Enchanted Circle Inc

A nonprofit organization

320 donors

Enchanted Circle Theater (ECT) is a multi-service arts organization dedicated to engaging, enhancing, and inspiring learning through the arts. Founded in 1976, we are the regional leader in the field of arts integration, using theater arts as a dynamic teaching tool on the stage, in the classroom, and throughout the community. We work in close partnership with school districts in Western Massachusetts and we collaborate with over 60 community partners to provide equal access to arts inspired learning for people of all ages and abilities. Our work bridges arts, education, and social services in the most underserved and marginalized sectors of our community.

Arts Fact: Students who participate in the arts, both in school and after school, demonstrate improved academic performance and lower dropout rates.

Arts Fact: A recent report by the Arts Education Partnership states, "Drama helps with understanding social relationships, complex issues and emotions, improves concentrated thought and story comprehension." It goes on to state that multi-arts help with "reading, verbal and math skills;" improves the ability to collaborate and higher-order thinking.

Arts Fact: "The arts play a vital role in learning how to learn, an essential ability for fostering achievement and growth throughout their (the students') lives."

Approximately 95% of the children we work with are from low-income households. Many live in homeless shelters, receive public assistance and/or public housing, surrounded by violence or neglect. As a result, many of our students come to school hungry, exhausted, and suffering from living in persistent traumatic stress environments.

Enchanted Circle has earned the reputation as a turn-around agent in the most marginalized and challenged sectors of our community because we make learning relevant and compelling. We have a proven history of excellence, rigor, and community commitment. We hold ourselves to the highest academic and artistic standards and have worked in such close partnership with area schools that we oftentimes have more continuity with students, teachers, families, and principals than many of the superintendents and top administrators we work with.

Anita Walker, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council has stated, “Enchanted Circle is a tremendous organization that has carefully and strategically been built and crafted to meet a unique need that few others are capable of addressing.”  Deb Scalia, Area Director of the Department of Children and Families, has written, “Enchanted Circle has created meaningful and powerful pathways to learning, personal growth and leadership for some of our most vulnerable young people.”

One of our core strategic advantages is that our teaching methods can be applied in any content area, with any demographic, in any setting. No other organization in Western Massachusetts does the work we do.

  • We work with urban, rural, and suburban school districts, enlivening all aspects of the curriculum – math, science, social studies, and English language arts.  We train teachers in dynamic arts integration teaching strategies and work directly in the classroom with students in PreK-12.  
  • We work in special education, in residential and school-based programs for youth with cognitive and behavioral challenges, focusing on the life skills of communication, collaboration, and creative problem solving.
  • We work with the Department of Children and Families with youth in foster care throughout western Massachusetts, empowering them to develop their creative potential.
  • We work with the Department of Youth Services with adjudicated youth in detention centers, empowering them to express their hopes and dreams in positive and healing poetry and performance.
  • We work with preschool children and teachers, building creative thinkers with creative learning environments and strategies.
  • We work with families in homeless shelters, facilitating creative play, literacy and learning with replicable language-rich activities for families to do together.
  • We work in affordable housing programs, combatting summer learning loss and developing connectivity through place-based public art with the residents.
  • We work with adults in Adult Basic Education programs, and pregnant and parenting teens in alternative education programs, preparing for their GEDs.
  • We work in higher education, training the next generation of teachers to inspire creativity in their soon-to-be classrooms.

Enchanted Circle’s Arts Inspired Learning is transformation for the individuals we work with and for the communities we serve.

“Many of the children I work with have never felt success, and you make them feel safe and empowered.” ~5th grade teacher, Morgan Elementary School, Holyoke

Organization Data


Organization name

Enchanted Circle Inc

Tax id (EIN)



Arts & Culture