On Feb. 28, WBUR will celebrate the first anniversary of CitySpace at The Lavine Broadcast Center, a state-of-the-art multimedia venue for civic engagement, public conversation, artistic performance and cultural expression at 890 Commonwealth Avenue on Boston University’s campus.
“There is nothing like CitySpace in this city,” said Amy Macdonald, director of community engagement at WBUR. “There is no venue in Boston that offers something for everyone: from poets to politicians, from best-selling authors to up-and-coming chefs, from scientists to opera singers. CitySpace is the place to be informed, educated and inspired. At CitySpace, what’s happening is here.”
CitySpace has expanded how WBUR serves the citizens of Greater Boston, extending its journalism to the stage to bring the news to life; interviewing leaders in arts, politics and science; showcasing artistic performances, films and live podcasts. Since its opening, 20,000 people have attended more than 170 events at CitySpace. Nearly a third of the events at CitySpace have sold out and roughly half of the events were moderated by WBUR talent.
Highlights from the first year’s programming included a panel featuring Governor Charlie Baker on tackling gun violence moderated by Deborah Becker, an interview by Shira Springer with Celtics’ manager Danny Ainge and a panel featuring Central American women refugees moderated by Shannon Dooling. In addition, cultural icons Margaret Atwood, Michael Schur, David Byrne and Philip Glass, among others, were featured.
The opening of CitySpace at The Lavine Broadcast Center launched the public phase of WBUR’s first-ever capital campaign. To date, nearly $30 million of the $40 million goal has been raised, including a $5 million gift from Jeannie and Jonathan Lavine, the largest single gift in WBUR’s history. Funding from The Campaign for WBUR supports free and low-cost programming at CitySpace and provides for the station’s new reporting teams dedicated to investigative reporting and the environment.
In the year ahead, CitySpace will continue to showcase an array of different subjects, speakers and artists, including free events like the current monthly 2020 election series geared towards informing the public on the most-talked-about campaign issues.
For more information on what events are coming up this year at CitySpace or to sign up for the monthly events newsletter, visit https://www.wbur.org/events.
About WBUR CitySpace
Occupying 8,700 square feet, CitySpace at The Lavine Broadcast Center is a high-tech performance space featuring an open, flexible seating plan that accommodates up to 270 guests with cutting-edge audio and robotic HD video technology for livestreaming and recording, robotically controlled theatrical lighting, a pneumatic stage, and a video presentation wall. CitySpace was designed by world-renowned architectural firm, CambridgeSeven, with acoustical and audio-visual design by Acentech Engineers, construction by Lee Kennedy Co, Inc., and project supervision by Boston University.
WBUR Bostonomix reporter Callum Borchers will moderate a conversation on the economy’s multifaceted impacts on the upcoming election including the trade war, national debt and income inequality to name a few.
Events on big tech and privacy, foreign policy, immigration and the future of democracy to be added to the series lineup soon.
Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee - Ford Foundation international professor of economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; 2019 Nobel Prize winner, economics
Esther Duflo - Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of poverty alleviation and development economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; 2019 Nobel Prize winner, economics
N. Gregory Mankiw - Robert M. Beren professor of economics, Harvard University