Teen leadership program kicks off with focus on advocating for social justice and how real actions lead to progress under the theme One Spark Starts A Fire: Advocating From Our Hearts


Boston, MA (July 10, 2020) – The Boch Center, one of the nation’s leading nonprofit performing arts institutions, announced the launch of this summer’s award-winning City Spotlights Leadership Program. The program is being offered online, for the first time ever, due to Covid-19. During the paid six-week youth employment program, 15 Boston teens will develop leadership skills through arts training. This year’s participants represent 7 Boston neighborhoods and 12 schools, including 4 colleges and universities. Since 2012, the program has employed over 300 teen leaders.


This year’s City Spotlights Summer Leadership Program participants have selected the theme One Spark Starts A Fire: Advocating From Our Hearts. Based off this theme, the teens will explore and share their experiences with advocating for social justice for all, how real actions lead to progress and the importance of amplifying the voices of those who must be heard and seen.


“We’re now in our tenth year of the City Spotlights Leadership Program and this year will definitely be a bit different from the rest.” said Josiah A. Spaulding, Jr., President & CEO of the Boch Center. “Originally we thought we would need to cancel the entire program for Summer 2020, but due to some last minute fundraising efforts that included generous contributions from Someone Else’s Child Foundation, The Wonderfund, and donations from members of the Boch Center Board of Directors and Overseers, among others, we were able to develop and implement a virtual program.  Regardless if we are in a pandemic or not, the Boch Center is still committed to expanding access to the arts, and this program is a prime example of the positive impact the arts can have in our lives. The leadership skills and career development training that these teens learn creates a foundation for them to grow into adults who will champion change, drive innovation and ensure our community’s long-term vitality.”


City Spotlights is a unique youth employment program that empowers local teens to become leaders in school, at home and in their communities by using their creative voices. Core components of the paid six-week program include leadership training, community advocacy, and job readiness, each of which help teens develop skills necessary to navigate the rapidly changing 21st century economy. Advocacy and Community Engagement will be big components of this year’s program through virtual events and campaigns designed by the Teen Leaders, including performance pieces that will culminate in a virtual Final Showcase on Wednesday, August 12th.


Teen Leader John of Hyde Park, 17, states, “It feels really refreshing, like a new chapter where I can discover new possibilities and opportunities.”


Click here to learn more about City Spotlights and watch an overview video of the program.




About the Boch Center The Boch Center is one of the nation’s leading nonprofit performing arts institutions and a guardian of the historic Wang and Shubert Theatres. As New England’s largest cultural venue, the Boch Center is home to theater, classical and popular music, dance, comedy, opera, Broadway musicals, family entertainment, and more.

Located in Boston’s historic Theater District, the Boch Center also offers a diverse mix of educational, cultural and community outreach initiatives, including the
City Spotlights Leadership Program, ArtWeek and the Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame; collaborates with artists and local nonprofit arts organizations; preserves historic venues; and acts as a champion for Greater Boston’s arts and cultural community. Learn more at




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