The Hopkinton Center for the Arts (HCA) is a nonprofit 501-3c entity whose mission is to provide an environment where individuals of all ages and abilities have the opportunity to create and present quality visual and performing arts. This broad-based aim to offer “something for everyone” is what makes HCA unique. Our vision is for a place where creativity flows and cultural opportunities abound.
The Story Behind the HCA
Several decades ago five artists envisioned a local fine arts center in the Hopkinton area. In 1997, the Cultural Arts Alliance (CAA) was established, utilizing the farmhouse building at 98 Hayden Rowe Street for art exhibits, classes and events. The long term goal was to restore the barn on the property to create more classrooms and a performance/community/lecture space. Phase One of the project, which included stabilizing the barn, creating a new foundation, and configuring an outdoor amphitheater (funded largely from town Community Preservation Act funds), was successfully completed. (See Phases of Development for a more detailed description of Phase One.) Further work stalled, however, due to lack of manpower to continue the fundraising and planning efforts.
In 2010, Hopkinton’s Enter Stage Left Theater (ESL) had a growing number of volunteers and participants, and needed a larger space for its needs. The board members and staff of CAA and ESL formed a partnership, creating the Hopkinton Center for the Arts (HCA). Kelly Grill, Executive Director of ESL, and Kris Waldman, former executive director of the CAA, are now Executive and Artistic Directors, respectively, of the HCA. ESL is now the resident theater company of the HCA.
The Hopkinton Community Endowment (HCE) then joined the partnership, bringing considerable experience in fundraising and a larger community presence to increase broader awareness and interest in the project. The HCA officially became a 501 3c entity in 2011, with Board members from each of the three partner organizations.
The proposed HCA complex, which will include not only a performance space for theater, music and dance, but also an art gallery and lecture series space, is being developed at the historic 2-acre farm parcel at 98 Hayden Rowe Street in Hopkinton, which the Town has set aside for cultural use. The parcel includes a 100+ year old dairy barn, farmhouse, garage, and two outer buildings. The three-phased project includes: renovating the farmhouse, restoring the barn, building a theater and reviving the property. This project is being funded by private donors, fellow citizens, and contributions from the town’s Community Preservation fund. In this way we can strengthen our local quality of life without burden to the tax payers or ultimately to the HCA.
The complex already has much vitality. The farmhouse is used for music, art and theater classes, gallery shows, artist boutiques, rehearsals and meetings. The outdoor amphitheater is used for open air performances.
Each phase is bringing something new and beneficial to the local community. Having completed Phase One, we now look to Phase Two, which will focus on expanding the space so we can thus further expand and diversify our programs: our class offerings in art and drama will be complemented by new classes in pottery, film making, and dance. We will also develop a community lecture series, and more performance events. The theater that will be built in Phase Three will result in increased opportunities for performances and shows.
> Phases of Development
Kelly Grill, Executive Director, HCA, Kris Waldman, Artistic Director, HCA
and Kevin Delbridge, Board Member, HCE.
Partners in the Arts
The Hopkinton Community Endowment (HCE) serves as a collective savings account for the residents of Hopkinton. As a charitable organization independent of local government, its mission is to raise and wisely manage funds for the benefit of our town, and ultimately to defray major capital expenses residents of the town approve through town meeting and local elections. In this way the Endowment helps lower property taxes and enhances the quality of our entire community. For more information, please call Sandy Lucchesi 508-380-4405. www.hopkintonce.org
Enter Stage Left Theater (ESL) is the resident theater company of the HCA. It offers 10 – 12 productions per year and a variety of workshops and classes in the theater arts. Productions include adult dramas and musicals, comedy, a spring musical open to ages 4 through adult, large children’s productions, summer workshops for ages 4-14, a growing summer stock program for high school and college age students, and an original 1940s USO show with a full 15 piece swing band performed at the local venues. ESL also directs two choral groups for ages 12 – adult. ESL sponsors a playwriting contest for high school and college age students, and has a scholarship program for high school seniors, as well as financial assistance programs for help with program participation fees. www.enterstagelefttheater.org
The Cultural Arts Alliance of Hopkinton (CAA) has been a dynamic nonprofit arts center in Hopkinton that has been serving the town and the greater Metro West community since 1997. The CAA has offered art classes for ages 4 through adult, art exhibits, a summer arts camp, and events such as the Summer Sunset Jazz Series. It has partnered with local organizations such as the Hopkinton Senior Center and the Michael Lisnow Respite Center to offer classes and gallery space for members of those organizations. The CAA has also opened its gallery space to local groups for artist receptions, community meetings and craft boutiques. In 2012, CAA staff and resources were absorbed by the HCA, where they continue to expand visual arts classes, workshops, exhibits and events.