Ted Cutler announces plan for citywide arts festival

Arts supporter extraordinaire Ted Cutler announced plans Wednesday to create a 10-day arts festival in Boston that will include (mostly) free performances of music, drama, and dance on stages throughout the city. To be called Outside The Box, the inaugural festival will run July 12-21, 2013. “Our region is already known for its universities, hospitals, and for its history, among other things,” Cutler said in a statement. “It’s my hope that we add the arts to what people think of when they think of Boston.” A longtime patron of the arts, Cutler has hired Sherrie Johnson, overseer of the International Performing Arts Festival in Vancouver, to be artistic director of Outside The Box, and producer/playwright Randy Weiner (husband of A.R.T. artistic director Diane Paulus) as senior curator. “Great arts festivals build community,” Johnson said in a statement. “Ted Cutler is a great visionary and civic leader. … It’s an honor to work alongside Ted in defining and building his life-long dream of giving Boston an annual citywide arts festival.” Cutler, a Dorchester native, is an Emerson alum and trustee. Among the projects supported by Cutler and his late wife, Joan , are the restored, 1,200-seat Cutler Majestic Theatre, the new home of the Greater Boston Food Bank, and the annual holiday lighting of the Commonwealth Avenue Mall. The festival’s organizers plan to meet with local arts organizations in the coming weeks, and have invited artists and arts groups to contact Johnson about participating.

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