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October 27, 2020
ED Resigns; Using Music to Survive Shutdown; Virtual 25th

September 22, 2020 — Fine Arts Work Center executive director resigns… Cabot Theatre uses music series to generate revenue during shutdown… SouthCoast Community Foundation marks 25th anniversary virtually.

Fine Arts Work Center Executive Director Resigns

Richard MacMillan

Richard MacMillan, executive director of the Fine Arts Work Center (FAWC) a Provincetown nonprofit that encourages the growth and development of emerging visual artists and writers, recently announced he will step down from the post next spring.

MacMillan, who joined the organization two years ago, according to a report in the Cape Cod Times, did not provide a reason for his decision.

FAWC said it will launch a search committee for a new executive director, the paper reported.

“While my time at the Work Center has brought unexpected challenges and tested many of us, I want you to know how grateful I am to have this opportunity to push forward for stabilization and to depart with a sense that there is a clear pathway forward,” MacMillan said in the statement cited in the report.

“The Board of Trustees is grateful to Richard for stepping into the role of Executive Director and for his calm, steady and unwavering passion for FAWC,” the trustees wrote in a statement published by the paper. “In a very short period of time his contributions have been many and his original goal of creating a strong foundation for his successor continues.”

MacMillan, who joined FAWC after from serving as senior director of philanthropic advising at MIT, was hired to help the work center reach a $5 million fundraising goal. As of earlier this summer, the work center was about $2 million from its target, about the same figure when MacMillan started, the paper reported.

After allegations were raised in June regarding racial issues relating to governance and culture, FAWC "acknowledged some failings and laid out plans to create an Anti-Racist Working Group, improve diversity on the board, create a fellows advisory council and increase transparency," according to the Cape Cod Times.

“Throughout this time of great concern and crisis, Richard has provided stalwart leadership, encouraging a spirit of collaboration and professionalism between staff, trustees, fellows, and donors,” FAWC trustees said in a statement published by the paper.

FAWC remains closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, having postposed its 2020 summer program for a year.

Cabot Theatre Uses Music Series to Generate Revenue during Shutdown

The Cabot Theatre, a Beverly nonprofit that celebrated its centenary this year, which closed during the coronavirus pandemic, was ready to re-open cautiously last month with an outdoor concert series called The Porch Sessions when the governor lowered the capacity for outdoor events to 50 people as coronavirus cases surged.

Although he almost canceled the series, Casey Soward, executive director of the theater, which used the concert series, held at Hale Farm in Beverly, to generate some income, negotiated with artists and vendors to keep the series going, according to a report in The Patch.

"In particular, the artists we've worked with, they've agreed to keep their fees reasonable for a 40-person audience," he said.

Patrons will be seated by group at small tables six or more feet apart. Artists will perform in front of the newly renovated back porch and the first row of tables will begin 25 feet from the entertainment.

"The Porch Sessions have been a way help people reconnect and take a break with all of the craziness out there," Soward was quoted.

SouthCoast Community Foundation Marks 25th Anniversary Virtually

The SouthCoast Community Foundation in New Bedford marked its 25th anniversary earlier this month by converting its annual Summer’s Last Blast into a virtual event that drew 2,000 viewers.

“While 2020 has been an extremely challenging year, it is also the 25th anniversary of the founding of our community foundation which has been a strong voice and reliable source of resources on behalf of improving the lives of all our residents. We are so grateful to the many sponsors and others who made this celebration so successful”, said John Vasconcellos, foundation president.

The event also celebrated the foundation’s new name, which changed this year from the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts.

The program showcased over 20 different types of entertainment including well-known local performers, such as Samantha Johnson, New Bedford Symphony Orchestra, Candida Rose, the Tavares, and others. Musicians performed in locations throughout the SouthCoast.

The foundation this year raised more than $5.59 million for the SouthCoast Emergency Response Fund to support nonprofit organizations on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak, and, to date, granted $4.8 million to nonprofits providing emergency support for vulnerable populations, including the homeless, immigrant families, and those facing food insecurity in the region.

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