In December, 1976, the City of Newton sold an abandoned 19th century church building to Newton Cultural Affairs, Inc. to develop a center for the performing and visual arts. A volunteer committee raised funds for the renovations and the Newton Arts Center began programming in 1977. The organization was incorporated as a 501 (c)(3) institution in 1983.
The New Art Center is a nonprofit organization that supports the development of visual artists and cultivates a community that appreciates art. At the New Art Center, we nurture children's creativity, encourage emerging and established artists, develop teaching opportunities and enrich the community through exhibitions. We have created a professional, yet relaxed atmosphere where students and teachers, artists and audiences, nourish each other, and relationships are easily formed and deepened.
In 1994, the name “Newton Arts Center” was changed to the “New Art Center in Newton” to address misconceptions that the Center was for Newton residents only; that it was a city agency funded by the City of Newton. The new name reflects an expansion of the Center's audience beyond the city limits to include people from greater Boston and New England.
NAC educates over 2,500 students annually, and operates one of the few mid-sized independent nonprofit exhibition spaces in New England, which welcomes 4,500 visitors each year. The NAC is funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The New Art Center also relies on tuition income and the generosity of individuals, corporations and foundations to support its programs.