Last fall, ten local artists worked alongside representatives from twelve City of Boston departments to generate ideas for integrating art and creative thinking into city government. The artists and City liaisons attended lectures and workshops co-organized by MassArt, the Boston Art Commission, and the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics. Artists shadowed City liaisons to learn about day-to-day operations, challenges, and opportunities. They built relationships, exchanged ideas, and began to explore possibilities for project proposals.
The Boston AIR finalists presented their proposals on Saturday, January 23, 2016. The finalists’ abbreviated proposals and links to their recorded public presentations can be seen below. Of the ten presenting artists, three will be awarded $20,000 stipends for six-month residencies within a City department to develop creative approaches that can be incorporated into the work of the City of Boston.
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Public Displays of Motion will create a 3-phased project, engaging the Boston Police and diverse members of the city’s communities. His goals include illuminating the dimensional qualities and culture of all involved through facilitated co-learning in movement and the creative development and public performance of dance/theater live and on film.
IN-SIGHT is a chronicle of visual poetry of intimate spaces based on personal narratives and life experiences of Police Officers and community members. Using multiple platforms and storytelling mediums this project intends to replace the stereotypical images between police and public with new narratives and collective memories of shared experiences.
Working with the Parks & Recreation Department the proposal is to build a temporary contemporary art museum on Copley Square and for 6 months have rotating exhibitions, performances, and events drawing from the local community of artists, organizers, and organizations.
When Women Succeed: The Quilted Path is a multi-disciplinary public fiber art project proposed to collaborate with the Office of Women's Advancement to increase the Departments and the community awareness and resources for an underserved component of Boston's female population that is in recovery from substance abuse.
ALTERING THE CITY: VIDEO LANDSCAPE, is a large scale proposal for a site-specific video installation that will be a projection of natural elements on existing architecture. The proposal was developed in partnership with the Department of Neighborhood Development to choose a site and to further their mission of creating strong, vibrant Boston neighborhoods.
Musician and composer Shaw Pong Liu will prototype ways that music can support healing and police-community dialogue about gun violence and race, in collaboration with the Boston Police Department and non-profit organizations Teen Empowerment and the Urbano Project.
Roberto Martínez Mighty will create three new media artworks: Series of Cinematic Video Profiles; Multimedia neighborhood portraits along major traffic arteries, embedded in an interactive Google map; Dynamic, animated 3D traffic data visualizations. The work will be seen online; in a City Hall premier, in Neighborhoods, and on smartphones, tablets and laptops.
Liz Nofziger proposes to examine the process of community engagement in park development by leading a community process to envision and implement an installation that re-imagines a transitional space. Both process and outcomes would be the artwork, through which alternate approaches to community engagement and working methods will be uncovered.
Melissa Nussbaum Freeman proposes to put Playback Theatre (PT) in the service toolbox of the Commission on Affairs of the Elderly and the Mayor’s Commission for Persons with Disabilities. PT builds community by artistically dramatizing audience members’ true stories. New perspectives and creative ideas are generated and support the work of both Commissions.
The Boston Re-Academy is a temporary space for the recycling of academic experiences that aims to connect local educators and young learners through an experimental role-playing program mediated by students from the Boston Public Schools (BPS).
If you would like to watch the full video of all the presentations, two and a half hours long, click here.