About The Mass Arts Center

Our Mission & History

The Mass Arts Center (formerly MMAS) provides a cultural home for artists, audiences, and aspiring performers of all ages. At our core is a rich schedule of theater productions, performing arts education, art exhibits, and live entertainment. The synergy of these offerings honors individual artistic interests through diverse creative opportunities.

It all started with (now Executive Director) Ken Butler and a few friends throwing $8 and a dream into a coffee can and forming a small theater company in 1993 known as the Mansfield Music & Arts Society (MMAS). Since then, hundreds of artists and volunteers have worked tirelessly to embrace their original vision of providing a home for the arts in southeastern Massachusetts.

In late 2020 The Mass Arts Center moved from 377 North Main St., into a larger, now renovated property at 888 South Main St. in Mansfield.

Today, the organization is known as The Mass Arts Center and operates at 888 South Main Street with three branches of the organization: The Reservoir Stage, the Morini Art Gallery, and The Academy at Mass Arts. The organization seeks to provide a wide array of education, programs, performances, and opportunities for both aspiring and experienced performers, artists, and patrons from across the region.

Who We Are

The Mass Arts Center maintains a sincere belief in the principles of inclusion, diversity, and accessibility. First and foremost, we strive to present events which reflect and educate the broad nature of our surrounding communities.  Our fundamental goal is to promote an increasingly vibrant, diverse and inclusive creative community, leadership structure and working environment.

Audiences come to The Mass Arts Center because they know they will see exceptional productions in the newly renovated 100-seat house of the Reservoir Stage for a fraction of the cost of a ticket in Boston or Providence.

The Mass Arts Center is also home to the Morini Art Gallery which offers exhibitions of works by local and regional artists.
The Academy at Mass Arts is the educational branch that offers a variety of classes and education programs for all ages.

The Mass Arts Center has an annual operating budget of just over $500,000 and attracts about 10,000 audience members, patrons and performers from as far north as New Hampshire and south to Rhode Island and Cape Cod.  More than 2,000 of our patrons live in Bristol County, many of whom eat dinner in local restaurants before attending a show.

The Mass Arts Center is a volunteer organization; our actors, set builders, backstage, and technical people are all volunteers; as is everyone who works the ticket office and concession area for every performance. Volunteers are used in the office, at the arts festival and plan our annual gala. Each year, volunteers give almost 30,000 hours to The Mass Arts Center.

The Mass Arts Center earned a 2021 Gold Seal of Transparency! Now, everyone can view our financial details and learn about the people at our organization. Check out our updated #NonprofitProfile on Candid: https://www.guidestar.org/profile/04-3195414

Staff

Executive Director:
Ken Butler
Artistic Director & Director of Education:
Dori Bryan-Ployer, PhD
Office Manager:
Karen Bell
Fundraising Advisor:
Joshua Claudio
Technical & Marketing Specialist:
Steve Ide
Office Assistant:
Kathryn Guild

Board of Directors

Brian C. Johnson
President

Michael Reardon
Vice President and Clerk

Rick Shaughnessy
Treasurer

Directors:

Glenn Fournier
Dan Guindon
Barbara Kaplan
Sandy Levine
Linda Rogers
Rosemarie Sirois
Shannon Stiles



Karen Friend

Volunteer

“Working as a volunteer at Mass Arts Center has been an incredibly rewarding experience. The staff is very welcoming and does an excellent job of training new volunteers. Volunteers are kept engaged and matched to departments that best fit their interests and skill sets.”

Dave Rattigan

comedian

“This is the little theater that could. From the first show that I did at the tiny (former home), I have marveled at the creativity, talent and drive of the people involved. From Ken (Butler) to the volunteers and audience of supporters and everyone else involved, there is an affable, warm kinship and the shared focus of enjoying the best possible performance. It’s great energy, and wonderful to be part of.”