MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) is the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the country. Housed on a restored 19th-century factory campus, our spacious, light-filled galleries feature changing exhibitions of the best art of our time, including dozens of newly commissioned works. Our year-round schedule of performing arts ranges from popular music to new theater, contemporary dance to rollicking dance parties, and from alternative cabaret to beautifully screened films. Artists who have been exhibited at MASS MoCA include Robert Wilson, Ann Hamilton, Gregory Crewdson, Matthew Ritchie, Tim Hawkinson, Oyvind Fahlstrom. Artists that have performed on our stages Bang on a Can All Stars, Laurie Anderson, Pam Tillis, Patti Smith, Philip Glass, Bill T. Jones, Joan Baez, Yo La Tengo and They Might Be Giants.
If conventional museums are boxes, MASS MoCA is an open platform – a welcoming place that encourages dynamic interchange between making and presenting art, between the visual and performing arts, and between our extraordinary historic factory campus and the patrons, workers and tenants who again inhabit it.
We at MASS MoCA work hard to make the whole cloth of art-making, presentation and participation a seamless continuum. Performing arts residencies offer well-equipped and professionally staffed technical facilities and stages, and a sophisticated, diverse and sympathetic audience for new work – especially technically complex work that requires generous allocations of time and space impossible in conventional theatrical settings. Likewise, MASS MoCA's vast galleries and expert fabrication staff give visual artists the tools and time to create works of scale and duration impossible to realize in the time and space-cramped conditions of most museums. We endeavor to expose our audiences to all stages of art production; rehearsals, sculptural fabrication, and developmental workshops are frequently on view to the public, as are finished works of art.
If MASS MoCA's mission is to foster and present exciting new work of the highest quality in all media – and in all phases of its production – we also work hard to position the arts as a vibrant catalyst for community revitalization: indeed, the creation of new markets, good jobs and the long-term enrichment of a region in economic need is one of MASS MoCA's driving purposes. We at MASS MoCA are convinced that advancement of the arts, increased tourism and community participation, and regional economic redevelopment are mutually reinforcing and inextricably linked, and we act forcefully on that belief. The arts create and bestow community identity. Identity rallies hope, productivity, pride and economic vibrancy. These are the base conditions for a healthy community; they cannot be created, however, without risk, creativity, adventure, and the willingness to embrace the new. This is the heart and soul of MASS MoCA's mission.