Our Story

Over the last fifteen years, thousands of people have come through the doors of Cotuit Center for the Arts and experienced an art center unlike anything else. Offering a variety of educational programs, performances and exhibitions, The Center has established itself as a great place to celebrate the arts. Founded in 1993 and incorporated as a non-profit charitable organization in 1995, Cotuit Center for the Arts has an excellent history of producing and presenting innovative, quality works that encourage individual artistic development and exploration. The Center also strives to increase awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the creative process by facilitating communication among artists and between artists and the public.

“The Cotuit Center for the Arts… from an artist or audience perspective who could ask for anything more?” -The Barnstable Patriot

Since opening a new facility in May of 2004, Cotuit Center for the Arts has produced or presented over 50 art exhibitions featuring over 500 visual artists, more than 40 concerts, and 20 full length theatrical productions. Additionally, Cotuit Center for the Arts has been offering year-round classes and workshops in the visual and performing arts through the years.

  • Cotuit Center for the Arts was founded in 1993 in a 1200 square foot former mechanic’s garage located behind the Cotuit Village Coop.
  • Initial programming offered art and music classes and community art exhibition space.
  • Cotuit Center for the Arts was incorporated in 1995 as a MA 501(c)(3) non profit corporation.
  • In 1996 the first theatrical productions were staged. Offerings included Hamlet, Macbeth, Fool for Love, The Gift of the Gorgon and Terra Nova.
  • In the early years Cotuit Center for the Arts developed a core constituency of supporters who shared a commitment to artistic innovation and exploration.
  • In April 2000 the garage burned to the ground.
  • Soon thereafter the community responded with in-kind donations and financial support.
  • In the fall of 2000 the current site on Route 28 was secured to reestablish the organization. The two acre site included the 1800 square foot “Botello” house and a 1200 square foot garage.
  • From December 2000 through May 2004 art and theater classes were taught in the “Botello” house and garage. Art exhibitions and minor theatrical productions were staged in the house, garage and at Cotuit’s Freedom Hall.
  • In June 2002 a ground breaking ceremony was held initiating the construction of a new performance and exhibition facility.
  • Also in 2002 the adjoining one acre “Savenelli” property was procured. This included the 1200 square foot “Savenelli” administration building.
  • In May 2004 the 9,000 square foot performance and exhibition space opened.
  • Since 2004 the performance space has hosted numerous art exhibitions, theatrical productions, music performances, workshops and community events. Highlights include Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival and Cape Cod Opera performances, the Waterflow and Outsider Art exhibitions, the annual Chili and Poetry Festival and the Art & Souls haunted Halloween Masquerade Ball, and the plays Ideal Husband, Enchanted April and the award winning Underneath the Lintel. Community organizations that have used the facility include the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, the Cape Cod Foundation and the MSPCA.
  • In 2005-2006 the garage (“Art Studio”) was renovated to better serve the growing enrollment of Cotuit Center for the Arts’ educational programs.
  • Over the years, Cotuit Center for the Arts has continued to develop and expand its constituency of supporters gaining a Cape-wide audience while maintaining its commitment to artistic innovation and exploration and expanding its ability to produce cross discipline events that affect and educate our audiences.