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Cornell Coley

Percussionist, Boston artist-in-residence

Percussionist Cornell Coley fostered community relationship building through drum circles in Roslindale, including the BCYF itself and in the larger community. He organized a series of music concerts in the neighborhood, while also strengthening his craft. Part of his residency focused on connecting seasoned musicians with youth to pass on the experience and skill. This was done through local pop- up events that provided a space for honest interactions through art and showcased the physical potential that Roslindale has to be a vibrant art scene by utilizing abandoned storefronts. He provided an inclusive creative space where residents could connect through communal music-making.

Boston AIR project

I do believe that an artist can have influence on city policy making. I don’t think it’s so new. I think that the artist who is effective can show possibilities that people didn’t think about before, can show how you can merge working styles that didn’t seem to work, how you can build trust, how you can get people to walk in the other person’s shoes and see things from another perspective. I think an artist can illustrate similarities between groups and help them to understand that they’re not so different from each other.

Cornell Coley

Drum circle photos

Image for cornell coley (center) led a drum circle at adams park in roslindale

Watch: Cornell Coley's Boston AIR video
Credit: Arts and Culture
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