Wilson Butler Architects Founding Directors and Samuels & Associates Chair Steve Samuels to be Honored by Boston Arts Academy Foundation

Photo: Boston Arts Academy

Boston—The Boston Arts Academy Foundation announced its honorees for the annual BAA Honors celebration, its signature fundraising event to support Boston Arts Academy (BAA), Boston’s only public high school for the visual and performing arts.

The 2020 BAA honorees include three real estate players: Scott Wilson and Scott Butler, founding directors, Wilson Butler Architects; and Steve Samuels, chairman and principal, Samuels & Associates, a real estate development firm.

Scott Butler

Other honorees are: Ernie Boch Jr., President and CEO, Subaru of New England; Ruth Carter, Academy Award winning film and television costume designer; David Ortiz, legendary Boston Red Sox player, Major League Baseball analyst and Fox Sports commentator; and Eve S. Rounds, passionate dance advocate and champion of the arts.

The honorary chair for this year’s event is Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, and co-chairs are Sue Brady Hartigan, Boston’s veteran on-air radio personality, and Lee Michael Kennedy, president and CEO, Lee Kennedy Co., a construction management firm. Latoyia Edwards, NBC10 Boston and NECN anchor, is mistress of ceremonies for the black-tie event, which features a cocktail reception, dinner, student performances, live auction, and dancing.

The event will take place on Saturday, May 2, in the Rose Kennedy Ballroom, InterContinental Boston, at 6 p.m. Event proceeds will support BAA. The event will be followed by an After Party at the hotel, which begins at 9 p.m.

Scott Wilson

The BAA Foundation works to ensure all students receive a high-quality education that is both arts-intensive and college preparatory, raising $5,000 per student each year to support that mission. Last year, the Foundation launched its first-ever five-year, comprehensive campaign, Building Our Future, which will raise $30 million to support expanding and sustaining arts programming and other critical services, in advance of the opening of BAA’s new facility at its Fenway location in September 2021.

“BAA Honors celebrates the countless accomplishments of our honorees, students, alumni and teachers, who, combined, uplift the soul of our community,” said Boston Arts Academy Foundation President Denella Clark. “The creative energy of the Honors evening embodies a unifying passion for the arts and education. We’re grateful for the support from our dedicated network of corporate, foundation and individual partners who agree that the arts transform our students and our society.”

Steve Samuels

2020 BAA Honorees:

Music — Ernie Boch Jr.: renowned business leader, entrepreneur, and philanthropist in Massachusetts who owns a Ferrari and Maserati franchise. A musician himself, he founded the charitable foundation Music Drives Us, a nonprofit organization that funds musical opportunities for the underserved throughout New England.

TV/Film — David Ortiz: Fox Sports MLB analyst and commentator, offering uniquely engaging content as a television producer and documentarian, and continuing to make an impact through humanitarian work in children’s health care.

Fashion — Ruth Carter: the first African American to win an Oscar for best costume and a trailblazer who has paved the way in the arts for young artists, impacting the world of fashion and costume design.

Dance — Eve S. Rounds: honored for her impactful leadership on the Boston Arts Academy Foundation Board of Directors and BAA Board of Trustees, her commitment to dance, training and performance, and her passion in keeping arts and arts education vibrant and relevant in Boston.

Visual Arts — Scott Wilson, AIA and Scott Butler, AIA: noted for award-winning architectural work for arts and entertainment that balances the art and science of their craft to push the boundaries of technology and shape the spirit and soul of the new BAA facility in The Fenway students need and deserve.

Civic Responsibility — Steve Samuels: a positive leader in the Boston community whose ambitious work reimagined The Fenway neighborhood, demonstrating his desire to create an inviting live/work/play atmosphere that not only enhances the streetscape and skyline, but also celebrates the arts, education and culture. As a leading producer of independent films, television, theater and audio, he has been a driving force in the creative industry.

BAA Honors’ media partners are the NBC Boston group, including NECN, NBC10 Boston and Telemundo Boston, as well as iHeartMedia, which are both dedicated to celebrating Boston’s love for arts education, diversity and inclusion.

For more information, to purchase tickets or sponsor the event, please visit https://bostonartsacademy.org/baahonors/.

Founded in 1998 as the city’s only public high school for the visual and performing arts, Boston Arts Academy (BAA) has distinguished itself among urban public high schools as a leader in innovative and effective student-centered education. Consistently recognized locally and nationally for its achievements, BAA exemplifies the power of an arts-rich education and many BAA graduates have found success in college through the arts. In fact, for the past five years, at least 97 percent of BAA graduates have been accepted to college, with most being first-generation college attendees. BAA’s dynamic program prepares graduates to be critical thinkers, effective communicators, collaborators and creators. Students come from all 23 Boston neighborhoods to receive the formal arts training and academic instruction that will make them Boston’s next generation of artists and cultural leaders.

In October 2018, the BAA community broke ground on a new $125 million facility at its Fenway location, which will expand from 121,000 square feet to 153,500 square feet upon its completion in September 2021. Among many highlights, it will include new and much-needed enhanced theatres, career center, academic classrooms, dance studios, music practice rooms and fashion technology studios and workspace. When BAA opens its new school building, the number of students enrolled will increase to 500, and eventually grow over the years.

Established in 1999, the BAA Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization that raises essential funds from private philanthropic sources to augment the BAA school budget. The BAA Foundation helps bridge the gap between the school’s allocation from the Boston Public Schools, and the true cost of a high-quality education that is both arts-intensive and college preparatory.

Construction of the new BAA school building will not change BPS’s funding formula, which supports BAA’s academic offerings. Through the five-year, comprehensive Building Our Future campaign, the BAA Foundation is raising $30 million to augment BAA’s school budget and ensure long-term sustainability. The campaign includes raising $10 million to bring the BAA Foundation endowment to $13.5 million, and to secure $15.5 million in operating reserves. The endowment and reserves will support what makes BAA unique, including expanded programming, the Health and Wellness Program, STEAM (STEM+Art), and funding for the arts. The endowment will also support college scholarships for graduating seniors. The campaign will support BAA Foundation’s Annual Fund, which raises $5,000 per student each year. Building Our Future will ensure that as BAA’s student body grows, students can become successful artists, scholars and citizens.