Welcome to the official website of the Greater Roxbury Arts & Cultural Center Inc. (GRACC), a groundbreaking initiative set to redefine the Afrodiasporic arts and cultural landscape in Boston, MA. GRACC is under development in the Nubian Square commercial district of Roxbury, and we are poised to be New England’s first state-of-the-art visual and performing arts center led by Black founders. Our 34,000-square-foot facility is designed to be more than just a building; it's a beacon of cultural expression, historical recognition, and community engagement. Inspired by both local influences and the rich history of Nubia, GRACC is envisioned to encompass a diverse array of spaces, including a two-level main stage proscenium theater, a flexible black box theater, a rehearsal space, and two first-floor art galleries. Our inaugural president and CEO, Taneshia Nash Laird, leads this transformative project on the former Blair lot being redeveloped by Nubian Ascend Partners LLC.
To support and present innovative performing arts, cinema, visual art, and humanities that honor the cultural roots and diverse talent emergent from the African diaspora while promoting social justice and economic development in the Nubian Square neighborhood of Boston.
To become a destination where patrons, partners, and performers can find meaningful connections through the arts, and to be a leader in celebrating the beauty and richness of Black and Latinx culture in Boston.
Community: We believe in creating an inclusive and welcoming environment where all members of the community can come together and celebrate diverse cultures through the arts.
Creativity: We value and encourage artistic innovation and experimentation as a means of advancing cultural expression and understanding.
Social Justice: We are committed to promoting social justice through our programming and supporting the communities we serve.
Economic Development: We strive to foster economic development and growth through partnerships with local businesses and organizations, and by providing employment opportunities that bolster the creative economy.
Education: We believe in the transformative power of the arts and are committed to providing educational opportunities for youth and adults to engage with and appreciate diverse cultural expressions.
These are the companies that will call GRACC home.
Castle of Our Skins
Castle of our Skins is a Black arts institution dedicated to fostering cultural curiosity and celebrating Black artistry through music. In classrooms, concert halls, and beyond, Castle of our Skins invites Black heritage and culture exploration, spotlighting both unsung and celebrated figures of past and present.
OrigiNation's professional dance division will be GRACC's resident dance company, making OrigiNation the first professional Black and Latino youth dance company in the nation in residence at a performing arts center especially designed for the African Diaspora.
The Roxbury International Film Festival bills itself as the largest festival in New England that celebrates people of color. Over the course of ten days the festival screens all genres of films, holds workshops and panel discussions and offers filmmakers the opportunity to network with each other as well as audience members.
Artist Housing - Nubian Square Ascends
Our connection to the Nubian Square Ascend (NSA) project marks a significant milestone in our commitment to fostering a thriving cultural community. As co-developers of the artist housing component of the NSA project with Nubian Ascend Partners, LLC, GRACC is at the forefront of creating a unique ecosystem where art, culture, and community interconnect. This collaboration is not just about building structures; it’s about creating opportunities for artists to thrive, for communities to connect, and for celebrating Black and Latinx cultural heritage. The artist housing initiative, integrated within the larger Nubian Ascends project, is a testament to our dedication to empowering artists and building community through the arts.
Taneshia Nash Laird is a transformational leader with a history of stewarding large redevelopment projects and fostering arts and culture. Taneshia’s leadership experience includes the turnaround of the near century-old Newark Symphony Hall in New Jersey, for which she raised $15 million for its historic preservation. Before Newark Symphony Hall, Taneshia led the Arts Council of Princeton, notably as its first leader of color, where she reactivated its Solley Theater and transformed its Paul Robeson Center for the Arts to feature more inclusive visual and performing arts programming. As an entrepreneur, Taneshia co-founded MIST Harlem in New York City and Legendary Eats in Lost Angeles. She also served as director of economic development and affordable housing production for Trenton, NJ. Her impressive track record, tri-sector expertise as a nonprofit leader, entrepreneur, city and state official for economic development, and commitment to stimulating positive change for underrepresented communities make her an ideal leader for GRACC.
Dean J. Marsh
Chairman, GRACC Advisory Council
A cornerstone of GRACC's transformative journey, the Advisory Council is tasked with charting the strategic direction, spearheading fundraising initiatives, and cultivating a network of supporters. Dean J. Marsh, CEO of Virtual Technologies Group, heads the GRACC Advisory Council. With a proven track record of guiding business transformations for North America's leading corporations, Mr. Marsh brings a wealth of experience in business development and leadership. His extensive knowledge and strategic insight greatly benefit the GRACC Advisory Council, supporting GRACC's mission to champion diversity, equity, and inclusion in arts and culture.
Currently appointed at Northeastern University asDirector of Africana Studies, Dean’s Professor of Culture and Social Justice, and Professor of Africana Studies and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Currently appointed at Berklee College of Music as Inaugural Dean of Africana Studies and Visiting Faculty at Harvard University
Join us in bringing diverse and inclusive art to our community as a Charter Member of GRACC, destined to be the premier cultural destination of Nubian Square. Click below to learn more about our charter memberships and benefits.
Whether you can commit to one day or become a regular volunteer, we appreciate your help in making our pre-opening programs and fundraising a success. Contact us to learn more about volunteer opportunities.
Your support will help us bring world-class performances, exhibits, and educational opportunities to Roxbury. You can make a one-time or recurring donation online or by mail. Every gift makes a difference and we thank you in advance.