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Bank of America Becomes Season Sponsor of Huntington Community Membership Initiative

Bank of America becomes the Season Sponsor of the Huntington Community Membership Initiative and a grant from Theatre Communications Group allows the Huntington to expand its Community Membership Initiative to the Lyric Stage Company of Boston and SpeakEasy Stage Company. Theatre Communications Group's (TCG) Audience (R)Evolution Cohort Grants, supported by Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF), empower teams of three or more not-­for-­profit organizations to design and implement audience­ engagement and community­ development strategies together.

The Huntington Community Membership Initiative was created in 2012 to reduce the cost barrier of attending Live Theatre for those with limited incomes, while also building diverse audiences that better reflect Greater Boston's demographics.

The Huntington Community Membership Initiative has had a positive impact on Huntington audiences over the past four years, helping to reach a diverse population and make audiences more reflective of the city of Boston. Over 2,800 Community Members from 180 community-based organizations have purchased over 11,000 tickets to Huntington productions, totaling over $160,000 in sales.

With support from Bank of America as Season Sponsor of the program, Community Members can purchase $20 tickets to any available seat at any performance at the Huntington without restrictions. Membership is free through partnerships with agencies and organizations throughout Greater Boston that serve low-income populations.

Through the TCG (R)Evolution Cohort Grant, members of the Huntington Community Membership Initiative will now be able to purchase $20 tickets to any Lyric Stage Company and SpeakEasy Stage Company production during the 2016-2017 season. The goals of expanding this initiative include broadening the program's reach, increasing the number of Community Members and the participation of the members, while also providing additional opportunities to those members.

"Since the beginning, the goal of the Huntington Community Membership Initiative has been to make theatre more affordable to as many people as possible," says Managing Director Michael Maso. "It seems only fitting that our members will now have access to even more great theatrical productions in the city of Boston through the Lyric Stage Company of Boston and SpeakEasy Stage Company."

"Having access to all shows at the Huntington with no date or seating restrictions has resonated with Community Membership participants," says the Huntington's Community Membership Coordinator Candelaria Silva-Collins. "Community members like having the same access as other patrons. Their enthusiasm about this program has led to their recommendation for other community organizations to be a part of the program and for the program to expand to other theatres. I am delighted that our expansion to Lyric Stage Company and SpeakEasy Stage Company will enable Community Members to experience more award-winning theatre in Boston."

ABOUT THE Huntington Theatre Company

Celebrating its 35th season, the Huntington Theatre Company is Boston's leading professional theatre and one of the region's premier cultural assets since its founding in 1982. The Huntington is the recipient of the 2013 Regional Theatre Tony Award and was named Best of Boston 2013 and 2014 byBoston magazine. Bringing together superb local and national talent, the Huntington produces a mix of groundbreaking new works and classics made current to create award-winning productions, runs nationally renowned programs in education and new play development, and serves the local theatre community through its operation of the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. Under the direction of Artistic Director Peter DuBois and Managing Director Michael Maso and in residence at Boston University, the Huntington cultivates, celebrates, and champions theatre as an art form. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org.

ABOUT THE Lyric Stage COMPANY OF BOSTON

Boston's oldest professional theatre company, the Lyric Stage Company of Boston is dedicated to presenting a wide range of plays and musicals of the highest quality, including world premieres, regional premieres, and classics that are entertaining, challenging, and inspiring. Founded in 1974, the Lyric Stage is deeply committed to nurturing the talents of Boston-area theatre artists through employment, training, and development opportunities. Under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Spiro Veloudos and Managing Director Matt Chapuran, the Lyric Stage presents seven shows each season to an annual audience of over 40,000, including 2,000 season ticket holders, in an intimate 240-seat theatre located in the YWCA Building at 140 Clarendon Street. Highly acclaimed for the breadth, excellence, and variety of its productions, the Lyric Stage is the recipient of 31 Elliot Norton Awards and 63 Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) Awards.

ABOUT SPEAKEASY STAGE COMPANY

Founded in 1992, SpeakEasy Stage Company has made a name for itself by producing the Boston premieres of the very best contemporary plays and musicals in its intimate home in the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts. We think of our artists, audiences, and supporters as collaborators, working together to make Boston a city that is sustainable for all artists. We are committed to three core programs and take pride in producing a mainstage season of Boston and world premieres, providing professional development opportunities for students and early career professionals, and offering a variety of audience engagement activities. Through these programs, we make Boston's South End neighborhood an artistic and cultural destination, keep vibrant, high-quality theatre thriving in Greater Boston, and provide jobs for hundreds of locally-based artists, actors, designers, directors, and technicians annually.

ABOUT BANK OF AMERICA

Bank of America is one of the world's leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses, and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management, and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 47 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 4,700 retail financial centers, approximately 16,000 ATMs, and award-winning online banking with approximately 33 million active accounts and more than 20 million mobile active users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking, and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions, and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Bank of America is a leading supporter of the arts, as a thriving arts and culture sector benefits economies and societies. Through grants, sponsorships, and Bank of America's own innovative programs, Bank of America attempts to engage people in creative ways to build mutual respect and understanding and increase access to the arts for all. Bank of America operates under the mentality that the arts act as a key economic driver for the financial and cultural health of our communities, and supporting the sector remains a crucial component of their environmental, social, and governance efforts.

ABOUT THEATRE COMMUNICATIONS GROUP

For over 50 years, Theatre Communications Group? (TCG), the national organization for US theatre, has existed to strengthen, nurture, and promote the professional not-­for-­profit theatre. TCG's constituency has grown from a handful of groundbreaking theatres to nearly 700 member theatres and affiliate organizations and more than 12,000 individuals nationwide. TCG offers its members networking and knowledge building opportunities through conferences, events, research, and communications? awards grants, approximately $2 million per year, to theatre companies and individual artists? advocates on the federal level? and serves as the US Center of the International Theatre Institute, connecting its constituents to the global theatre community. TCG is North America's largest independent publisher of dramatic literature, with 14 Pulitzer Prizes for Best Play on the TCG booklist. It also publishes the award-­winning American Theatre magazine and ARTSEARCH®, the essential source for a career in the arts. In all of its endeavors, TCG seeks to increase the organizational efficiency of its member theatres, cultivate and celebrate the artistic talent and achievements of the field, and promote a larger public understanding of, and appreciation for, the theatre. For more information, visit tcg.org.

ABOUT DORIS DUKE CHARITABLE FOUNDATION

Doris Duke Charitable Foundation?'s mission is to improve the quality of people's lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research, and child well­being, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke's properties. The Arts Program of DDCF focuses its support on contemporary dance, jazz, and theatre artists, and the organizations that nurture, present, and produce them. For more information, visit ddcf.org.


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