Celebrity Series of Boston is one of the nation’s most highly regarded multi-disciplinary performing arts presenters. With a reputation for excellence honed over eight+ decades since our founding in 1938, in a typical season, Celebrity Series presents 50+ main stage performances each season in eight to twelve different venues across Boston and Cambridge, plus 150+ community engagement activities annually. Celebrity Series is a critical part of the cultural fabric of our region, not only bringing great artists to Boston whom our audiences might not otherwise experience but also introducing our audiences to new artists, new art forms, and new artistic experiences.
Classical music represents 50-60% of our programming, but variety is core to our brand. We present a range of emerging to established artists, not only the world’s great orchestras, chamber ensembles, and soloists, but also artistic innovators and audience favorites in contemporary dance, jazz, world and folk music, and spoken word. Our business model is unique in that even though we are a large size presenter, we do not own our own venue. Instead, we rent 10-12 different venues in the Boston area, ranging from 300 seats to 3500 seats. The variety of venues complements the variety of artists and audience experiences that we offer to our community.
Alongside our robust season of touring artists, our Arts for All! community engagement initiative engages 15,000+ participants each season via four program areas:
- Neighborhood Arts partners with schools, after-school programs, youth arts organizations, Boys and Girls Clubs, neighborhood venues, and community gathering spaces in Dorchester, Hyde Park, Mattapan, Roslindale, Roxbury, Cambridge, and the South End to offer interactive workshops for youth, artist residencies, and free and low-cost concerts by local performing artists, often brought to life through deep collaboration and co-creation with youth arts groups.
- Artist Connections brings our international touring artists into the community, through masterclasses and workshops for students from the elementary through the conservatory level, post-performance artist talks, and free, larger scale community workshops.
- Our Take Your Seat ticketing program makes it possible for community organizations and school groups to attend our main stage performances through $10 and complimentary tickets.
- Public Performance Projects - from Street Pianos Boston, to Jazz Along the Charles, to Let’s Dance Boston, to Concert For One - have activated public spaces in our city since 2013, embodying our belief that the performing arts belong not only on stage, but in streets and neighborhoods across our city.
On March 13, 2020, Celebrity Series cancelled all remaining in-person events for the 2019-20 season, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In April, we launched Celebrity Series at Home and were one of the earliest presenters nationally to offer new digital content, with a series of 12 live-streamed concerts from April through June, all featuring local Neighborhood Arts artists. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we pivoted to digital events in 20/21, with 22 free Neighborhood Arts concerst featuring local artists, and 61 digital Neighborhood Arts youth and community-focused workshops. This Celebrity Series at Home initiative provided consistent streaming content that highlighted the work of Boston-based Neighborhood Arts artists alongside international touring artists. We showcased 135 total artists during our 20/21 Season, fo whom 80 identify as Boston-based. During the 20/21 seasons, these online programs attracted more than 22,434 viewers (and counting) from 50 states and 29 countries across Facebook, YouTube, and the Celebrity Series website platforms.