WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2017/2018

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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Soon, though, seniors won't have much need to go to that spot on Washington Street. If inte- rior construction concludes, as scheduled by year's end, the Council on Aging will hang a shingle on the Tolles-Parsons Senior Center at 494 Washington Street. The seniors' exodus for a bigger spot isn't a surprise. After more than a decade of discussion and work, several appearances on the floor of Town Meeting and on town-wide ballots, voters in 2016 approved the taxpayer-funded senior center. But just as Grignaffini and Hoffman improvised four decades ago, the Community Center's board of directors and its executive director, Stephen Beach, long ago started pre- paring for this day. In a way, their preparations are bringing the Community Center full circle. The youth are coming back. The center has for some time been a place to go for the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and several Wellesley youth sports leagues, but Beach has also been cultivating re- lationships with the arts community, including several arts organizations that cater to young crowds. These arts organizations have found the center to be a spacious and accommodat- ing home for them to practice their crafts. "We will have the capacity for the perform- ing arts," Beach said. "We'll continue to be a base for and support all endeavors, but we're going from a general-purpose nonprofit to an affinity-based nonprofit." Consider Willy Wonka as proof of that transition. Roald Dahl's famed chocolate fac- tory owner came to life in May in a string of performances by Wellesley Theatre Project in the Community Center's Babson Hall. The nonprofit theater company had long needed extra room beyond its Central Street head- quarters, and caught a break about two years ago when the building there sprung a leak. Beach opened the door to the Community Center, and, as eight shows of "Willy Wonka JR." illustrated, the project has no intention of leaving. "It's awesome we finally have the space," said Wellesley Theatre Project co- founder Ben Rush. 94 The Place Where Wellesley Meets W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | w i n t e r 2 0 1 7 / 2 0 1 8

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