2008 Liff Spirit Award Honoree

Ted and Joan Cutler


Joan-Ted-Cutler Joan and Ted Cutler are generous visionaries who recognize the vital connection between strong educational, cultural and civic organizations, the quality of life in metropolitan Boston and the lives of all citizens. Their support – always hands on, always personal – has made a difference to so many.

One of the Cutlers’ most visible and beloved philanthropic initiatives has ensured that the trees along the Commonwealth Avenue Mall have twinkled with fairy lights for the past ten years. These lights have set a symbolic standard for the more than 1000 acres of additional land in Frederick Law Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace. All those committed to restore and enliven Boston’s original 100-year old greenway should strive to similarly recognize and illuminate how urban parks, as common ground, ultimately serve the common good.

As a result of long-time involvement with Emerson College, the Cutlers provided the lead gift for the restoration of the Cutler Majestic Theater. In addition, they have given tirelessly to a range of non-profit organizations including: the Boston Ballet, the Wang Theater at the Citi Performing Arts Center, The Greater Boston Food Bank, the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the Boston Medical Center, the New England Chapter of the Chrohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, Hebrew College, Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly and the Combined Jewish Philanthropies.

Past Recipients

Mark Volpe
Managing Director, Boston Symphony Orchestra

Elizabeth Barlow Rogers
Founder, Central Park Conservancy

Thomas M. and Angela Menino
Mayor and First Lady, City of Boston

Malcolm Rogers
Ann and Graham Gund Director,
Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Valerie Burns
President, Boston Natural Areas Network

Charles Ansbacher
Conductor and Founder,
Boston Landmark Orchestra

Michael and Kitty Dukakis
Former Governor and First Lady,
Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Joan and Ted Cutler

Agnes “Diddy” Cullinane
Founder, Black and White Boston

Henry Lee
Founder, Friends of the Public Garden

Eugenie Beal
Founding Chair, Boston Conservation Commission
Founding Member, Emerald Necklace Conservancy

Norman Leventhal
Founder, The Beacon Companies