Back to top

‘Tis the season for cross-cultural collaboration

March 5, 2018

Arts and Culture

Published by:

Arts and Culture

The first few months of a new year are always exciting because they’re jam-packed with celebrations of different cultures.

With cross-cultural collaboration and cultural expression being essential elements of the Boston Creates cultural plan, it’s an important time of year for us to unite as a city and recognize the different cultures that contribute to our unique identity.

We just wrapped up Black History Month, which the City of Boston celebrated through some fantastic events. Here at City Hall, Mayor Walsh kicked things off with a celebration honoring Chief Justice Roderick L. Ireland, who was the first African-American to serve as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. Also in attendance was Framingham Mayor Yvonne Spicer, who was not only inaugurated as Framingham’s first mayor earlier this year, but also as the first African-American woman to be popularly elected as mayor in Massachusetts! The celebrations didn’t stop there, as the City of Boston’s Black History Month Committee organized a series of public events, including a basketball tournament, a fashion show, and an exhibition of Don West’s Portraits of Purpose in the City Hall galleries. It was fantastic to see opportunities pop up across the City for people of all ages and backgrounds to recognize the contributions and accomplishments of the Black community in the City of Boston and beyond. 

Mayor Walsh and Mayor Spicer honoring Chief Justice Roderick L. Ireland at the City of Boston’s Black History Month Kickoff Event. 

Right in the middle of Black History Month, we had another great cultural celebration — Lunar New Year! The City of Boston rang in the year of the dog with events all over the City, including a celebration at the Museum of Fine Arts, a lion dance at the Franklin Park Zoo, a celebration at the Pao Arts Center, and of course, Boston’s annual Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown. It was great to see the people of Boston come together to celebrate two completely different cultures simultaneously.

Mayor Walsh attends Lunar New Year Celebration at Rainbow Adult Day Care in Dorchester

Although it’s hard to believe, we’ve already made our way to March, which means Women’s History Month is here! The City of Boston’s public art collection has several pieces honoring women, and several pieces created by women as well. From the Mary Draper fountain (the oldest memorial dedicated to a woman in Boston) to the more contemporary women’s memorial on the Commonwealth Avenue Mall, there are many great pieces of public art recognizing the women who contributed to Boston’s rich history. One thing we’re proud of in the City of Boston is that in addition to having artwork dedicated to women, we also have a great collection of works created by women artists. Fern Cunningham’s Harriet Tubman memorial, Boston AIR Ann Hirsch’s Bill Russell Legacy Project, and Anne Whitney’s Leif Eriksson memorial are just a few that you should visit this month. We also have several exhibits honoring women in the City Hall Galleries this month. The Third Floor Scollay Square Gallery will feature the March Four Women exhibit, which contains the excellent work of four female members of the Boston Printmakers Association, and the Fifth Floor Mayor’s Gallery will honor the late textile artist Theresa-India Young. If you enjoy reading, we encourage you to take a look at the work of our phenomenal Poet Laureate, Danielle Legros-Georges. How’s that for naming #5womenartists? We challenge you to do the same this month!

Photo of Boston Women’s Memorial on Commonwealth Ave

The abundance of cultural events will not end there — we have St. Patrick’s Day coming up later this month, Celebrate Diversity Month in April, and Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May. As outlined in Boston Creates, we seek to cultivate a city where all cultural traditions and expressions are respected, promoted, and equitably resourced, and where opportunities to engage with arts and culture are accessible to all. Cross-cultural collaboration is so important in accomplishing this goal, and we can’t wait to see how Boston comes together in the next few months to celebrate its diverse population and intricate history.