President Lee Pelton welcomed 24 members of the Massachusetts state legislature to Emerson’s Paramount Center on September 20 to discuss the cultural and economic revitalization of the Theatre District that has occurred since the College relocated to the area.
“Over the years, the College has evolved, expanded, and moved several times,” said Pelton. “It recently completed a historic relocation from the Back Bay to greatly enhanced facilities here in the Theatre District. The process took nearly two decades to complete and is widely credited with transforming what had been an economically depressed part of town into something quite magnificent.”
Among those in attendance were Senate President Therese Murray; members of the Joint Committee on Higher Education and the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development; and members of the Boston delegation. Beacon Hill staffers and legislators who are adjunct faculty at Emerson also attended, including Second Assistant Majority Leader Kathi-Anne Reinstein; Representative Marty Walz; Senate Counsel Alice Moore; and Chief of Staff to the Senate President Rick Musiol, who helped organize the event.
Former Chair of the Board of Trustees Peter Meade ’70 spoke at the event, calling Emerson’s move to its current location “an example of how a great idea can transform” an institution and a neighborhood.
Executive Director for the Arts Robert Orchard described ArtsEmerson, which is celebrating its one-year anniversary this week, as “a gift to Boston and to the world.” He said it has filled a void in the Boston theater world in international programming; it has become a center for new work; it has brought pioneering, young artist groups to the city; and it has brought in high-quality family theater.
The legislators enjoyed lunch on the Paramount Mainstage and viewed videos about the College.