The Charlestown Working Theater (CWT) is one of 137 organizations that support arts and culture from across the city that will share in $303,476 in grant money from the Boston Cultural Council (BCC).
Mayor Martin J. Walsh made the announcement this week and said the grant represent the diversity of Boston’s arts community from the visual arts to theater, film and video, music, dance, and the humanities.
“We’re working towards making Boston the country’s municipal arts leader, and we can’t do it without supportive and committed partners,” said Walsh. “Funding is often a hurdle for cultural organizations, and I’m proud that we doubled our Boston Cultural Council funds this year. Congratulations to all of the grant recipients, and thank you for your contributions to a thriving, healthy, innovative Boston.”
The Charlestown Working Theater was founded on the idea that a theater and a community can engage in a dialogue which results in creative, artistic expression, an exchange of ideas, and a deeper understanding of the people who make up the community. CWT has maintained this philosophy throughout its history and has remained dedicated to serving the cultural needs of Charlestown and greater Boston.
The theater develops dynamic original performances and produces the work of theater artists and companies, with a strong emphasis on developing new works.
According to CWT’s Co-Director Jennifer Johnson, the theater offers affordable rehearsal and performance space to area theater companies and produces popular community and youth productions.
“We offer quality theater, art, and music classes for children, largely free of charge; we make our space available to Charlestown organizations to use for meetings and events; we maintain a schedule of Special Events aimed at area families, and we offer free tickets to plays and events to local social service organizations,” she said.
On being awarded the grant, Johnson said, “All of us at CWT are so grateful to receive support from the Boston Cultural Council, which helps us provide artistic and educational programming to our community. We were thrilled to host Mayor Walsh, Arts and Culture Chief Julie Burros, and our fellow grantees, whose work enriches our city every day.”
“Support from the Boston Cultural Council is crucial to organizations like ours, and helps us develop and implement the artistic and educational work that serves our community of artists, students, and audience,” said Johnson.
The BCC falls under the umbrella of the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, and annually distributes funds allocated by the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC), a state agency, to support innovative arts, humanities and interpretive sciences programming that enhances the quality of life in our city. In 2015 the MCC awarded the City of Boston $163,080, and Mayor Walsh nearly matched those funds. In 2014 the MCC awarded the City of Boston $144,419, with the City adding additional funding to distribute a total of $152,020 via the BCC to 55 of the 75 applicants.
The BCC is comprised of 13 Boston residents appointed by Mayor Walsh to serve for up to six years each. The BCC reviews grant applications annually in the fall to evaluate the overall quality of proposed programming and its potential benefit to diverse audiences in neighborhoods throughout Boston.