Boston Arts Academy Foundation (BAA Foundation) announced it has received a $350,000 gift from Dr. Joshua Boger, founder and former CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, and his wife, Dr. Amy Boger, a retired pediatrician and fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The Bogers’ contribution supports the photography and 3D arts programs at Boston Arts Academy (BAA), Boston’s only public high school for the visual and performing arts. This donation is part of the Foundation’s 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 for BAA students.
The Photography and 3D Studios at the new BAA facility, currently under construction in the Fenway neighborhood, will be named for Amy and Joshua Boger and The Boger Family Foundation. Their gift will ensure that the school’s emerging photographers and 3D artists have the opportunity to train and learn on state-of-the-art equipment in a facility fully designed to encourage artistic expression.
Joshua Boger, best known as a scientist and entrepreneur, is also a longtime photographer who specializes in capturing underwater environments. Amy is a professional ceramic artist who incorporates humor into her works. A group of BAA’s Visual Arts students recently visited the Bogers’ South End art studio, which led to a lively discussion about the creation, and importance, of the visual arts.
“We’ve had the pleasure of spending time with a number of BAA students. They are inquisitive, imaginative and inspiring,” said Joshua Boger. “As a photographer myself, I see the inherent value in their creative explorations and believe the visual arts can have a positive impact in their development, not only as artists and scholars, but also as citizens. My wife and I want future generations of BAA students to have every opportunity to pursue their own artistic passions. BAA has a proud tradition of developing and inspiring young artists, and we hope our gift serves as a catalyst for other donors to support this unique institution.”
“We are deeply grateful to Drs. Joshua and Amy Boger for this major gift, which is particularly meaningful since they share our students’ artistic passion,” said BAA Foundation President Denella Clark. “Like so many other donors who have joined our campaign, the Bogers recognize the limitless potential of the BAA students, and the need to ensure they have access to the resources to harness their talents and perfect their crafts. This generous gift is a critical step toward ensuring that the persistent opportunity gap within the arts community is permanently closed.”
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’s diverse graduates have been accepted to college; most are first-generation college students. 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 to become 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, a 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 from 470 to 500, and eventually continue to grow.
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. In less than one year, BAA Foundation has raised $7 million from generous donors like Drs. Amy and Joshua Boger towards the $30 million goal.