What’s Next for PAAM?


In October of 2018, PAAM was selected to be part of The Barr-Klarman Massachusetts Arts Initiative – a $25 million investment in 29 arts and cultural organizations from across Massachusetts to strengthen their long-term financial health and ability to adapt to change.

This joint effort of the Barr Foundation and The Klarman Family Foundation is rooted in the belief that arts and cultural organizations have enormous potential to add value to the vibrancy, social wellbeing, and creative economies of their communities. Yet, amidst rapid change in our communities and broader society, they must also grow and change. Compelling artistic programming that engages diverse artists and audiences is necessary to remain relevant and to thrive; but, it is not enough.

Arts and cultural organizations also need a sound operating model with adequate and appropriate capital, and staff and board members who embrace change and cultural differences. Over the past year, the PAAM Board and Staff have been working closely with consultants and representatives from the two foundations to develop a Theory of Change, which will be the basis for a new strategic plan. A Feasibility Study, funded by the Cultural Facilities Fund, an arm of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, is being conducted as part of the overall process as we explore PAAM’s future growth potential.

On April 8, PAAM was the recipient of a 2019 Commonwealth Award—the highest cultural award in the state, for “its unique legacy of groundbreaking exhibitions and programming, passion for removing barriers to participation, and commitment to engaging young people through the visual arts.” The Commonwealth Award is a celebration of the best of the best and a demonstration of the Power of Culture to enrich us all.

Through our five main areas of activity – Serving the community, Educating children, students and life-long learners; Advancing scholarship; Preserving our artistic legacy; and Nurturing the ongoing practice of art-making – PAAM successfully mounted nationally acclaimed exhibitions including: To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults by Jess T. Dugan and Vanessa Fabbre; Circa 1945: Abstract Art in the Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation Collection; Stephen Pace in Provincetown; and Color Beyond Description: The Watercolors of Charles Hawthorne, Hans Hofmann, and Paul Resika, in addition to exhibitions by our students, members and works from the permanent collection.

As we continue to plan and strategize for the future, we ask for your support as well as your vision, and invite PAAM Members, as well as neighbors, colleagues and visitors, to share their thoughts with PAAM, either directly or through members of the Board. Please consider making your year-end gift to PAAM which will significantly enhance the resulting plan to ensure PAAM’s successful future.

Thank you!





Charles Hawthorne, Seascape from the Truro Hills, (detail), n.d., PAAM Collection, Gift of Marguerite Wilson
Arnold Newman, Portrait of Edward Hopper, 1960
Jess T. Dugan, Gloria, 70, Chicago, IL, 2016