwood Pavilion facility serves dozens of other companies each year, from SpeakEasy Stage to Company One. In total, the Huntington employs over 400 full-time equivalent staff members and artists each year, and generates more than $19 million annually in economic activity. Through its youth education programs, the Huntington also provides programs for more than 33,000 youth and community members, many of them from Boston’s under-resourced neighborhoods.

The campaign to keep the #HuntingtonOnHuntington, organized by ArtsBoston, StageSource, The Fenway Alliance, and MASSCreative, believes that it is vital that the city and the community come together to support keeping the Huntington Theatre Company in its home on Huntington Avenue. It is also calling on Boston residents, artists, and cultural leaders to voice their support to keep the Huntington Theatre Company on Huntington Avenue by adding their names to a statement of support and to share stories about the Huntington’s value to the community.

“The potential loss of the Huntington Theatre Company’s longtime artistic home is not the only issue facing the arts community in the city. But it is arguably the most important in its potential to negatively impact the cultural landscape of Boston,” said Matt Wilson, Executive Director of MASSCreative, the statewide advocacy group for the arts and cultural community. “We look forward to the city continuing its efforts to keep the Huntington Theatre Company in its home on Huntington Avenue.”

“The Huntington is not just a theatre company. It is a critical part of the Boston arts ecology, providing important support both to artists and other theatre companies. A number of Huntington employees run their own theatre companies, supported in part by Huntington resources. Dozens of playwrights have been supported by the Huntington, and go on to work throughout the country. The Huntington isn't just a building, it is a cornerstone of our community,” said Julie Hennrikus the Executive Director of StageSource.

“The Huntington is renowned for its glorious theatrical productions and nationally recognized education programs, and is a terrific partner in the arts community,” said Catherine Peterson, Executive Director of ArtsBoston. “The success of the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA shows that the Huntington is also an amazing community development engine. We want to ensure that the Huntington remains at their home on the Avenue of the Arts and is given the opportunity to revitalize the neighborhood just as they did with their second stage in the South End.”

“The Fenway Alliance wholeheartedly supports and appreciates all the Huntington Theatre Company does to advance culture and arts on the Avenue of the Arts. This beloved theatre is well known for its sophisticated programming, innovative set design, and community outreach. We enthusiastically support the Huntington Theatre Company, remaining on Huntington Avenue in the heart of Boston’s Fenway Cultural District. As manager of the Cultural District, we believe the Huntington Theatre Company, an organization that so wonderfully represents the vital art form of live performance, belongs in this most appropriate setting on the Avenue of the Arts in the Fenway Cultural District,” said Kelly Brilliant, Executive Director of The Fenway Alliance. 

You can learn more about the campaign to keep the Huntington Theatre Company on Huntington Avenue www.mass-creative.org/huntingtononhuntington and by following the #HuntingtonOnHuntington hashtag on Facebook and Twitter.

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Founded in 2012, MASSCreative works with creative leaders and entrepreneurs, working artists, arts educators, and arts and cultural supporters to empower creative organizations and the public with a powerful voice to advocate for the resources and support necessary to build vibrant and connected communities.

StageSource is the service organization for the New England theater community. With hundreds of individual members and over 200 organizational members, StageSource has been connecting the theater community for 30 years through a comprehensive suite of programs and resources to build and maintain a thriving theater community in Greater Boston and New England.   www.StageSource.org

Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2015, ArtsBoston is a nonprofit arts service organization with a mission to support and grow the arts and cultural sector of Greater Boston. In support of our 175 member organizations and reaching over 1 million arts consumers, we provide vital research and audience building programs that encourage participation in arts and culture, stimulate demand and raise attendance. ArtsBoston is a two-time recipient (2001 and 2015) of the Massachusetts Cultural Council Commonwealth Award – the state’s highest honor for the arts. www.ArtsBoston.org

The Fenway Alliance (est. 1977) is a consortium of 21 cultural and academic Institutions in the Fenway. We work collectively to enhance all cultural, economic and environmental aspects of the Fenway Cultural District. www.fenwayalliance.org

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