Boston City Lights

Performing Arts


Dancing Feet Beat the Streets

Boston City Lights is a free performing arts school. Boston City Lights educates children in dance, singing, acting, sound production, set design, and community participation and organization. Classes are offered seven days a week.

The only cost is hard work. In the disciplined training, students build character. In the process of learning to teach other children, they learn responsibility and develop a nurturing attitude. Through community performances and workshops, they learn a sense of social responsibility—for their communities, for their ability to effect change through art and through one-on-one involvement. Through professional performance and touring opportunities, they learn to overcome individual differences, to share and cooperate, to earn respect through hard work, and to never give up on themselves.

Boston City Lights is staffed by three full-time volunteers: Duggan Hill, Braun Duggan, and Tiane Donahue. Additionally, we rely on the assistance of student-teacher volunteers and other local professionals, who freely share their time in support of our organization.

Duggan Hill is the founding Executive Director. He has dedicated his life to serving inner-city youth. More than 30 years ago, he envisioned opening school for Boston's underprivileged youth, an education and performance center that would provide children a supportive channel for their creativity. In 1979, Boston City Lights became a reality and has since served thousands of the city's children.

It is everything to me. It gave me brothers and sisters. City Lights gave me a mother and another father. They kept me off the streets.

Boston City Lights Student

What we do

  • Professionally training any willing, hard-working, inner-city youth in dance, singing, acting, instrumental music, video and sound editing, scene design, graphic arts, and photography
  • Teaching older students to act as guides and teacher for younger students at our school
  • Developing a strong sense of self-discipline and self-worth in all performers
  • Encouraging students to develop individual and team skills, to share talent, to reach out to others, to build community within our program and a bridge to their own communities
  • Obtaining professional opportunities, both volunteer and paid, for performers who are ready.
  • Boston City Lights' dance troupe has earned wide acclaim performing at the Inauguration of President William Jefferson Clinton, opening for Ray Charles and Gladys Knight at Boston Garden, Boston Music Awards, Quebec Summer Arts Festival, London with Black Mime Theater, EuroDisney, and much, much more.
  • Extending programming at City Lights North, a summer dance camp in Farmington, Maine.

Notable Alumni

Duggan believed in me. Having his faith in my abilities pushed me to believe that I could execute my gift to the world.

Boston City Lights Dancer

News & Updates

I was very young, full of energy and bored. New friends and healthy competition from participating in a group was what I enjoyed most.

City Lights Performer

you can help

Sponsorship Opportunities

At Boston City Lights, we offer the "mostest, bestest, fastest for the leastest." Our operating expenses are under $100k. Your tax-deductible donation will go far to help children and youth in inner-city Boston and rural Maine.

Thank you to our current supporters....

For corporate sponsorships, please contact Duggan Hill for more information.

Art — and especially music — touches children. Spiritually, mentally, and physically, the arts are good for young people. Youth is a very important time and it should be full.

Duggan Hill,Executive Director of Boston City Lights


Boston City Lights Performing Arts School
1154 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02118
City Lights North
231 Broadway
Farmington, Maine 04938