Lesley is relocating The Art Institute of Boston (AIB) from its present location in Kenmore Square, Boston, to Porter Square in Cambridge.
As planning toward the relocation of The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University to Cambridge enters its next phase, Deborah Schwartz Raizes, chair of Lesley’s Board of Trustees and Lesley College alumna, has donated $1 million toward completion.
Lesley is planning to relocate The Art Institute of Boston (AIB) from its present location in Kenmore Square, Boston, to Porter Square in Cambridge in a new facility adjacent to University Hall. The new AIB will re-purpose a historic church; feature art galleries, studios and a library; and bring year-round art exhibitions, gallery talks and other cultural events to the Cambridge community. Last year, the Cambridge City Council adopted a zoning change that moves the project forward, and design work is currently underway toward additional city approvals.
“AIB merged with Lesley in 1998, and the integration of the arts within a university most known for education continues to open new doors of exploration for all students,” said Raizes. “Bringing AIB to Cambridge truly makes the university whole, opens new avenues of discovery for students, and will bring a new energy to a community with a long history of embracing the arts. I am proud to play a role in making this a reality. I look forward to seeing the faculty and students of AIB creating and sharing their work in Porter Square and having the programs and facilities become an even more integral part of the university.”
Raizes joined the Board of Trustees in 1991 and was elected chair in 2009, continuing a family legacy with Lesley University that now spans more than four decades. Her father, Jack Schwartz, served on the board from 1969 until his passing in 1996. Schwartz Hall was named in his honor and his board colleagues named him Trustee Emeritus. Raizes, of Scarsdale, NY, is Senior Consultant at Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, Ltd., an executive search and governance consulting firm serving the education and non-profit sectors.
“First as a student, then as an engaged alumna, member of the board, and now benefactor, Debbie Raizes consistently demonstrates her dedication and strong belief in Lesley’s mission,” said Lesley University President Joseph B. Moore. “Her leadership, guidance, and hard work over the years have made this a better, stronger university. As a board member, she played a key role in making AIB a vital part of Lesley the community. We are humbled by her personal generosity toward bringing AIB’s community of artists to our Cambridge campus.”
Art Institute of Boston Dean Stan Trecker, who served as AIB president when the nearly 100 year-old school became a part of Lesley in 1998, said the merger gave art students access to interdisciplinary offerings through Lesley’s three other schools – Lesley College, the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences and the School of Education. Moving to Cambridge, Trecker said, increases the ease of accessing these and all the co-curricular opportunities at the university and brings AIB’s offerings to many more students studying in Cambridge, as well as to our surrounding neighborhoods.
“AIB is dedicated to preparing tomorrow’s artists and designers, and is part of a larger university where roughly one-third of all students are engaged in the arts in some way,” said Trecker. “Lesley’s largest education graduate program is our Master’s in Creative Arts in Learning. The field of expressive therapies began at Lesley and has grown internationally. And community arts is a growing field. All of Lesley’s students benefit from the ability to interact, learn from each other and collaborate across disciplines. Debbie’s remarkable gift moves us toward an exciting future, and students throughout the Lesley community will benefit.”
Alumni & Friends Home
Ways to Give
Meet our Donors
Arts Center Challenge
Mary Mindess Scholarship
2010-2011 Donor Honor Roll
Meet the Advancement Staff
Give Online Today
Sign up for our monthly Alumni e-Newsletter!
Read previous stories