Jean McDonough Arts Center Lighting Ceremony

Long-time arts philanthropist Jean McDonough to be honored with public lighting ceremony of the JMAC: Worcester’s new home for the creative community.

WORCESTER, MA • FEBRUARY 19, 2020 • The northwest corner of 20 Franklin Street will be unveiled as the Jean McDonough Arts Center (JMAC) in a lighting ceremony on March 5, 2020. The JMAC (pronounced JAY-mack) is comprised of the Worcester Cultural Coalition’s sister event spaces: the ever-changing Worcester PopUp, and the upcoming BrickBox Theater.

In fall 2019, Worcester-based philanthropist Jean McDonough gifted $2 million to support completion of the BrickBox Theater, set to open in the summer of 2020, and to subsidize operations of the venue’s first years. “I’ve always had a love for regional theater and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to support Worcester’s arts community and bring the stage to life,” explained Mrs. McDonough. “This new theater and the PopUp tie right into my vision for a vibrant city.”
“Arts, culture, and creativity help us experience the world in new ways,” said Worcester Cultural Coalition Executive Director Erin Williams. “Creative community engagement for all is at the core of the WCC’s work, and we invite everyone to enjoy and participate in our new home for the arts: the JMAC.”
City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. echoed Williams’ sentiment. “The arts offer a unique way to reach everyone. We have so many talented creators who will utilize a venue like this to share their gifts with the community. We’re extremely thankful for the generous donation from Jean McDonough and her family to help the arts continue to flourish here in a prominent downtown space that is accessible to everyone.”
A logo for the JMAC was created with local graphic designer Travis Duda of Hunchback Graphics. The logo embraces the bright neon and pop art aesthetics of Spidertag’s Interactive Neon Mural #5 in Allen Court, as well as the PopUp sign already hanging from the side of 20 Franklin. Incorporating all nine colors of the ubiquitous “Worcester Cube,” the JMAC logo will be rendered into a large neon sign for the front of the building, and lit for the first time at the March 5th unveiling by Mrs. McDonough herself. Plans for a BrickBox sign to complete the facade are also underway.
Free and open to the public, the March 5th lighting ceremony will begin at 4:30pm, and feature remarks from City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr., entertainment from the Joy of Music Program, sweet treats from the Canal District’s Queen’s Cups, and a champagne toast.
Members of the press and the public are asked to RSVP for the March 5th unveiling on the JMAC’s new, comprehensive website,, and to follow @JMACWorcester on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
In addition to Mrs. McDonough, the JMAC’s key funders and partners include: the Barr Foundation; the City of Worcester; the Worcester Business Development Corporation; and The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory for the Performing Arts, which operates the BrickBox in partnership with the Worcester Cultural Coalition, and will manage the theater’s day-to-day functions, including but not limited to box office and front-of-house.
Additional funders of the Jean McDonough Arts Center include Bank of America, Bradley Higgins Foundation, Fletcher Foundation, Francis A. & Jacquelyn H. Harrington Foundation, Fred Harris Daniels Foundation, George F. & Sybil H. Fuller Foundation, George I. Alden Charitable Trust, Hoche-Schofield Foundation, Jeanne Y. Curtis Foundation, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund, Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation, Mildred H. McEvoy Foundation, Ruth H. & Warren A. Ellsworth Foundation, Stoddard Charitable Trust, TD Bank Charitable Foundation, and William J. McKee Charitable Foundation.
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About the Worcester Cultural Coalition
The Worcester Cultural Coalition (WCC) is a public-private partnership established in 1999 between the City of Worcester and 12 cultural organizations. In 2020, membership stands at 78 organizations, which host over 2.7 million visitors annually, from Worcester and beyond. Its mission is to draw on Worcester’s rich and diverse cultural assets to foster economic revitalization, support active and creative engagement for all, and to promote a strong cultural identity for Greater Worcester. The WCC supports and encourages action that meets the creative goals of the Worcester Cultural Plan: promoting cultural equity and creative community engagement for all. Learn more
About The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory for the Performing Arts
The Hanover Theatre has entertained more than 2 million patrons with world-class performances and headlining acts including Broadway hits, comedians, and musical acts. POLLSTAR consistently ranks The Hanover Theatre as one of the Top Theatres in the World. After ten seasons, the award-winning, historic theatre continues to establish its place as a world-class performing arts venue, acting as a catalyst for the economic development of downtown Worcester. The Hanover Theatre’s facilities at 551 Main Street house function spaces, offices and the Conservatory.
Worcester Center for Performing Arts, a registered not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, owns and operates The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory for the Performing Arts. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. For more information, visit
About the BrickBox Theater
An upcoming part of downtown Worcester’s growing theatre district and the city’s creative renaissance, the BrickBox will be a performance venue where artists are empowered to share their music, dance, films, plays, installations, cabarets, and other events with audiences eager for a wide range of creative experiences. This fully-accessible space will seat up to 299, and come fully outfitted with state-of-the-art audio, visual, and lighting equipment. For more information, visit
About the PopUp
Now in its second year of operation, the dynamic, “permanent” PopUp is a creative cultural equity space that has worked with scores of presenters to host more than 300 events ranging from art shows and open mics to yoga classes and lessons in drag. The PopUp is dedicated to performance, collaborative co-working, and creative entrepreneurship. Use of the PopUp is subsidized thanks to its founders, and events are offered free and open the public. For more information, visit
About the Worcester Business Development Corporation
On July 19, 1965, the Worcester Business Development Corporation (WBDC) was founded by a large group of public-minded citizens. The mission of this organization was to collaborate with community officials in the Greater Worcester area to create a comprehensive approach to the economic challenges that face a community. In the spirit of civic responsibility, the WBDC was established to serve as an innovative and leading force in the economic development of the City of Worcester and the region, expanding the tax base through the creation and promotion of employment opportunities, while assisting in the development and growth of business and industry. Grounded in a tradition of economic development accomplishment, the WBDC has played a key role in strengthening the Worcester region’s position as an economic leader in Massachusetts. Through targeted investment and strategic partnering, the WBDC brings skills and resources to challenging and complex projects.