Mosesian Arts is open while construction is completed at the Arsenal on the Charles campus. Please read getting here for more information.




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About Mosesian Arts

The Mosesian Center for the Arts is a performing and visual arts venue on the Charles River in Watertown, Massachusetts. The 30,000 square foot facility, located in an historic 1894 manufacturing shop on a former U.S. Army arsenal, houses a 339-seat main stage theater, a flexible black box theater, exhibition galleries, art classrooms, and a rehearsal studio. Mosesian Arts is located six miles from downtown Boston, borders Brighton and the Charles, and is easily accessible from surrounding suburbs and MetroWest.


Programming includes professional and community theater and musical performances, comedy, gallery exhibitions, literary and art discussions, and performing and visual arts classes and workshops for all ages. Watertown Children’s Theatre, Mosesian Arts’ performing arts education program, provides exceptional classes and performances for youth and families. The venue also hosts celebrated and cutting-edge performing arts companies from throughout the Greater Boston region and New England.


Our Mission

The Mosesian Center for the Arts enriches the lives of diverse audiences and participants by providing exceptional experiences in theater, visual, and literary art.


Our History


In 1816, the U.S. Army purchased forty acres on the northern banks of the Charles River for a new arsenal. The Army chose Watertown for its proximity to Boston and its easy accessibility by land and water.

Over the following decades, the Watertown Arsenal grew from military storage to a major manufacturing facility. In 1894, a new machine shop—our Building 312—was constructed to assemble larger modern weapons. Built at a cost of $35,000, and recalling earlier Federal architecture, the structure was a tall, single story building with a large open floorplan and floor-to-ceiling windows to illuminate the interior for intricate assembly work.

In 1995, decades after research and testing had replaced manufacturing at the Arsenal, the Army closed the facility. Original windows and doors had been covered over and several other buildings had been demolished. Building 312, however, still stood when the Arsenal was finally designated a National Historic District.

In a redevelopment plan for commercial use, the Town of Watertown purchased the Arsenal and resold it to a developer. An architectural restoration returned windows and doorways to their original designs, and tree-lined green spaces became reminiscent of early Arsenal parade grounds.

In 1997, a group of Watertown citizens dedicated themselves to creating an arts center at the former Arsenal. In 2001, the Town signed a 99-year lease for the front half of Building 312, ensuring that an arts center would be a long-term tenant.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of volunteers, donors, and our community, the Arsenal Center for the Arts opened in 2005. The Center was renamed The Dorothy and Charles Mosesian Center for the Arts in 2016. Watertown Children’s Theatre was an original tenant (later merging with the arts center), and New Repertory Theatre became the professional company in residence. Over nearly twenty years, our stages, galleries, and classrooms have welcomed hundreds of thousands of performers, artists, students, audience members, and visitors—all positively impacted by the presence of art in their lives.
In 2020, new floorplans drafted by Sasaki architects proposed to open the entrance and second floor lobby to be more spacious, accessible, and welcoming. That renovation was completed in 2021. In the now three-story, 30,000 square foot design, the lobby serves also as a gallery for rotating exhibitions, as a reception space, and as an occasional performance space of its own.
For 130 years, Building 312 has served this community as we have navigated a path from armaments to arts. Presenting a diverse variety of the best in performing and visual arts in Greater Boston, MCA is poised to to take its place as a regional destination for the arts.