Executive artistic director of the Brookline/Cambridge Community Center for the Arts

Dan Marshall with Annette Zrihen at the 2019 Mimouna celebration produced by HaKesher and the Israeli American Council. Courtesy Photo
Dan Marshall with Annette Zrihen at the 2019 Mimouna celebration produced by HaKesher and the Israeli American Council. Courtesy Photo

Pandemic or no, Dan Marshall’s B/CCCA creates and runs arts facilities, providing affordable, accessible and diverse arts and education programming to community members of all aged. 

Over the past year, many artists have lost their teaching, rehearsal and performance spaces due to facility and organizational closures. Marshall aims to help restore the area to the cultural hub it once was by providing residents with accessible and safe arts programming, both onsite and virtually.

“In addition to live online classes, we have been producing many archived class videos,” Marshall said.

He added, “By using and continually developing our ground-breaking education web and institution/artist/educator/student management software and website technology, we’ve produced income for our faculty members during the pandemic, doubled our online classes and workshops in the Fall of 2020 to about 13 per week, and increased attendance to about 200 student visits per month.” The group promotes offerings through local organizations, municipal websites, and social media.

Through partnerships with Eureka Ensemble and The Flavor Continues, CCCA safely quintupled its onsite Cambridge facility usage to about 70 hours and 26 private rehearsals, lessons and gatherings per week — about 500 artist/student visits per month — and increased online event viewing from 150 participants to about 1600 per month.

“In the all of 2020, we began producing videos for Cambridge Community Television and are now producing a biweekly ‘Live from the CCCA’ variety show,” he said. The show features the faculty of the CCCA and visiting artists, educators, and community members. On a TV or mobile device screen, viewers can enjoy a range of programming, including music, martial arts, health, fitness and wellness, acting and drama, visual arts, technology and science. Shows are archived on CCCA’s website and CCTV’s Vimeo channel.

“At the end of 2020, BioMed Realty generously extended our charitable Canal District Kendall rent-free stay by six months, and doubled our space,” Marshall reported. “We correspondingly embarked on a second renovation phase and transformed the 1500 sq. ft two-studio arts center into a 2,800 sq. ft. diverse facility that features five studios, four of which double up as black box setups with mirrors, dance floors, lighting, sound systems, art gallery, and livestream equipment and production services.”

Marshall estimates that during the pandemic, the site has served more than 250 artists and about 8,000 community members. This is expected to increase, with the recent expansion and as fundraising continues for a software release to provide powerful tools for other organizations, to strengthen technological infrastructure, programming and outreach.

Programming grants will allow BCCA/CCCA to feature local visual artists and youth by funding, displaying and auctioning their artwork to support both their work and chosen charities.

“We also aim to restore our musical programming by and for seniors,” said Marshall. “And we recently partnered with JazzBoston to help revive the local music scene by providing onsite rehearsal, recording, and broadcast facilities, and increasing awareness of the importance of music in our lives, and how it brings us all together.”

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