By Bryan Marquard GLOBE STAFF

From an improbable start as a Dorchester boy playing bass fiddle in a cowboy band through years making a fortune in the travel, convention, and hotel industries, Ted Cutler knew that the arts nourish the soul.

With his late wife, Joan, he became one of Boston’s premier arts philanthropists, launching the restoration of a 100-year-old theater for Emerson College, his alma mater, and personally funding the multi-day Outside the Box festivals in 2013, 2015, and 2016 that turned the city he loved into sprawling series of stages to showcase music and dance.

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