Barr Foundation’s New ArtsAmplified Initiative

For Immediate Release: May 1, 2018
Contact: Rebecca Curtiss 617.496.2000 x8841 | 617.872.8254

American Repertory Theater Awarded $900,000
From Barr Foundation’s New ArtsAmplified Initiative

Cambridge, MA— American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University, under the leadership of Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director Diane Paulus and Executive Producer Diane Borger, is pleased to announce that it has received a 3-year grant of $900,000 from the Barr Foundation. The Foundation’s award from its new ArtsAmplified initiative will support A.R.T.’s commissioning and development of new work, activities central to its role as a vital public institution operating from its two theaters in Harvard Square and throughout Greater Boston. The deepening of staff capacity, expansion of local partnerships, and preparation of world premiere productions will also be supported by the grant.

“As we continue to stretch what we think theater can be—and how A.R.T. can be more than a building on Brattle Street, we are excited about the possibilities of the impact we can make on our community as a public space, and about collaborations with our colleagues across the river,” says Paulus.

A.R.T. joins 14 other large- and mid-sized organizations from across Massachusetts to comprise the Foundation’s ArtsAmplified initiative, a 6-year, $30-million partnership dedicated to creating art and arts experiences that strengthen our communities.

“The ArtsAmplified initiative brings together leaders who are creating the contemporary conversations that arts can evoke,” says Barr Foundation’s Director of Arts and Creativity E. San San Wong.

“This is an opportunity for 15 important arts organizations to come together and elevate a set of issues fundamental to the arts—excellence, relevance, risk-taking, and civic leadership—and to better understand how these concepts mesh to create new impact in communities,” says James E. Canales, President and Trustee of the Barr Foundation.

Powerful Art. Bold Leadership. Vibrant Communities.
ArtsAmplified is a $30 million, 6-year initiative of the Barr Foundation Arts & Creativity program. It features a partnership with 15 large- and mid-size arts organizations across Massachusetts dedicated to creating art and arts experiences that strengthen communities. The goal of ArtsAmplified is to enhance the capacity of these organizations to continue leading in their communities and fields, and to collectively generate fresh insights that inspire other nonprofits and funders.

The initiative is multi-faceted, and centers on the confluence of 4 concepts Barr considers vital to the future of arts organizations: artistic excellence, relevance, risk taking, and civic leadership. ArtsAmplified grantees will engage in collective, ongoing conversation anchored in these notions—bringing their unique experiences and visions to the investigation. Over the next 6 years, each partner will manifest these concepts in practice through at least one ambitious project with significance to its future.

The initiative process anticipates significant learning as each partner engages in a co-designed journey in year one and beyond. Barr intends to be an active learner alongside all participants, and to support these organizations with risk capital as they experiment and as Barr’s collective understanding of the 4 concepts evolves.

American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.)
 at Harvard University is a leading force in the American theater, producing groundbreaking work in Cambridge and beyond. A.R.T. was founded in 1980 by Robert Brustein, who served as Artistic Director until 2002, when he was succeeded by Robert Woodruff. Diane Paulus began her tenure as Artistic Director in 2008. Under the leadership of Paulus as the Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director and Executive Producer Diane Borger, A.R.T. seeks to expand the boundaries of theater by programming events that immerse audiences in transformative theatrical experiences.

Throughout its history, A.R.T. has been honored with many distinguished awards including the Tony Award for Best New Play for All the Way (2014); consecutive Tony Awards for Best Revival of a Musical for Pippin (2013) and The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (2012), both of which Paulus directed, and 16 other Tony Awards since 2012; a Pulitzer Prize; a Jujamcyn Prize for outstanding contribution to the development of creative talent; the Tony Award for Best Regional Theater; and numerous Elliot Norton and IRNE Awards.

A.R.T. collaborates with artists around the world to develop and create work in new ways. It is currently engaged in a number of multi-year projects, including a collaboration with Harvard’s Center for the Environment that will result in the development of new work over several years. Under Paulus’ leadership, the A.R.T.’s club theater, OBERON, has been an incubator for local and emerging artists and has attracted national attention for its innovative programming and business models.

As the professional theater on the campus of Harvard University, A.R.T. catalyzes discourse, interdisciplinary collaboration, and creative exchange among a wide range of academic departments, institutions, students, and faculty members, acting as a conduit between its community of artists and the university. The A.R.T. Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University, run in association with the Moscow Art Theatre School and the Harvard Extension School, offers graduate training in acting, dramaturgy, and voice. A.R.T. also plays a central role in Harvard’s undergraduate Theater, Dance, and Media concentration, teaching courses in directing, dramatic literature, acting, voice, design, and dramaturgy.

Dedicated to making great theater accessible, A.R.T. actively engages more than 5,000 community members and local students annually in project-based partnerships, workshops, conversations with artists, and other enrichment activities both at the theater and across the Greater Boston area. Through all of these initiatives, A.R.T. is dedicated to producing world-class performances in which the audience is central to the theatrical experience.