Founded in 1870, CCAE serves nearly 20,000 participants annually with high-quality courses, as well as lectures, performances, art exhibitions, and poetry readings.
Based in Harvard Square, in two properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places, CCAE offers more than 2,000 classes each year in seven centers of expertise: Languages and World Cultures; Visual Arts; Performing Arts; Literary Arts; Culinary Arts; Business & Technology; and Special Initiatives. Over 400 professionals teach these classes, consistently earning excellent reviews from students. Our audiences are diverse by age, race, and household income.
Some of our best-known programming includes The Blacksmith House Poetry Series (since 1973), featuring nationally known and emerging writers reading from their work and the Dulcimer Festival (since 1986), two days of performances and workshops. Our newest program is Community Supported Art (CSArt), which connects local artists directly to shareholders, following the model of community-supported agriculture.
CCAE produces events developed for special audiences, such as a program exploring the historic relationship between African Americans and Latinos as represented in their literature, as well as conferences on writing and arts and the media, with keynote speakers including Bill T. Jones and Allegra Goodman. Our festivals of food, arts and traditions have celebrated Portugal,Brazil, South America, and Asia.
Our Gonson Society Lecture Series features such speakers as music historians Brad Connor and Ben Sears; representatives from MIT’s Age Lab and Mount Auburn Hospital; and Boston Globe visual art critic Cate McQuaid.
CCAE's mission is to:
· Be the preeminent center for adult learning in Metro Cambridge;
· Create a welcoming environment through our artists, teachers, staff and physical spaces;
· Prudently manage our assets and our legacy.
CCAE’s annual operating budget is $3 million, and in the past two years the organization has stabilized its finances, strategically expanded programming, and addressed critical facility needs. The result has been an increase in enrollment after a 10-year decline. In June, 2011, CCAE’s 29-member Board of Directors approved a strategic business plan focusing on ensuring the highest excellence in public programming and strengthening the institution.
CCAE’s Board of Directors serves as volunteer stewards of the organization and includes teachers, students, and community leaders whose combined expertise helps guide the Center, plan its future, preserve its legacy, and generate needed resources for its success.
Friday 9 am - 7pm
Saturday 9am - 2pm
Sunday - only open for classes (no one is in our registration office)