Welcome to The Umbrella!
The Umbrella enriches lives and builds a vibrant and inclusive community through the arts.
We promote creativity, learning, personal growth, and cultural exchange through accessible arts education programs, performing and visual arts presentations, and community collaborations.
What We Offer
• Studio space for more than 50 artists
• Exhibition space in three Gallery spaces
• Community arts initiatives, outdoor art installations, and regional celebrations including the Arts & Environment program
• Classes and workshops for children and adults in four large teaching studios, and in partnership with schools throughout our extended community
• Creative arts summer camps and vacation week programs for youth
• Support for innovative learning and making in three newly constructed Makerspace labs -- Workshop, Fabrication, and Digital
• Performance space for all disciplines in two theaters -- a newly constructed 344-seat main stage theater and 100-seat black box theater, as well as a new dance studio classroom
• Space rentals for private events
• Newly renovated Ceramics facilities, firing services, and instruction for students and independent artists
Land Acknowledgement: Related to our mission of enriching lives and building a vibrant, inclusive community through the arts we would like to acknowledge that the land we use for classes and events and the land on which The Umbrella is built on the Musketaquid area, original homelands of the Nipmuc and Massachusett peoples. We acknowledge the painful history of genocide and forced removal from this territory, and we honor and respect the many diverse Indigenous peoples still connected to this land on which we gather.
The Building: Built as a high school in 1929 and the town’s first steel-beamed structure, Emerson School has long been an important historic and architectural landmark in downtown Concord. The building served as a public school for more than five decades before it was deemed obsolete and insufficient for a growing student population.
The Organization: In the early 1980’s, a group of Concord volunteers and visionaries realized that the aging Emerson School building, slated for demolition, could be saved and converted into a community arts center. So, in 1982, The Umbrella’s founders obtained tax-exempt status as a private non-profit organization and developed a detailed multi-use proposal for the building, which the Board of Selectmen approved in 1983. This agreement retains the spirit of the original deed, which states that the land will be used for education, and is still in place today. The Town of Concord retains ownership of the building, which it leases to The Umbrella Arts Center, which in turn is responsible for programming, operating, building maintenance, and capital improvement costs.
The Umbrella, Inc. is a qualified 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Audited financials statements and Federal Form 990s are available upon request. You can view forms from the last three years here.
The Umbrella proactively promotes diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) in the organization and through posted policies, contracts, programming, advocacy, training, and ongoing DEIA Action Planning by a standing DEIA task force comprising dedicated staff and board members. The Umbrella welcomes and respects constituents regardless of age, ability, ethnicity, race, religion, philosophical or political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, nationality, geographic origin, immigration status, and socio-economic status. The Umbrella does not discriminate or discourage participation on the basis of race, gender, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, sexual orientation or age. The Umbrella is recognized as a UP Designated Organization of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and participated in the MCC's Universal Participation Initiative Innovation and Learning Network.