On Saturday, March 4, 2017, 2:00-4:30 PM, Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF), and the Boston Art Commission invite you for a first look at the exciting, socially engaged, civic practice projects currently under development by this year's ten Boston Artists-in-Residence (AIR). This free event includes artist presentations, the first screening of short documentaries about Boston AIR’s first-year projects, and opportunities for feedback from audience members on ways socially engaged Boston artists and community members can reimagine our city.
Boston AIR: Projects in Process will take place in Rabb Lecture Hall at the Boston Public Library’s Central Library in Copley Square. Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture, and William Morales, Commissioner of BCYF will be in attendance.
"Arts and culture form the building blocks that make our city thrive. They encourage us to engage with each other and connect to the larger community," said Mayor Walsh. "Boston AIR brings this creative practice into the work of our city departments.I look forward to the positive impact their proposals will have on BCYF and the City as a whole.”
The ten local artists have been working in a variety of media, from poetry to drumming to finger-knit basketball nets to coding and electronics, alongside representatives from BCYF and other City departments to fulfill a commitment made in Boston Creates, the city’s cultural plan, to promote creative thought in municipal problem-solving and project implementation. Artists include Salvador Jimenez-Flores, collaborating with BCYF Quincy Community Center in Chinatown; Maria Molteni collaborating with BCYF Perkins Community Center in Dorchester; Lina Giraldo, collaborating with BCYF Hyde Park Community Center; Jennifer De Leon, collaborating with BCYF Curtis Hall Community Center in Jamaica Plain; Marjorie Saintil-Belizaire, collaborating with BCYF Mattahunt Community Center in Mattapan; Cornell Coley, collaborating with BCYF Roslindale Community Center; Charles Coe, collaborating with BCYF Tobin Community Center in Mission Hill; Ann Hirsch, collaborating with BCYF Vine Community Center in Roxbury; John A. Walsh; collaborating with BCYF Curley Community Center in South Boston; and Rashin Fahandej, collaborating with BCYF Blackstone Community Center in the South End.
The event also includes the first screening of mini-documentaries by Rashin Fahandej on Boston AIR’s first-year projects led by artists L’Merchie Frazier, Georgie Friedman, and Shaw Pong Liu. After the screenings and artist presentations, the audience will be asked to provide feedback in moderated conversations.
"When we began the Boston Artists in Residence program, we hoped that by embedding the artists in City Departments it would bring creative thought to municipal problem solving and project implementation,” said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston. “The work of our first three Artists-in-Residents exceeded our expectations.This time, we hope to have the same impact on the work being done by BCYF.”
Through Boston AIR, artists are supported as agents of reflection, collaboration, and activism, whether through process-oriented practice, direct community engagement, or as leaders of system-wide change projects at BCYF and other City agencies. In this way, Boston AIR is a way for the City to gain new approaches to familiar problems in city government. Ten artists have been invited to study and expand their own civic and social practice, alongside a parallel cohort from ten BCYF community centers and other City employees who will explore methods to incorporate an artistic social practice into government and community work.
"I have had the opportunity to engage with many of the projects in progress and they are so inspiring.” said William Morales, Commissioner of Boston Centers for Youth & Families. “We are honored to partner with these talented artists in our community centers, and, from our youth to our elders, we are benefitting so much from working with them.”
More details and an RSVP form are at bostonair-projectsinprocess.eventbrite.com.