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CitySpace at The Lavine Broadcast Center: Our Home for Civic Engagement

Total Goal

$20 million

$16.4m raised of $20m goal

In today’s divided world, there is a heightened need to bring people together to create connection and bridge differences in service to our democracy. Located at 890 Commonwealth Avenue and adjacent to WBUR studios, CitySpace at The Lavine Broadcast Center does just that, serving as a dynamic and vibrant venue for public service and civic discourse.

A new kind of gathering place, CitySpace invites us to grapple with ideas and new perspectives and celebrates the rich diversity of our region.

It is unlike anything that exists in Boston and will help WBUR build stronger and deeper ties to the communities we depend on—and who depend on us. Specifically, it will:

  • Convene Bostonians in ways that enrich their lives socially, intellectually and culturally by hosting meetings, readings, poetry slams, lectures, debates, forums and artistic performances.
  • Provide a public town hall for intellectual inquiry and civic conversation with thought leaders focusing on timely issues in our region, including the environment, education, innovation, arts and culture, politics, healthcare and public policy.
  • Bring the public together with authors, artists, politicians, educators, scientists, business leaders, scholars and a wide range of cultural icons.
  • Foster collaboration, participation and partnership with local arts, cultural, community and academic organizations to serve new and varied audiences.

Once CitySpace is in full operation, we will program and present 200-plus events annually, and most will be free or low-cost. Currently, WBUR produces more than 100 cultural, civic and artistic events at venues across the region, both independently and in partnership with local organizations, institutions and festivals. With CitySpace, we will increase our offering and broaden our partnerships, providing more opportunities for engagement and connection.


CitySpace is a modern, multimedia, multipurpose convening and performance space and broadcast center. Its open, flexible seating plan accommodates up to 275 guests and features an elevated stage, state-of-the-art lighting and sound equipment, a high-definition video and audio production facility, green room, box office and spacious lobby.

The facility has been built to exacting acoustical standards, allowing us to host radio programs before live audiences, film and video screenings, music and other artistic performances. Floor-to-ceiling windows invite people in.

Many events at CitySpace will be recorded in high-definition video, streamed live and archived on, making them accessible to community members who cannot attend due to transportation, mobility or scheduling challenges. For events with national appeal, live streaming and recording will allow us to serve millions of people.


In 2017, the City of Boston identified crucial gaps in performing arts venues in the 200-300 seat range. Space is limited and existing venues often lack technical amenities, including lighting and sound systems and flexible stages. At CitySpace, WBUR will help meet the real need in our community for a high-quality and high-tech performance space.

To support the building and programming of CitySpace at The Lavine Broadcast Center, we seek to raise an additional $4 million.

Total Goal

$20 million

$16.4m raised of $20m goal

Support a Key Initiative

  • $20m

    Building and Programming Fund