Cheers to 30 Years Gala a huge success

From left, State Sen. Paul Feeney, State Rep. Jay Barrows, State Rep. Adam Scanlon, Sandra Levine, Adam Joy, Judith Razee, Artistic Director and Director of Education Dori Bryan Ployer, Executive Director Ken Butler, and Mass Arts Center Board Chairman Brian Johnson. Photo by Stephen Ide/The Mass Arts Center

The Mass Arts Center celebrated its 30th anniversary with a gala at Lakeview Pavilion in Foxboro on March 31, 2023. The event drew about 200 attendees, marking the first live gala since before the pandemic. The night was filled with recognition, appreciation, and fun, as the Mass Arts Center honored individuals and organizations for their incredible contributions.

State Sen. Paul Feeney, known for his support of the arts, gave keynote remarks at the Gala.

Feeney expressed admiration for the Mass Arts Center and its accomplishments over the past three decades. He commended the entire Mass Arts Center team for their years of success in fostering artistic talent and creativity in the Mansfield community and beyond, and impressed upon attendees the value of the arts.

Looking for photos from the Gala? Click here and download away!

Winners of our 2023 Lottery Dreams Raffle were:

Timothy Vernon, of Mansfield
John Meyer, of Taunton
Joan Geddry, of Norwood

The evening was also marked by a speech from Mass Arts Center Academy student Vivienne Liedke, who said she felt “feels seen and valued” by the Academy and Artistic Director and Director of Education Dori Bryan-Ployer.

In addition, Executive Director Ken Butler thanked Greg and Kathy Spier, who donated the new ramp at the front of the theater.

The Mass Arts Center recognized its 2023 honorees, with additional awards bestowed upon them by Feeney, State Rep. Jay Barrows and State Rep. Adam Scanlon.

Sandra Levine was honored with the Mass Arts Center Champion Award for her unwavering support and dedication to the organization. Levine, who has served on the Mass Arts Center Board of Directors for many years, played a pivotal role in a major renovation at the North Main Street location in 2009. She has also been actively involved in Mass Arts Center productions and is a member of the Mansfield Rotary Club.

Judith Razee was presented with the Outstanding Volunteer Award for her invaluable contributions to the Mass Arts Center. Razee has been a familiar face at at the Mass Arts Center, serving both as a volunteer and on the staff in the business office, managing the database and mailing lists. Her tireless efforts during the pandemic were acknowledged as she played a vital role in maintaining communication between the Mass Arts Center and its patrons.

Adam Joy was recognized with the Outstanding Director Award for his exceptional work at the Mass Arts Center. Joy has directed and choreographed several productions at the Mass Arts Center, including Our Town, Assassins, and You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown. He was also lauded for his generous donation of time to the fundraising effort Find Your Light, a musical cabaret produced in collaboration with Eli Bigelow in the summer of 2021 to support Mass Arts through the pandemic. Joy’s revival of Our Town in the summer of 2022 also helped raise funds for the musical Sweeney Todd.

Eli Bigelow was absent from the event, but he was awarded the Outstanding Musical Director Award. Bigelow’s musical direction has been instrumental in several productions, including You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, Assassins, and Sweeney Todd. He was also recognized for his fundraising efforts with Adam Joy in producing the musical cabaret “Find Your Light” in 2021, which greatly supported Mass Arts during challenging times.

The Business Hero Award was presented to Hugh Boyd, who also could not attend, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 104 for their generous support of the Mass Arts Center. Boyd and his office at IBEW have been invaluable neighbors to the Mass Arts Center, providing meeting space and parking areas for production staff, actors, and crew during busy concert months at Xfinity Center, enabling the theater to continue its operations seamlessly.

The Cheers to 30 Years Gala also featured a cocktail hour with live music from Good Thomas, a sit-down dinner, live auction, raffles, photo booth, wine pull, and dancing. The event was organized in partnership with Mansfield Women of Today.