BOSTON: The Huntington and the Front Porch Arts Collective, a Black theatre company committed to advancing racial equity through theatre, have announced a multi-year partnership beginning on Sept. 1. Front Porch will be in residence with the Huntington, with the two companies providing each other with support, services, and opportunities for multidirectional learning and growth. Previously, Front Porch was the resident theatre company at Central Square Theater from 2016 to 2021.
“The Huntington’s service to the greater Boston theatre community is a fundamental part of our work, and this residency of the Porch is an exciting opportunity to deepen that service,” said Huntington managing director Michael Maso in a statement. “While the primary purpose of the residency is to build the capacity of the Porch as an independent organization, our shared goal is to teach and learn from one another, and in the end, for both companies to be stronger because of our work together.”
The residency aims to allow Front Porch to focus on their artistic goals and institutional priorities as part of Front Porch’s path to becoming a self-sustaining theatre company. The goal is for Front Porch to emerge from this partnership as an independent organization with a distinct artistic point of view, more highly developed structure and leadership, and robust relationships with donors and audience members. Staff from the Huntington will provide administrative, fundraising, and marketing support, as well as mentorship around board development, financial management, and organizational structure.
“The Porch is building a producing model that allows us to live our values,” said co-producing artistic director Dawn M. Simmons in a statement. “The Huntington, with its resources and national reputation, will give us the time to put those values into place as we ascend to the next level of producing excellence where we authentically tell the stories of the diaspora. It’s an exciting step in our artistic evolution.”
Additionally, co-producing artistic directors for Front Porch, Simmons and Maurice Emmanuel Parent, as well as their education director, Pascale Florestal, will be embedded in the Huntington’s administrative offices, working as part of the Huntington’s staff and providing additional voices to the company’s initiatives and artistic decision making.
“The Porch and the Huntington share core values of artistic excellence and a commitment to Boston artists and audiences,” said Parent in a statement. “We are looking forward to using this opportunity with the Huntington to strengthen our connections to Boston’s Black community and continue to create opportunities for BIPOC artists. We are grateful for the continued support of the Boston Foundation whose substantial investment makes this residency possible.”
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