Copley Square Park Public Art Projects
This project is currently in the contracting phase.
Copley Square Park is currently undergoing a major redesign effort. Many of the existing park program areas will be part of the new design which includes:
a revitalized fountain
new lawn areas
a spacious plaza
lush gardens, and
a new raised platform allowing people to gather among the existing trees and enjoy different views of the park.
The scope of this public art project includes:
poetry (a total budget of $5,000 each for up to three poets)
pavers and walkways (a total budget of $75,000)
light projections (a total budget of $100,000), and
a small sculpture series (a total budget of $150,000).
We're commissioning artworks that help create a welcoming space for communal gathering at Copley Square Park. The artworks will express communal solidarity in response to violence. They will also focus on the experience of people across all neighborhoods of Boston.
Community solidarity, empathy, and acknowledgement of loss from violence emerged as the themes for this project. The Call to Artists stemmed from the One Boston Resilience Project in 2018 and 2019.Eligibility
This international Call to Artists was open to all practicing visual artists and poets who are at least 18 years old. There was a strong preference for artists and poets with experience working on projects related to the themes of anti-violence, resilience, and empathy.
One Boston Resilience Project
The One Boston Resilience Project (OBRP) was a citywide community engagement process to envision our collective strength after violence, as illuminated by the Boston Marathon bombings.
The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture led OBRP with:
Archipelago Strategies Group
Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, and
a mayoral-appointed advisory committee of survivors, advocates, and healers of Boston.
This four-month-long community engagement process began in 2018 and included:
- listening sessions in Back Bay, Jamaica Plain, East Boston, and Dorchester
- open community meetings
- digital outreach
- creative and participatory activities in several languages, and
- an online survey.
The Mayor's Office of Arts & Culture led the OBRP process with Archipelago Strategies Group. A mayoral-appointed Advisory Committee, which included members of the broad survivor community, advocates, and healers of Boston, informed the engagement process.
Tina Cherry, founder of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, facilitated meetings of the Advisory Committee. Cher Krause Knight, professor of Art History at Emerson College, served as public art research advisor for the project.
Through the OBRP process, the City considered ways to recognize the impact of violence and loss in our lives. We examined how we build resilience, not just as individuals, but as a community. We learned that residents want an artwork to be a welcoming space for communal gathering and a space for individual reflection and contemplation. They want artwork that incorporates trees and green space. They also want artwork that evokes empathy, unity, and acknowledgement of loss. We concluded that we need artworks to humanize public space for welcoming gatherings and reflection.
Participant at community scrabble station during One Boston Resilience Project listening session.