During the summer months, the Community Performances and Partnerships Program extends its reach to Cape Cod. The town of Yarmouth Port, MA hosts performances by groups from New England Conservatory in the beautiful American Gothic “New Church” across from the Common.
The church was built in 1870 for the modest congregation of the Church of the New Jerusalem. Dissatisfied with the beliefs of the Congregationalists, some Yarmouth citizens found hope in the religious doctrines of Swedish theologian Emanuel Swedenborg in the earlier part of the 19th century. The Yarmouth Society for the New Jerusalem, as they were known, met in the homes of its members until the church was built. Intricate woodwork, hand-painted and stenciled walls and stained glass windows are the crowning glories of this performance venue, which also houses a tracker organ.
During the 20th century, the congregation of the “New Church” dwindled, and the building fell into disrepair. Today, the Yarmouth New Church Preservation Foundation is supporting restorations to the New Church to maintain it as a cultural space for the community. Performers enjoy the live acoustics in the sanctuary, and audience members can also view artwork in the attached gallery. NEC performances are made possible through support of the NEC Board of Trustees as well as grants from the Cape Cod Cooperative Bank and the Yarmouth Tourism Preservation Fund.