Hudson – Originally known as the Hudson Arts Alliance when incorporated in 1991, the River’s Edge Arts Alliance (REAA) continues to grow with more than 350 members from over 30 communities. Now, the nonprofit performing and visual arts organization is entering its 25th year with a new executive director: Kat Alix-Gaudreau, best known in the area as artistic director of the Ghost Light Players of Metrowest in Marlborough. She’s pleased with her move last year to Hudson.
“I love Hudson’s downtown area,” she said. “It has all these wonderful shops and restaurants. Hudson also has a vibrant arts scene, primarily I think through REAA.”
Her passion for the arts developed as a teen while growing up in North Attleborough. There, she learned about theater, music and dance in after-school and summer programs.
Alix-Gaudreau earned a bachelor’s degree in theater at UMass Amherst in 1999, and a master’s degree in sociology at the University of Georgia in 2003. From 2008 to 2012, she worked as a production coordinator at Iguana Films in Boston. In 2014 and ’15, she taught theater, voice and effective speaking as an adjunct professor at Framingham State University.
While living in Ashland in 2012, she co-founded Ghost Light Players of Metrowest with Kim Beauchemin of Marlborough. There, Alix-Gaudreau met theater enthusiasts who are also active with other groups including REAA, Flyleaf Theater Company in Berlin, Regatta Players in Shrewsbury and Westborough Players’ Club.
As REAA executive director, she envisions an opportunity to also benefit other area arts organizations.
“Our goal is to branch out as an umbrella organization,” she explained. “I see possibilities for REAA to provide resources and connections between various community groups, whether it’s theater, dance, music, visual arts or film.”
Working toward that goal, Alix-Gaudreau is considering an expansion of its membership options.
“Now, REAA has a membership structure that’s typically been tailored for individuals and families with discounts on programs,” she noted. “I’d like to broaden the membership structure so that other organizations can join REAA and receive organization-level benefits.”
Expanding as an umbrella organization would fill a void in the Metrowest and central Massachusetts districts, Alix-Gaudreau noted. Similar resources are available in the greater Boston area with StageSource, and in eastern Massachusetts with the Eastern Massachusetts Association of Community Theaters.
“It’s important to have an organization right where we are so that people can come to us,” she said. “Even something as simple as sharing audition or performing notices can help to grow a sense of community.”
She foresees the expansion would offer a number of forums for artists such as theater directors, filmmakers, musicians and dancers.
“I want to try to build a program that focuses exclusively on dance,” she announced. “We’re looking forward to introducing some new programs for the 2016 season.”