COVID-19 relief options and additional resources
LEARN MORE Close

SVOG Spotlight Series: Cappella Clausura

By Norman Eng, Public Affairs Specialist

 

AmeliaCappella Clausura is a professional vocal ensemble based in Newton/Boston founded by Amelia LeClair, with the mission to highlight music of female composers from the 9th century to present-day. The group has brought together singers and players from the Greater Boston area for the past 16 years, keeping the name “Clausura (Cloister)” as a metaphor for the cultural obstacles faced by women composers throughout history.

Paycheck Protection Program plugs a setback
When COVID hit, it caused a major setback to their organizational progress made through the years.  Cappella Clausura has been run by a volunteer director up until 2016, when a half-time business manager was added.  That position later grew to their first-ever, full-time Executive Director in August of 2019 – a positive sign that the company was growing.

No live concerts planned; Cappella Clausura simply could not justify keeping on any staff, however.  LeClair managed to keep their new Executive Director on through the end of the year with support from the Paycheck Protection Program – but that position eventually had to be furloughed in the summer.   The PPP also employed 15 artists and a videographer temporarily, which helped LeClair produce a series of virtual concerts. 

 

LeClair and the board of directors, all volunteers, were in touch frequently – meeting monthly over Zoom to try and come up with ways to stay in business and to stay in contact with 1600+ email subscribers.  For the time being without many options, producing virtual events was the only way to stay relevant and keep their stakeholders engaged.

 

Staying in business
LeClair stayed connected with the SBA Massachusetts District Office during the crisis, and watched an informational webinar hosted by Rosa Taormina with the Small Business Development Center at Salem State University. 

She learned that Cappella Clausura was eligible for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant and received free counseling services to help her navigate the application process.  After being awarded the funding, the SVOG made it possible for Cappella Clausura to continue paying for most of their live recording costs and helped prepare them for reopening in the fall by hiring staff again, including a new Executive Director.

Although with all the COVID restrictions that are becoming the norm for performance venues, the future was still uncertain.

 

Claurusa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chrysalis
Like a butterfly coming out of a cocoon – today a new season with optimism is on the horizon.  Cappella Clausura found a new home at well-vented Emmanuel Church of Boston, where the company will rehearse and perform; as well as in Newton at their former home, Eliot Church.

The new season begins in November with live performances of last spring’s virtual event, TROUBADOURS 2021 – featuring five commissioned works based on the poetry of 12th - 14th century females with an eclectic mix of jazz, hip-hop, classical, and Bengali genres.

From there, Capella Clausura has an array of performances already lined up throughout the year including a special Women’s History Month event in March, a string orchestra in May; and a traditional collaboration with the Newton Theater Company in June – stay tuned!

 

--------------------------------------------

 

MSBDC Network

 

The Massachusetts Small Business Development Center (MSBDC) Network provides one-to-one free comprehensive and confidential services focusing on, business growth and strategies, financing and loan assistance as well as strategic, marketing and operational analysis. In addition, low cost educational training programs are offered across the state targeted to the needs of small business. This is achieved through three integrated product lines:       

  • Business Advisory Services
  • Government Contracting
  • International Trade Assistance
     

A full-time staff of business advisors, supported by the resources of their host academic institutions, provides free business assistance to small businesses. Services are delivered statewide through a network of five regional offices located in Fall River, Pittsfield, Salem, Springfield and Worcester, as well as two statewide specialty resources—the Procurement Technical Assistance Center and the Massachusetts Export Center. Please note that business advisors are not available in the State Office.

 

State Office
Tillson House
University of Massachusetts
23 Tillson Farm Road
Amherst, MA 01003-9346
413-545-6301 |  Fax: 413-545-1273
www.msbdc.org

The State Office is headquarters for the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network and provides overall management for the program. The state director is Georgianna Parkin.

 

Berkshire Regional Office
33 Dunham Mall, Suite 103
Pittsfield, MA 01201
413-499-0933 | Fax: 413-499-3005
www.msbdc.org/berkshire

The Berkshire Regional Office provides business owners with information that better enables them to meet the challenges that entrepreneurs face. The office provides assistance to businesses located in Berkshire County. In addition to the headquarters in Pittsfield, staff hold office hours in Great Barrington and North Adams. The regional director is Keith Girouard.

 

Central Regional Office
Clark University
The Carriage House
125 Woodland Street
Worcester, MA 01610
508-793-7615 | Fax: 508-793-8890
www.clarku.edu/sbdc

The Central Regional Office advises businesses located in Central Massachusetts, including Worcester County. Typically, business advisors assist clients in developing business plans, marketing plans, financials, cash flows and other areas critical to ensure a successful venture. In addition to office hours in Worcester, staff also hold office hours at multiple outreach sites throughout Central Massachusetts. The regional director is Richard Cheney.

 

Government Sales Advisory Program / SBIR
Central Massachusetts: 508-870-3193
www.msbdc.org/gs

Southeastern Massachusetts: 774-203-9972
www.msbdc.org/sbir

Created in 2014, the Government Sales Advisory Program provides technical assistance in bid matching for federal, state and municipal procurement opportunities for Central and Southeastern Massachusetts. Much of the business services are performed at the client's firm location, making the technical support delivery available in a timely and cost-effective manner. E-commerce, including registering, bidding and performing online, in a paperless environment is a vital part of federal contracting.

The Government Sales Advisory Program also assists Massachusetts advanced technology and life sciences companies with making successful application(s) for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding. Through a competitive awards-based program, the SBIR program enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization.

 

Massachusetts Export Center
Mount Ida Campus of UMass Amherst
Campus Center, Suite 207​
100 Carlson Avenue
Newton, MA 02459-3326
617-973-6610
www.mass.gov/export

Since its inception in May 1994, the Massachusetts Export Center has assisted thousands of companies and individuals. Recognizing the need to make export services easily accessible to companies of all sizes, the Massachusetts Export Center was established to serve as the state's one-stop resource for export assistance. The Massachusetts Export Center offers a full range of targeted, customized services to Massachusetts businesses at any stage in the export process. Whether you are a small business just thinking about exporting or an experienced exporter, the Massachusetts Export Center stands ready to help with services suited to your needs! The Massachusetts Export Center, hosted by the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The director is Paula Murphy.

 

Northeast Regional Office (Spanish-speaking advisor)
Salem State University
Bertolon School of Business
71 Loring Avenue, Room CC156
Salem, MA 01970
978-542-6343 | Fax: 978-542-6345
www.salemstate.edu/sbdc

The Northeast Regional Office provides assistance to businesses located in the North Shore and Merrimack Valley, along with the Greater Boston area. Since the office's inception in 1992, staff has worked with over 15,000 entrepreneurs. During that time, the SBDC has assisted entrepreneurs to raise over $140 million in financing. In addition to office hours at its Salem headquarters, staff also meet clients at various outreach locations in the area. The regional director is Nancy Gerardi.

 

Procurement Technical Assistance Center
Scibelli Enterprise Center
1 Federal Street, Building 101
Springfield, MA 01105
413-545-6303 | Fax: 413-737-2312
www.massptac.org

The statewide Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) provides technical assistance in bid matching for federal, state and municipal procurement opportunities. Much of the business services are performed at the client's firm location, making the technical support delivery available in a timely and cost effective manner. E-commerce, including registering, bidding and performing on-line, in a paperless environment is a vital part of federal contracting. The PTAC staff supports vendors in those efforts. Technical data, such as military specifications, standards, pricing histories and technical information by part number will be supplied. Resources are concentrated on assistance to small, minority- and women-owned firms statewide with an emphasis on high areas of unemployment including HubZones. The program manager is Peter Cokotis.

  

Southeast Regional Office
200 Pocasset Street
Fall River, MA 02721
508-673-9783 | Fax: 508-674-1929
www.msbdc.org/semass

The Southeast Regional Office advises businesses located in Southeastern Massachusetts, including Cape Cod and the Islands, along with the Greater Boston area. The service delivery area includes the counties of Plymouth, Norfolk, Bristol, Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket. In addition to office hours in Fall River, staff also meet clients at various outreach locations in the area.

 

Western Regional Office (Spanish-speaking advisor)
Scibelli Enterprise Center
One Federal Street, Building 101
Springfield, MA 01105-1160
413-577-1768 | Fax: 413-737-2312
www.msbdc.org/wmass

The Western Regional Office provides advice to businesses located the Western Massachusetts counties of Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin. In addition to office hours at the Springfield office, staff also hold office hours at outreach sites in Western Massachusetts. Services are delivered by a skilled professional staff with extensive business experience and excellent educational backgrounds. Their work is augmented by college and university faculty, qualified students and private consultants. The regional director is Samalid Hogan.

 

 

Company Name: 
Cappella Clausura
Location: 
Boston, MA