Ken Butler, executive director of Mass Music & Arts Society, and his board of directors, encourage us to give financially to the expansion plans for an art complex envisioned for a property that they own directly across the street from the Xfinity Center. The destination will be called “MMAS Arts Center at Great Woods.” It will be a multi-faceted arts facility and will include a state-of-the-art Theater, well-equipped classrooms for theater, dance and music training, a banquet facility and several galleries. Beautifully situated, the three-acre land parcel abuts Norton Reservoir. World class outdoor sculptures will be sited throughout its landscape and the building’s facade will be embellished with murals to intensify this emerging art center’s sense of place.
Many interesting videos concerning fundraising populate the “Support Us” section of the MMAS website: mmas.org.
Twenty-six years ago, Ken Butler started MMAS with just $8.00 collected in a Maxwell House Coffee can. At that time, his idea was that no contribution was too small. Today, Ken is of the same mindset and there are many opportunities for tiered giving as well. Recently, the “Spier Family Challenge” was an appeal for folks to make a gift of $25,000 to MMAS that the Spier Family Foundation would match.
Today, with that fundraising goal achieved, there is a new opportunity for philanthropy that has emerged from a private donor who will match a $20,000 gift to the organization. This donor, Sandra Levine, is a retired teacher and explained her rational for making this pledge by simply saying that she believes the arts inspire young people. (Sandra Levine, incidentally, was a teacher of Butler’s years ago.) A recent Fundraising Gala held at Lakewood Pavilion included a live auction and the event raised $110,000. Rather than a marathon, Butler wants the fundraising campaign to be a sprint, so that MMAS can break ground as soon as possible.
The three-dimensional architectural model of “MMAS Arts Center at Great Woods” is on view in the Morini Gallery, which connects to the current MMAS Black Box Theater. The model illustrates the plan for the newly acquired property. The entire project is a wonderful example of an ever-expanding group of people working together toward a vision and fast-tracking that goal toward completion.
(The MMAS Black Box Theater and Morini Gallery is located at 377 North Main Street, Mansfield, Massachusetts. For details on Mass Music and Arts Society summer classes, theatrical and musical productions, theater workshops, art exhibitions and other events, call (508) 339-2822 or visit mmas.org.)