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Royal Cloyd; visionary led Boston Center for the Arts

Royal Cloyd saw potential when others did not in the South End, where eight buildings, including the Cyclorama (above), now compose the Boston Center for the Arts. Royal Cloyd saw potential when others did not in the South End, where eight buildings, including the Cyclorama (above), now compose the Boston Center for the Arts. (gilbert e. friedberg/globe staff/file 1970)
By Kathleen McKenna
Globe Correspondent / April 26, 2012
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In the 1960s, when many considered the South End unsafe and rundown, Royal Cloyd envisioned a mecca for Boston’s artistic community. As founding director of the Boston Center for the Arts, he helped convert unused and underappreciated buildings into a campus of theatres, galleries, and studios. “A lot of people said it wouldn’t work, that people wouldn’t visit the South End because it was too dangerous,’’ he told the Globe in 1980, during the BCA’s 10th birthday party. “But it’s worked beyond our wildest dreams.’’

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