The Arsenal Center for the Arts opens doors to excite and inspire diverse audiences and artists to create, appreciate, participate and grow through the arts.
Today's vibrant, multidisciplinary Arsenal Center for the Arts is the culmination of a long-time dream and many years of hard work. The driving force behind the effort was a group of citizens who had secured the long-term use of Building 312, an Army arsenal building in Watertown, under the 1998 redevelopment terms, for conversion into an arts center.
The Watertown Arts on the Charles, incorporated as a non-profit organization to plan, raise support for, and operate an arts center that would serve Greater Boston. Building 312 was transformed into a modern, well-equipped, multi-use facility that opened its door in September 2005. The arsenals' stunning and unique architectural design now occupies 30,000 square feet of space on three floors. It houses two theaters, classrooms and workshop spaces, artist studios, gallery and exhibit space, rehearsal rooms, and informal gathering places. This mix of interior venues provides a home for three resident companies: New Repertory Theatre; Watertown Children's Theatre; The Quilters' Connection. The Center offers its own programming consisting of art exhibits, classes and workshops for adults and children, concerts and other staged events, plus literary and art discussions. The Center is also available to rent for corporate meetings, events by other non-profits, performances by other theater companies, and family events such as children's birthday parties.
Community commitment to the Arsenal Center for the Arts was demonstrated prior to and since opening by the more than $6.5 million dollars donated to The Campaign to Build the Arsenal Center for the Arts. Early establishment of a membership/donor program and member attendance at off-site programming prior to the building's completion started the momentum. Regional support came from businesses small and large, and numerous individual donors made contributions that were truly meaningful to them. Countless hours of volunteer time and effort were given by the Board and our broad community. The Arsenal Center for the Arts epitomizes a grass roots effort that grew to bear tangible results, demonstrating the community's enthusiasm and the success that continued commitment can achieve.
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Kimberly Airasian currently serves as Director of Corporate and Legal Services for the United States Distance Learning Association in Boston, MA. She received her B.A. from Middlebury College in 1998 and her J.D. from Suffolk Law School in 2005, after which she clerked for the Justices of the Massachusetts Superior Court. She has run the Boston Marathon in conjunction with the Boston Children’s Hospital Miles for Miracles Team in 2005 and 2010 and also serves as a legal liaison for the Helping Hands Foundation. Kimberly was a WCT member during its early years and resides in Watertown with her husband and two children.
Current term expires: 2017
Susan Centofanti spent 14 years as operations manager with the Robert Wood Johnson Community Health Leadership national awards program that identified and honored exceptional grassroots leaders in healthcare. She was a key member of the awards selection team and executed all major events, including the awards ceremony at the National Press Club in D.C. and national advisory and annual meetings. Prior to her work with RWJF she served in the administration of Governor Michael Dukakis in the Governor’s Office of Human Resources, before moving on to manage the operations of the governor’s scheduling office and staff. Susan has a Master’s in Public Administration and a long history of civic involvement, including active participation in political campaigns at the state and local level. She is currently Director of the Creativity Foundation and former board member at Belmont Day School and current board member at Beaver Country Day School and chair of the Parents' Association at Beaver Country Day School. She is married to George Bachrach, former Massachusetts state senator, and has two sons, Harry and Sam.
Current term expires: 2015
John Durant received his M.A. in Natural Sciences and PhD in the History of Science at the University of Cambridge, England. He has spent his entire career working at the interface between science and the wider community. He was Assistant Director of the Science Museum, London, where he oversaw the development of the Wellcome Wing; and at the same time, he was appointed Professor of Public Understanding of Science at Imperial College, London. He served as Chief Executive of At-Bristol, a science and natural history museum before being appointed as Director of the MIT Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts where he leads its development as a place for the wider community to engage with the Institute’s research and innovation, past and present. A published author of many science publications, Durant is also an Adjunct Professor in the Science, Technology & Society Program at MIT. He led the creation of the Cambridge Science Festival, the first citywide festival of science and technology in the U.S. He is a Co-Principal Investigator on the Science Festival Alliance, and a founder Fellow of the Noyce Foundation Science Center Leadership Initiative.
Kendra M. Foley currently serves in Governor Deval Patrick's administration as the Director of Boards and Commissions. After earning her degree from Boston College, she dedicated two years to Teach for America, teaching fifth grade in an under- resourced community in Washington DC. She moved back to the Boston area to work on the 2002, 2006 and 2010 gubernatorial campaigns, with a focus on fundraising. In 2007 she joined the Patrick administration as the Chief of Staff in the Executive Office of Education. Born and raised in Watertown, Kendra lives in her hometown with her husband and three children.
John Foote, President, member of the Finance Committee, and chair of the strategic planning committee, is a senior fellow at the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at the Harvard Kennedy School where he looks at the public policy aspects of private sector investment in transportation. John was the co-founder of a transportation engineering company, specializing in electronic toll collection. He also has fifteen years of experience in the investment and merchant banking business both in the U.S. and Asia. John holds a Master of Public Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in engineering from Cornell University. He serves on the boards of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and the Sigma Chi Greystone Foundation.
Current term expires: 2013
John Hawes, Jr., Clerk, is recently retired as an Architect and Project Manager for renovations and new construction at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He had a long professional career at several Academic Institutions specializing in project management and space planning and in building compliance with codes for disabilities. John is a resident of Watertown, is Chairman of the Watertown Planning Board, sits on the Disability Commission and has consistently supported the development of the Arsenal Center for the Arts.
Current term expires: 2016
Carole A. Katz is Vice President of Marketing for Watertown Savings Bank. She served as head of the bank’s marketing efforts for over twenty years as the bank expanded from five branches with $300 million in assets to nine branch locations and $1 billion in assets. Carole has a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art, a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Management from Radcliffe College, Cambridge MA, and a Certificate from the Massachusetts School for Financial Studies. She is a member of the New England Financial Marketing Association and Watertown’s Faire on the Square Committee. Past board positions include the Arsenal Center for the Arts, The Watertown Free Public Library Building Fund Committee, Watertown Community Housing, Inc., and Chairman of Star Island’s Conference for the Arts. Carole has lived in Watertown for 20 years. Her daughter Kimberly is an artist, and is married and living in Jamaica Plain. In her spare time, Carole likes to paint and draw landscapes and botanicals. She participates in art workshops throughout New England and has also studied in Europe.
Laura Segal has a B.A. in Art History from Skidmore College, and a Master in Architecture from the Harvard
Graduate School of Design. She practiced architecture in Chicago for eight years, prior to relocating to Watertown in 2002. Laura shifted her professional focus to developing her career as a visual art. She has worked with other local artists to launch Watertown Open Studios ‐ a growing annual event, now entering its third year. She is
Chair of the Watertown Cultural Council and active in fundraising for Watertown Public Schools. In addition to being an artist member of the ACA, Laura has been involved as a parent- with her children attending classes and participating in WCT.
Becky Squier, past President, has worked in marketing with several Boston area high tech companies since earning her MBA from Simmons School of Management in 1991. She co-hosted the Gala Grand Opening weekend celebration for the Arsenal Center for the Arts in September 2005, oversaw promotion and marketing for the first Summer Concerts on the Charles 2006 series, and has co-chaired numerous other Center events. She currently stays home with her three children and has lived in Watertown for nearly 15 years.
Current term expires: 2013
Kimberly Thompson Panay runs marketing for Sonicbids, the leading matchmaking site for bands and people who book or license music. Over 400,000 bands worldwide use Sonicbids to book gigs at festivals and venues like Bonnaroo and SXSW and to license their music to brands including Diesel, Midas, Converse and Red Bull. Prior to Sonicbids, Kimberly served as Director of Marketing for Oasis CD where she was responsible for developing and executing marketing programs and business development initiatives as well as online operations. She also served as Director of Marketing Communications at ZoomInfo, a semantic search engine that compiles profiles on people and companies from across the web. Kimberly holds a BFA in illustration from Syracuse University and is a practicing visual artist.
O'Neill Properties Group
Town of Watertown/Watertown Arsenal Development Corporation
Watertown Savings Bank
Boston Scientific Corporation
Newly Wed Foods, Inc.
The Pannesi Family
in memory of Thomas A. Pannesi
Alexandria Real Estate
AMB Property LP
Scott and Nancy Barcelo
The Bilezikian Family Foundation, Inc.
Sasaki Assoiciates, Inc
The Silver Tie Fund
Toyota/Lexus of Watertown
Vanasse Hangen Brustlin,Inc
Bright Horizons Family Solutions
Cambridge Savings Bank
Robert A. and Sally W. Collini
Eastern Clothing Company and the Airasian Family
Emily and Jerome Farnsworth
J.C. Cannistraro, Inc
Patricia Larsen Foundation
MacDonald, Rockwell & MacDonald Funeral Service, Inc
Roberta Miller and Alan Medville
John Petrowsky and Thomas Vise
in memory of Maude H. Connell
Bob and Missy Shay
Joe and Helen Soussou
Emily Barclay and John Hawes
Jonathan Bockian and Sharon Teitelbaum
Eric Ginsberg Brown and Carol Ginsberg Brown
Dr. William V. Byrne
Century 21 West Realty
Mary H. Coolidge-Engelsted
Thomas and Jillian Darling
John H. Ebert
Barbara Epstein and Scott Hebert
The Fuller Foundation, Inc
Andrea and Gessner Geyer
Sarah C. Doering
Robert A. Jonas and Margaret Bulitt-Jonas
In honor of Marian Graves and Stephen P. Mugar
Marian Grogan and George Fosque
Igor and Ludmilla Ivanovic
Laurie Kahn-Leavitt and Jonathan Leavitt
The Mackin Family
Robert A. and Thomas P. Manzelli Families
The Millipore Foundation
New Repertory Theatre
Deborah and Mark Peterson
Richard and Sally Phelps
The Plante Family
Combined Jewish Philanthropies at the recommendation of Sharon Rich and Nancy Reed
RJC Village Auto Group
Rotary Club of Watertown
S.A.S. Security Systems
Steven P. Savarese and James M. Savas, Century 21 Adams
Jonathan P. Schwartz and Marcella Fischer
Rick Thomson and Judith Wineland
W.T. Phelan & Co and The Ramsey Family
C & K Foundation