In December, 1976, the City of Newton sold an unused 19th century church building to Newton Cultural Affairs, Inc. to develop a center for the performing and visual arts. A volunteer committee raised funds for the renovations and the Newton Arts Center began programming in 1977. The organization was incorporated as a 501 (c)(3) institution in 1983.
In 1994, the name “Newton Arts Center” was changed to the “New Art Center in Newton” to address misconceptions that the Center was for Newton residents only; that it was a city agency funded by the City of Newton. The new name reflects an expansion of the Center’s audience beyond the city limits to include people from greater Boston and New England.
NAC educates over 2,500 students annually, and operates one of the few mid-sized independent nonprofit exhibition spaces in New England, which welcomes 4,500 visitors each year. The NAC is funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The New Art Center also relies on tuition income and the generosity of individuals, corporations and foundations to support its programs.
The New Art Center will become a vibrant model of a community art center, lowering barriers to participation in the arts and integrating the experience of art into the life of the community. Your support helps us to realize this vision and keeps our community vibrant and creative for this, our 40th year, and for decades to come.
The New Art Center is based on the belief that the practice of looking at, thinking about and making art helps human beings solve problems, learn from their environment, build durable communities and live meaningful lives. We work towards a future in which all people can incorporate the experience of art into their daily lives.