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    Endowment would be vital to Seaport performance site

    As the executive director of Greater Boston’s largest arts service organization, I share in the excitement about plans for the new performing arts center in the Seaport District (“Coming to Seaport: new stages, old questions,” Page A1, Oct. 11). It is terrific news for our organizations, our artists, and our audiences, and I applaud WS Development for integrating these venues into its plans for the site, the thoughtful work of the Boston Planning & Development Agency, and the leadership of Mayor Walsh.

    I want to echo others’ encouraging words asking the developers to include endowment funds for maintenance and operations into their commitment to the project. One of the biggest challenges that our arts sector has faced over the years is under-capitalization for facilities management. Further, undertaking large endowment campaigns is unrealistic for the small and mid-sized arts groups that need these new theaters the most.

    Given the many smart leaders working on this much-needed project, I have no doubt we’ll develop a plan that both creates beautiful new theaters for our arts organizations and audiences and ensures adequate supporting assets to allow our sector to focus on its greatest strength: providing meaningful, memorable artistic experiences for the public.

    Catherine Peterson

    Executive director