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ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage

 Emerson College, 120 Boylston Street
 Boston, MA 02116
[P] (617) 824-8030
[F] (617) 824-8725
David Howse
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-1286950

LAST UPDATED: 12/13/2018
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years Yes


Mission StatementMORE »

ArtsEmerson is Boston’s leading presenter of contemporary world theatre. We are dedicated to engaging all communities through stories that reveal and deepen our connection to each other. By cultivating diversity in the art and in the audience, we ignite public conversation around our most vexing societal challenges as a catalyst for overcoming them. We envision a thriving world where art ignites empathy for ourselves and for each other.

Mission Statement

ArtsEmerson is Boston’s leading presenter of contemporary world theatre. We are dedicated to engaging all communities through stories that reveal and deepen our connection to each other. By cultivating diversity in the art and in the audience, we ignite public conversation around our most vexing societal challenges as a catalyst for overcoming them. We envision a thriving world where art ignites empathy for ourselves and for each other.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2017 to June 30, 2018
Projected Income $7,911,908.00
Projected Expense $7,911,908.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • A) Artist Residencies
  • B) Performing Arts
  • C) Civic Engagement and Education
  • D) Accessibility Initiatives
  • E) Community Partners

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

ArtsEmerson is Boston’s leading presenter of contemporary world theatre. We are dedicated to engaging all communities through stories that reveal and deepen our connection to each other. By cultivating diversity in the art and in the audience, we ignite public conversation around our most vexing societal challenges as a catalyst for overcoming them. We envision a thriving world where art ignites empathy for ourselves and for each other.

Background Statement


ArtsEmerson Founding Executive Director, Robert J. Orchard seeks to attract new audiences to Emerson College’s downtown arts venues: the 1,200-seat Cutler Majestic Theatre, a Boston Historic Landmark; the 590-seat Robert J. Orchard Stage in the Paramount Center, another Boston Historic Landmark and former art deco movie palace; the Jackie Liebergott Black Box, a 126-seat flexible black box space in the Paramount Center; and the 170-seat Bright Family Screening Room in the Paramount Center.

Through his efforts, ArtsEmerson quickly establishes a reputation for presenting outstanding work from around the world—work that emanates from the language of theater, yet pushes the boundaries into dance, music, and opera.

ArtsEmerson’s first seasons focused on building a world-class cultural institution, raising awareness, and staking a leadership role in the community. By December of 2013, WBUR critic Ed Siegel cited ArtsEmerson in his annual “Best of” round-up, saying: “In four short years they have established ArtsEmerson as one of the most important cultural institutions in New England.”

Convinced that a diversity of voices is essential to leading a 21st century arts organization, ArtsEmerson’s board established the leadership triad of David Dower and P. Carl (Co-Artistic Directors) and David Howse (Executive Director), with Rob Orchard moving into the role of Creative Consultant. In June of 2015 Boston Magazine names ArtsEmerson the Best Theatre in Boston.

Artistic Director David Dower and Executive Director David Howse create a senior management team for greater organizational alignment. With its artistic reputation firmly in place, ArtsEmerson’s efforts are today fully turned toward building an audience that reflects the true diversity of our city’s demographics, and to establishing ArtsEmerson as an active civic partner with communities throughout Boston.

Impact Statement


  • New Senior Development Officer: We hired Deborah Smith, a socially conscious business leader who brings expertise from her career within the Financial Services industry. By joining our team, Deborah primes ArtsEmerson as we look to make maximum impact with our upcoming 19/20 10th Anniversary Season.
  • Bangsokol: A Requiem for Cambodia: The production marks the second time we’ve ever sold out before opening – a testament to our robust partnership with the Cambodian community in Greater Boston. On closing night, we were deeply moved to receive a special commendation from Massachusetts State Representative Rady Mom for ArtsEmerson's work “engaging all communities through the arts that unites us all as one diverse world.”
  • Launch of the Gaining Ground Fund: ArtsEmerson elevates and encourages the ambitions of artists developing work that reflects the African Diasporic experience in America. The fund allows us to provide resources to ambitious projects led by artists creating on an epic scale, removing obstacles and enabling the artists to keep control of both their vision and process.
  • The Mr. Joy Neighborhood Tour: After the wild success of the 2017 inaugural tour, we partnered with 6 community organizations in Boston neighborhoods to present free performances of Daniel Beaty’s Mr. Joy, a play that explores issues of race and class in America to help us find our common humanity. We also initiated a partnership with METCO.
  • Citizen Read: Co-produced with the American Repertory Theater, this program activated a public dialogue on race and identity in America with more than 1,300 area residents from over 80 groups participating. Citizen Read included facilitated conversations of Rankine's 2014 New York Times bestselling book of poetry Citizen: An American Lyric in book clubs throughout Boston and Cambridge, a conversation featuring Claudia Rankine and book club participants, and an opportunity to attend the world premiere of Rankine’s new play, The White Card.


  1. Expand and diversify our audience.
  2. Increase and expand artistic risk funds.
  3. Continue to support staff toward values and desired culture.

Needs Statement

  1. Support for artist residencies, with a focus on under-resourced artists and ensembles: $10,000-$75,000. While we have resources at our disposal we can provide these artists, they often come with additional costs, such as housing, travel, and artistic production expertise and support.
  2. Presentation support for works on our stage: $25,000-$100,000. Work on our stage requires funds for artist fees, royalties, housing, and production support.
  3. Civic Engagement & Education programs: $30,000-$70,000. These mission-driven programs include our Play Reading Book Club, Welcome to Boston Cast Parties, discounted Student Matinees, Public Dialogues, and the Mr. Joy Neighborhood Tour.
  4. Accessibility initiatives: $25,000-$50,000. These funds allow us to provide ASL interpretation at performances, audio describe performances, staff training, and general improvements to make our spaces more welcoming and accessible to people of all abilities.
  5. Community Partners program: $150,000-$250,000. We will grant our time and resources to 2-3 small, local companies to present their work in our spaces, at greatly reduced costs, and provide mentorship so they can produce events in similar caliber institutions.

CEO Statement

“The arts have the power to lead us forward, to heal us, to bring us together and help us bridge real divides. The arts are the key to building and rebuilding bridges in our society—between cities and rural counties; between the poor and the prosperous; between the past, the present, and the possible.” – Darren Walker

At ArtsEmerson, we like to think of art as a prompt; we – the three members of the shared leadership model – use this prompt as a way to reinforce our deep commitment to fostering civic transformation. We use story to reveal and deepen our relationship to each other. With each institutional program and project under consideration we examine how it can be used as a tool to create civic discourse. One of our core values – that the arts belong to everyone – grows from our instinct to be a citizen arts organization. We operate in service of our artists and communities. This instinct informs our process of curatorial listening.

Our values are essential to how we operate and the decisions we make. They are:

  • The belief the arts belong to everyone. Every decision we make, every new programming choice and operational strategy, emerges from that conviction.
  • Effective and efficient stewardship of the resources under our control (facilities, expertise, money,) on behalf of Emerson College, the students, the artists, the community and the field.
  • Respect, integrity, civility and transparency in all our interactions (with each other, with our artists, with our audiences, with our students and with our clients).
  • Relationship building between the artists we are serving, the audiences who engage with our work and the Emerson community of students, faculty and staff.
  • Balance between our social conscience and our dedication to artistic excellence.
  • Diversity in all its forms—we seek to celebrate it and showcase it as integral to everything we do.
  • The City of Boston and our role in its creative and civic infrastructure.
  • Reciprocal collaborative relationships with each of our constituencies providing leadership where it’s necessary, mentoring when it is desired and mutual discipline and respect to ensure success on every level.

Board Chair Statement


Geographic Area Served

City of Boston- Citywide (Indiv. neighborhoods also listed)
Presenting The World On Stage with national and international partnerships, we also forge strong local relationships and collaborations. We are deeply committed to our immediate neighborhoods of Downtown and Chinatown, and to all of Boston’s neighborhoods: Roxbury, Mattapan, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Allston, Brighton, Back Bay, Bay Village, Beacon Hill, Charlestown, East Boston, Fenway-Kenmore, Hyde Park, Mission Hill, North End, Roslindale, South Boston, South End, West End, and West Roxbury.

Organization Categories

  1. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Performing Arts
  2. -
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



A) Artist Residencies

Serving as an incubator, we provide both burgeoning and renowned artists with resources to experiment in creating socially conscious and artistically rigorous work. We begin by asking: “What do you need and how can we help?" Developing multi-year relationships with selected artists and ensembles, we make our stages as well as our extensive rehearsal and production facilities available. Projects also receive valuable artistic support through dramaturgical conversations with and feedback from our highly skilled staff, and from the audiences we provide for staged readings. These extended residencies are intended to help artists develop their projects with the active participation of ArtsEmerson staff, either for production at ArtsEmerson, in New York, at other regional theaters, or for touring. In addition, the frequent presence of high caliber artists in our midst promotes deep engagement with audiences, civic partners, and students alike.  

Budget  $300,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Artists-in-Residence
Population Served Adults
Program Short-Term Success 
Our commitment to long-arc relationships has brought 22 productions by artists in residence to ArtsEmerson in our first eight years. In some cases these residencies occurred years before; in others, they were concurrent with their production. We also bring artists back for residencies following initial productions, and hope to bring their new work to our stages when the timing is right. This year we hosted Baskultoo for a developmental workshop -- and whose artist creators previously visited us while performing with les 7 doigts and in Machine de Cirque. We have also initiated and will be supporting a multi-year developmental residency with celebrated playwright Will Power, whose piece Detroit Red about Malcolm X's years in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston is being workshopped in tandem with that community leading up to its 19/20 premiere in our season.
Program Long-Term Success 

Through this strategy of timely interventions, we have created a number of long arcs of relationships with artists who feel they have a home here, trust that they can tackle any stage of the development work with our technical staff, and embrace the unique access to our audience communities that enables their project to come to fruition. And each year we are welcoming new companies into the program. These relationships will not only continue, but lead to the creation of more work that would not have otherwise had the opportunity to be fully created. They will go on, and have gone on, to have touring life across the country and performances in regional and New York theaters.

Program Success Monitored By 

Recent artist in residence Claudia Rankine noted, “I write to provoke dialogue and to transform how we think about what it means to live and breathe in the world. ArtsEmerson exists to do the same. I always tell them that working with them is completely stress free and in that way unlike any other experience I’ve had as an artist working in collaboration. I wouldn’t premiere my new play anywhere else.”

Because we build long arc relationships with these artists, we create an open communication channel. With each artist residency, we learn how they viewed their experience – what worked, what didn’t, and what could be improved for the future. Internally, we hold debrief meetings across different departments for all of our projects, including the residencies, to celebrate what went well and examine where we faced challenges that we can learn from moving forward.
Examples of Program Success  Through an extensive series of residencies around the country, Toshi Reagon and her ensemble are creating a fully produced opera from Octavia E. Butler’s novel Parable of the Sower. For her residency here, the full cast and creative team was with us for a week. They built on previous residencies that focused on music and the libretto and added choreography, lighting design, and staging/performance ideas from the director. The dramaturgy continued to develop throughout the week, even though they were performing the piece each night to sold-out houses. We had communicated with our audience from the outset that the invitation was to see a concert performance of the work as it was developing. Our audience knew what they were coming to and the company got the freedom to continue to experiment. These were paid tickets, and we had 600 people each night. All of these decisions were following through on requests Toshi and her team made about how to spend their residency week with us.

B) Performing Arts

We present and produce live performances from around the world in our three downtown venues, using a combination of our leadership’s curatorial expertise in conjunction with that of our community partners in order to highlight work that reflects the multicultural vibrancy of our city. Whether these offerings come from South Africa, Russia, Canada, Chile, or locally from Roxbury, the visionary and pioneering artists on our stages continually push the boundaries of form, invite provocative conversations, and foster connection and collaboration with our audience. Each diverse season of performance fills a substantial void in the Boston cultural landscape and welcomes new communities into our spaces. We use the same curatorial approach to present films from around the world, supporting a variety of partnerships with local community organizations including the Boston Asian American Film Festival and the Boston LGBT Film Festival.
Budget  $1,500,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Performing Arts
Population Served Adults Families College Aged (18-26 years)
Program Short-Term Success  In seven seasons, ArtsEmerson has garnered 12 Elliot Norton Awards and received Boston Magazine’s 2012 and 2015 Best of Boston award for Best Theatre.
Program Long-Term Success 

Gradually, we experience the following:

  • The work on our stage reveals and deepens our relationships to each other.
  • Our audience reflects the diversity of our city.
  • The works on our stages reflects the diversity of our city.
  • We continue to deepen and develop relationships with artists and ensembles in future seasons.
  • The art provokes conversation and leads to outcomes that make Boston a more empathetic and desirable city.
Program Success Monitored By 

We constantly evaluate our success on the basis of:

  • Ticket sales & data
  • Audience demographic data from surveys and zip codes
  • Management, leadership, and our evaluation consultant
  • Financial stability
Examples of Program Success 

We’ve experienced an increase in philanthropic support from patrons, particularly through the ticket up-sell – a vote of confidence in us and our work. We also see an increase in package buyers with the announcement of each new season.

C) Civic Engagement and Education

Programs centered around our core beliefs that the arts belong to everyone and overcoming the arts’ exclusionary tendencies requires civic engagement not as an ancillary activity, but as integral to the organizational infrastructure. Our pioneering neighborhood-based audience engagement initiative, the Play Reading Book Club creates a space for audiences to deeply engage with theatre on both a textual and artistic level, while the Welcome to Boston cast parties connect local artists and audiences with our visiting performers. The Mr. Joy Neighborhood Tour brings free performances to community spaces around Boston, leading not only to connectivity amongst audiences, but also to deeper, more meaningful engagement with the arts. In the 18/19 Season, ArtsEmerson will offer student matinees with subsidized tickets during the week for 3-4 of our productions, providing the opportunity to enrich students’ arts experiences during the school day.
Budget  $75,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Performing Arts
Population Served Adults Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Families
Program Short-Term Success  We have seen Civic Engagement participants attend ArtsEmerson shows and increase their involvement with each new program. We will continue to create community programs in response to and in dialogue with our community members and partners – “curation by listening.”
Program Long-Term Success 

Through these initiatives, participants will gain a sense of ownership of theater and its many forms. They will actively participate in ArtsEmerson programs and at theaters around the city. An ongoing dialogue with our community will lead to civic transformation.

Program Success Monitored By 

We evaluate the success of each program through our evaluation consultant’s surveys and interviews, feedback from our program partners, and by the number of attendees/participants.

Examples of Program Success 

Our Welcome to Boston Cast Parties continue to attract large crowds in venues around the City; these audiences showcase the diversity of our community, and they often buy tickets because of the events. After the Bangsokol Welcome to Boston event, the show sold out before opening – the 2nd show in ArtsEmerson’s history to do so.

This year we partnered with the American Repertory Theater to create “Citizen Read”—a conversation across Boston and Cambridge to discuss Rankine’s Book Citizen: An American Lyric in conjunction with the premiere of her new play The White Card, with over 1,300 participants.

Our PRBC members are signing up again and again, and have come to view our venues as places that they belong in and where they are welcome. They are venturing out to see theater together at other venues.

D) Accessibility Initiatives

As an organization committed to accessibility and inclusion, ArtsEmerson has made great strides in our short time. A 2017 member of the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s UP Innovation and Learning Network, we are continually expanding our skills and services. In addition to assisted listening devices and large-print programs, these include:

  • ASL Interpreted and Audio Described Performances: ArtsEmerson chooses three performances per season to be both ASL interpreted and Audio Described. We also offer "touch tours" prior to audio described performances, during which blind patrons are invited to feel the set, costumes, and props, and meet the cast.
  • Relaxed Performances: We are actively exploring how to make this innovation possible with our touring productions. This would require extensive Front of House training, additional trained staff and volunteers, a quiet area and activity space, and minor adjustments to technical elements in the show.
Budget  $50,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Performing Arts
Population Served People/Families with of People with Disabilities
Program Short-Term Success  We’ve begun to have the deaf and blind communities talk to us about what they want to see on our stages; they see us as partners. We will increasingly attract a large group from these communities for ASL and AD performances. We also hope to be able to hold “relaxed” performances that are more inclusive for those on the Autism spectrum.
Program Long-Term Success 

Over time, we will create a more inclusive, welcoming space for people with all abilities, and a richer program offering in response to demand from the disability community.

Program Success Monitored By 

We monitor via surveys and anecdotal feedback, the number of attendees, and the community members in dialogue with us.

Examples of Program Success  After a year of greater engagement with these communities, at our 17/18 Season Preview Event a group of about 10 members of the deaf community were excited and eager to discuss which productions in our upcoming season they wanted to attend, helping us determine which ones to interpret. We saw this trend continue following the 18/19 Season Preview Event.

E) Community Partners

This initiative engages small, local performance ensembles to envision and produce events in ArtsEmerson’s downtown venues, elevating collaboration in the city and activating our spaces. These local companies tell us what they hope to achieve and what they need to achieve it, and we support them the way we’d support an artist in residence. We are prepared to make grants of our time, fully equipped theater and rehearsal spaces, and expert technical staff. Inviting local interdisciplinary companies into a RFP process, we will select 2-3 based on dates, values, aesthetic alignment, and capabilities. We will provide these Partners with an artistic home, access to multiple venues, production and administrative support, marketing and development muscle, and mentorship from our staff. This opportunity sharpens their practices and professional abilities to create and produce events at scale, so they can feel confident when at similar high caliber institutions.
Budget  $175,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Performing Arts
Population Served Adults
Program Short-Term Success 
  • At the start of the 17/18 Season, we will initiate and develop long-term relationships with 2-3 local companies.
  • Through the program, Community Partners enhance their producing skills and expand their abilities in programming and attracting a wider audience by the end of their residency.
  • We create an equitable RFP process.
  • We alleviate some of the stress in the local field surrounding lack of rehearsal and performance space.
Program Long-Term Success 

We will see our spaces activated with the cultural vibrancy that emanates from our immediate and surrounding communities. Growing and sustaining long-term relationships with our Community Partners, we will also deepen connections with the local artist community.

As Community Partners see their programming flourish through access to our spaces and resources, we will in turn gain increased visibility in our communities, and in time, the opportunity to build trust within communities that don’t traditionally frequent downtown performances venues like ArtsEmerson. Through sharing our experiences and learning, other venues in the region will recognize the value and opportunity to create and make space in their own venues available through similar efforts.

Non-traditional theatergoers will find value in attendance and a sense of ownership, while traditional theatergoers will demonstrate a shared value of diversity in programming and audience. Over time, Community Partners programming will help us build an audience will reflect our city’s demographics.

Program Success Monitored By  Our external evaluation consultant will provide us with qualitative feedback directly from the Community Partners. Looking at our own box office data we are able to gather quantitative means of measurement, and surveys sent to the program attendees provide a combination of qualitative and quantitative evaluation.
Examples of Program Success  We invest in long-arc relationships, and the Boston Asian American Film Festival is the perfect example of such a relationship. They began as a client, and we have gradually evolved from transactional to relational. The 16/17 season saw the BAAFF as one of our Community Curators, and next season will expand our partnership as they program films to complement work on ArtsEmerson’s stage.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

ArtsEmerson is countercultural: pushing the boundaries of form, experimental in our programming, unique in our leadership structure, and unafraid to take risks. We choose a season exactly the way you choose to see theater: by picking what most excites and intrigues us. Thinking about our audience, we cull through multiple possibilities every year, traversing more conversations than we can count. The result is a season of presentations and programs that we think best reflects the diversity of stories that make up our city and our world.

We believe that the arts are for everyone. We follow that value with the challenge that speaks to the time it takes to build resilient relationships. All of our programs depend on our living this value and investing in the growth of our long arc relationships – whether with artists, community partners, or audience members. We are poised to make an impact on our communities and we aim to put the art at the center of civic life here in Boston.


CEO/Executive Director Mr. David C. Howse
CEO Term Start Feb 2015
CEO Email
CEO Experience


David C. Howse joined ArtsEmerson as executive director in 2015 and is fiscally and administratively responsible for multiple cultural venues in Downtown Boston. Prior he served as executive director of Boston Children’s Chorus (BCC), where he was instrumental in helping grow BCC from a pilot project serving 20 kids in 2003 to a vibrant organization educating more than 500 singers in 12 choirs in 5 locations. David was named as one of the GK100: Boston’s Most Influential People of Color, earned the Social Innovation Forum Achievement Award (Root Cause) and was included in the “40 Under 40” (Boston Business Journal). He serves in many capacities in the community, including service on the boards of Exponential Creativity Ventures, Social Innovation Forum, Associated Grant Makers, Chorus America and as a Trustee of the Forbes House Museum. He also serves on the Board of Corporators for Eastern Bank, the Board of Advisors at the Museum of Fine Arts, the Advisory Council of the New England Foundation for the Arts and the corporation of the Community Music Center of Boston. David earned degrees from Bradley University (Peoria, IL) and New England Conservatory of Music (Boston, MA) and is a graduate of The Partnership's Next Generation Executive Leadership Program at Harvard University. He teaches at the Institute for Nonprofit Practice. Originally from Murfreesboro, TN, he resides in Milton, MA. Twitter: @dchowse


Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Bonnie Baggesen General Manager

Bonnie J. Baggesen has worked at Emerson College for 14 years, where she currently serves as the General Manager for the Office of the Arts. Preceding her work as General Manager, Baggesen served as Director of Production and Facilities for the Office of the Arts, and before that she was the head of the BFA program in Stage/Production Management for the Department of Performing Arts. Prior to her tenure at Emerson, Baggesen was Production Manager for the national tours of The Acting Company. She worked in both regional and commercial theatre as a professional stage manager for over 20 years. Regional credits include Trinity Repertory Company, Playmakers Repertory Company at UNC-Chapel Hill, and Rites and Reason Theatre at Brown University. Touring credits include national tours of Damn Yankees and Sunset Boulevard. Broadway credits include The Lion King, Search for Signs of Intelligent Life, and Taller than a Dwarf. Baggesen has an MFA in Theatre Management and Producing from Columbia University and a BA in Technical Theatre from Rhode Island College. She is a member of Actors’ Equity Association.

David Dower Artistic Director

David Dower joined ArtsEmerson as director of artistic programs in 2012 and was named artistic director in 2015. He is also co-founder and a contributing editor to HowlRound. Prior, he served as associate artistic director of Arena Stage (Washington, D.C.); and founded and served as artistic director of The Z Space Studio and co-founded and served as co-artistic director of The Z Collective (San Francisco, CA). With ArtsEmerson he directed Guillermo Calderón’s Kiss, Daniel Beaty’s Mr. Joy and Breath and Imagination, Melinda Lopez’s Mala, Baritones UnBound, and Maurice Hines’s Tappin’ Through Life. Dower earned the Inclusive Excellence Award (Emerson College); was a Gerbode Fellow (Gerbode Foundation); was named “MVP of Bay Area Theater” (San Francisco Chronicle); and was a Policy Fellow (National Endowment for the Arts). He studied at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, American University (Washington, D.C.) and Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. Originally from Westerly, RI, David resides in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood. Twitter: @ddower

Wayne McWorter Senior Director of Marketing, Communications & Audience Services

Wayne McWorter came to Boston in February 2016 to accept the role of Senior Director of Marketing, Communications & Audience Services for ArtsEmerson and the Emerson College Office of the Arts. Previously, he spent three years in Chicago, where he was recruited to open a new regional office for 87AM, a leading digital advertising agency, where he oversaw client relations and business development for the live entertainment division. From 1996-2013, Wayne worked for the Nederlander Organization’s Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, where oversaw all aspects of integrated marketing and communications for the landmark historic venue. He began his career at Davidson & Choy Publicity, Los Angeles’ leading arts PR firm, with whom he enjoyed a decade-long relationship; starting as an office assistant, he rose to the level of Partner in less than eight years. Over his career, McWorter has promoted over 350 theatrical engagements in venues throughout the United States.

Deborah Smith Senior Development Officer

Deborah Smith, a socially conscious business leader with a lifelong interest in both the arts and education, recently joined the ArtsEmerson team as Senior Development Officer. Working within the Financial Services industry for most of her career, Deborah has held a variety of executive positions, principally within the Investment Servicing space at Citigroup and State Street where she served Institutional Clients. She also served briefly as State Street’s first Chief Knowledge Officer establishing and leading its Knowledge Management and Thought Leadership initiatives. Throughout her career, Deborah has served on a number of nonprofit and community Boards, both nationally and local to Boston. Deborah is a graduate of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Affairs.


Award Awarding Organization Year
Best Visiting Actress - Marie Mullen IRNE Awards 2018
Best Visiting Play -- The Beauty Queen of Leenane IRNE Awards 2018
Outstanding Ensemble - "The Beauty Queen of Leenane" Elliot Norton Awards 2017
Outstanding New Script - "Mala", by Melinda Lopez Elliot Norton Awards 2017
Solo Performance - Tangela Large, "Mr. Joy" IRNE Awards 2016
Visiting Play, Large Theater - "Ernest Shackleton Loves Me" IRNE Awards 2016
Best of Boston - Theatre Boston Magazine 2015
Best Solo - Dennis O’Hare, "An Iliad" IRNE Awards 2014
Best Visiting Performer - Hilda Cronje, "Mies Julie" IRNE Awards 2014
Outstanding Visiting Production, "Mies Julie" Elliot Norton Awards 2014
Best Solo Performance - Robbie McCauley, "Sugar IRNE Awards 2013
Best Visiting Performer - Sahr Ngaujah, "FELA!" IRNE Awards 2013
Outstanding Design (Large Theater), Metamorphosis Elliot Norton Awards 2013
Outstanding Musical Performance by an Actor, Sahr Ngaujah, "Fela!" Elliot Norton Awards 2013
Outstanding Visiting Production, Metamorphosis Elliot Norton Awards 2013
Best of Boston - Theatre Boston Magazine 2012
Outstanding Actress (Large Theater) for Maude Mitchell – Mabou Mines DollHouse Elliot Norton Awards 2012
Outstanding Design, The Andersen Project Elliot Norton Awards 2012
Outstanding Solo Performance, Yves Jacques – "The Andersen Project" Elliot Norton Awards 2012
Outstanding Visiting Production, Mabou Mines DollHouse Elliot Norton Awards 2012
Outstanding Actress (Large Theater) for Kate MacCluggage, “The Merchant of Venice” Elliot Norton Awards 2011
Outstanding Choreography for Doug Elkins' "Fräulein Maria” Elliot Norton Awards 2011


Affiliation Year
Association of Performing Arts Presenters 2010
Theatre Communications Groups - Constituent Theatre 2010
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 47
Number of Part Time Staff 602
Number of Volunteers 0
Number of Contract Staff 2
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 8
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 2
Caucasian: 36
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 1
Other (if specified): Biracial
Gender Female: 24
Male: 21
Not Specified 2

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers N/A
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy --
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy --
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair Mr. Jeffrey D. Greenhawt
Board Chair Company Affiliation Sunshine Wireless Company, Inc
Board Chair Term May 2011 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Susan (Hammel) Namm Spencer Retired Voting
Eric Alexander Negotium Partners Voting
Daniel H. Black Greenberg Traurig Voting
Kevin Bright Founding Director, Emerson Los Angeles, Producer/Director, Los Angeles CA and Boston, MA Voting
Bobbi Brown Bobbi Brown Cosmetics Voting
Ellen S. Calmas Neighborhood Pay Services Voting
Dan Cohen Worldwide Television Licensing & Distribution, Paramount Pictures Voting
Vincent J. Di Bona Vin Di Bona Productions Voting
Robert Friend Patron Technology Voting
Ira Goldstone Fox Networks Engineering and Operations Voting
Jeffrey D. Greenhawt Sunshine Wireless Company, Inc. Voting
Gary Grossman Producer, Writer, Director, Author Voting
Doug A. Herzog Retired Voting
Leo Hindery Jr. InterMedia Partners Voting
Douglas Holloway Community Volunteer Voting
Albert M. Jaffe Retired Voting
Michael MacWade Empower Retirement Voting
Robert Miller Miller-Pomerantz Insurance & Financial Services Voting
Andrea M. Montoni Marketing Communications Voting
Dr. M. Lee Pelton Emerson College Exofficio
Michele Perkins New England College Voting
Patricia Peyton Leadership and Sales Consultant Voting
Marc Reinganum Senior Asset Manager, Academic Thought Leader, Innovator, Practioner Voting
Steven Samuels Samuels & Associates Voting
Linda Schwartz Event Planner Voting
Raj Sharma Merrill Lynch Voting
Marillyn Zacharis Retired Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 24
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 8
Male: 19
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 96%
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 96%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

ArtsEmerson does not have its own board of directors. Rather, it is situated within the Office of the Arts at Emerson College. The Office of the Arts reports to the College’s Board, and the College maintains fiduciary oversight of the Office of the Arts.

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $6,823,799 $7,637,524 $7,718,490
Total Expenses $6,823,799 $7,637,524 $7,718,490

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$1,750,316 $2,294,830 $552,187
Government Contributions $59,000 $40,000 $0
    Federal $59,000 $40,000 --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $229,966 $200,594 $1,016,833
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $2,786,580 $2,689,581 $3,039,464
Investment Income, Net of Losses $215,179 $745,702 $111,255
Membership Dues -- -- $574,814
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind $1,782,758 -- $2,423,937
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $3,159,576 $4,942,852 $5,480,194
Administration Expense $3,589,433 $2,513,086 $2,080,033
Fundraising Expense $74,790 $181,586 $158,263
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.00 1.00 1.00
Program Expense/Total Expenses 46% 65% 71%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 4% 7% 10%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets -- -- --
Current Assets -- -- --
Long-Term Liabilities -- -- --
Current Liabilities -- -- --
Total Net Assets -- -- --

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities nan nan nan

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets nan% nan% nan%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

ArtsEmerson is part of Emerson College's Office of the Arts, a non-academic department. As such, ArtsEmerson's financials are embedded in the College's larger financial reports and do not appear as a discrete item on its Form 990.

ArtsEmerson is fortunate to have financial support and a degree of stability due to its sheltered position as part the College. ArtsEmerson's budget is agreed on during the College's budgeting process each year, and support from the College is planned to diminish over time as ArtsEmerson builds community support. To the degree Emerson College has made commitment, decreasing year over year; ArtsEmerson wants to become self-sustaining in the next 5-10 years, and we continue to partner with the College toward that goal.

In partnership with the College, we have established a fund to mitigate risk: The World on Stage Short Term Fund is a $500,000 pool of “creative risk capital” to support artistic programming, especially international productions with high artistic excellence but uncertain revenue potential. This short-term fund ensures that ArtsEmerson can continue to present international programs without being negatively impacted by the unknowable challenges of today’s political and economic climate.

The World on Stage Permanent Fund, currently funded at $3.5 million, is an expendable operating reserve. The Permanent Fund is pooled with Emerson College’s general endowment and disbursed in accordance with college policy. In coming years, this fund will grow with additional gifts, investment income, and earnings from the Artistic Programs Fund that exceed its $500,000 baseline.

As ArtsEmerson moves from start-up to fully scaled operation, growing audience, ticket sales, and annual contributions, the Permanent Fund will provide a stable, long-term source of income to mitigate risk and support artistic innovation.

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in charts and graphs were provided by the nonprofit's internal documents as ArtsEmerson is a division of Emerson.  The data in charts and graphs represent ArtsEmerson only, while the IRS Form 990s and audited financials are that of Emerson College.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?