A Message From Our Executive Director:

May, 2016

I recently created a new tag line for the Meetinghouse, a phrase that reflects much of my feelings about the hall: 

A Beautiful Historic Hall with Wonderful Acoustics

It is a beautiful hall! And the acoustics are marvelous! It is such a wonderful place for concerts and theatre events, and I'm proud to be part of the organization and staff. Our programming goal is to produce concerts and theatre in our brief summer season, concerts covering a diverse range of genre from classical to folk with jazz, rock, pop and more in between. We like to introduce new performers to the hall and the region, and to bring back old friends. And, particularly now that my third season has started, I love to see the community that forms around this place, the returning and now familiar concert goers and the occasional tail-gate picnic dinner before a concert.

And it is a hall with a long history, both as seen through its life as a meetinghouse and church from 1794 through 1984 and as seen through its modern life as a center for the performing arts. Much love and work went into that transformation. Our goal is to put the hall, to put that love and work of renovation, to the best use we can while also maintaining the building itself. And as mentioned on our home-page, more work is needed now, and more funding needed to pay for that work. Although we have and continue to search for grants, such support has been hard to find in this round of renovation work, and we hope you can help us raise an additional $40,000 for the next round of repairs and renovations.

And the best way there is to support the Meetinghouse is to participate by coming to our concerts and threatre productions. Please come! Bring a friend! We guarentee a good show in a wonderul hall. 

Brad Foster,
Executive Director


The 1794 Board of Directors

Jo Ellen Boskind.

New Salem, Massachusetts. Jo Ellen Boskind has devoted her professional career as a clinical social worker to promoting the quality of connection in the lives of North Quabbin residents. While Director of Social Services at Athol Memorial Hospital in the 80's she initiated support groups for Cancer survivors and their families and Alzheimer Caregivers. In the last 20 years she has been in private practice in Athol, she has helped many individuals and couples to achieve mastery over their challenges and experience more fulfilling relationships. A devoted meditator, she has in addition been teaching introductory courses in Insight Meditation over the last three years. Her membership on the board and chair of the building committee of the 1794 Meetinghouse has enabled her to participate in the development of community connections through the provision of extraordinary performing arts. A resident of New Salem, she is grateful for the many outdoor activities she is able to indulge in including gardening, hiking, biking, horseback riding and cross country skiing. She is also grateful to her two kittens Amma & Mukti and her 37 year old horse Honey for reminding her always of her place in the world.


Lynn Boudreau, Secretary.

Orange, Massachusetts. Lynn is an independent medical transcriptionist. A board member since 2009, she serves as Secretary of the board of directors. Lynn has been a member (and former manager) of Quabbin Valley Pro Musica since before it became part of the 1794 Meetinghouse. She has sung in the North Quabbin and Pioneer Valley area for most of her life, with the Greenfield Chamber Singers in the 1980s, Pioneer Valley Symphony Chorus, Pioneer Valley Capella of Northampton and Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s women’s a capella group, Clinical Notes, and has been a featured soloist locally. She is honored to have been part of the recording of Carolyn Brown Senier’s compositions in the Mattawa Song Cycle. Lynn has a BS in Biology from Bridgewater State College, and has worked mostly in the medical field, though nature always beckons her to the outdoors. She has two children, Elise and Devin, and four grandchildren, who are her delight.


Fred Bulman, Treasurer.

Athol, Massachusetts.


Jane Clukay.

New Salem, Massachusetts.


Peter Cross.

Orange, Massachusetts. Peter has lived in Orange since 1979 and joined the board in 2012. He worked as a psychologist at Templeton Developmental Center for 33 years, retiring in 2011. Peter has been a member of the Ralph C. Mahar Regional School Committee since 1984. His wife Candy is the children's librarian at the Wheeler Memorial Library in Orange, and their grown children are Emily and Eben, who live in Heath and Somerville, respectively. All of the Crosses enthusiastically support the rich cultural resource which is the Meetinghouse!


Jean Derderian.

New Salem, Massachusetts.


Lisa DeWitt, President.

New Salem, Massachusetts.


Jan Doody

New Salem, Massachusetts.



Marcia Flynn.

Petersham, Massachusetts.


Adam Frost, Vice President.

New Salem, Massachusetts. Adam moved to the North Quabbin in 2008, equally drawn by the region’s cultural and natural offerings. A native of Connecticut, Adam studied violin from an early age, and was a founding member of the Litchfield Chamber Orchestra, under the baton of the cellist David Darling. He now resides in New Salem with his wife and three sons, and is owner of The Wooden Wagon, an importer of European wooden toys and folk art. Adam has been on the board of the Meetinghouse since 2009, and has a particular interest in traditional, classical and early music.


Janet Kraft.

New Salem, MA. Janet majored in Music at San Diego State, Boston University, Graduate of U-Mass, Boston. Janet taught piano for many years in Cohasset, Ma. Director of music at Weston Methodist Church, Natick Unitarian Church, Scituate Methodist Church, First Parish Church of Cohasset in past years. Presently Director of Music at Central Congregational Church, New Salem


Diane Lincoln.

Royalston, Massachusetts. Diane is president of Bruce’s Browser, Inc. in Athol and owner of Linqsongs Publishing in Royalston, where she resides. Board member since 2003. She currently chairs the Program Committee and Ads & Sponsorships Committee.

Diane was on the board of directors of the North Quabbin Chamber of Commerce for 25 years and was Chairman of the Board for multiple terms. She is a Corporator of the Athol Savings Bank. After graduating from Northeastern University with a pharmacy degree in 1970, Diane went into, and eventually took over her family’s independent business. She sold the pharmacy in 2004 to pursue her passion for music.

Diane is now a guitar-based singer/songwriter (stage name Linq). She has released multiple CDs and music videos, and has received international airplay.  She was nominated for three music awards in 2009, winning “Musical Artist of 2009” in the Pride in the Arts Music Awards.  She was named OUTMusician of the Year (music + activism) at the 7th Annual OUTMusic Awards in May 2011.


Jenn Potee.

New Salem, Massachusetts.


Rik Rolski.

New Salem, Massachusetts.


David Van Iderstine.

New Salem, Massachusetts. David is past Treasurer of 1794 Meetinghouse's board of directors.


Deb Vondal.

Athol, Massachusetts.


Jane Williams.

New Salem, Massachusetts. Jane lives in New Salem with her husband John Ciesluk. She is Clinical Coordinator for ServiceNet -Sheltering and Housing Division of Franklin County, MA . A Board member since 2003. Jane has been providing outreach clinical services to the community’s homeless population and troubled youth since 1981. Through following the acting career of her son, Dylan, she has become involved with performing arts on many levels, including set design, costuming, advertising, fund raising and frequently sharing the stage. The Board of the 1794 Meetinghouse provides a venue to combine creative performing arts interests and community service. Summer 2010, Jane and her son, Dylan, brought the educational program of Stages of Life to New Salem through a collaboration with the 1794 Meetinghouse. Summer 2011, through a grant from the New Salem Academy, the program will be available again for interested young performers.


Brad Foster, Executive Director

Dr. Charles Heffernan, Music Conductor, Quabbin Valley Pro Musica

Officers & Board of Directors
Lisa DeWitt, President
Adam Frost, Vice President
Lynn Boudreau, Secretary
Fred Bulman, Treasurer

Jo Ellen Boskind
Jane Loeser Clukay
Peter Cross
Jean Derderian
Jan Doody
Marcia Flynn
Janet Kraft
Diane Lincoln
Jen Potee
Rik Rolski
David Van Iderstine
Deb Vondal
Jane Williams



1794 Meetinghouse receives a portion of our funding through a grant from

The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) is a state agency that promotes excellence, access, education and diversity in the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and contribute to the economic vitality of our communities.



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