11 artists selected for Boston's Artist-In-Residence program
October 23, 2015
"Boston AIR highlights the City's dedication to finding new ways to incorporate innovative ideas and creative thinking into our work," said Mayor Walsh. "We are excited to have these artists-in-residence on board to help us enhance and integrate our cultural capital into our core city services, for the benefit of all of Boston's residents."
The City received over 100 submissions from Boston-area artists in response to a Request for Qualifications. A jury of seven arts professionals, as well as MassArt and City representatives, made their selection in order to create a cohort of artists with a mix of artistic disciplines and experiences, as well as evidence of work in socially engaged practices who demonstrated potential, and who have a connection to the City of Boston.
The artists will expand their own civic and social practice, alongside a group of liaisons from city agencies, including: Public Works, Property and Construction Management, Parks and Recreation, Veterans' Services, Commission for Persons with Disabilities, Education, Policy, Neighborhood Development, Women's Advancement, Elderly Commission, and the Boston Police Department.
"Boston AIR is one of the first new programs we are launching as part of Boston Creates," said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture. "It exemplifies how partnerships and cross-sector collaborations can be incubated within the government."
Both the artists and City liaisons will attend master workshops and lectures, where they will build partnerships, exchange ideas, and ultimately co-design project proposals. Artists will receive $1,000 stipends for capacity development and support as they work with a City Hall liaison to co-design proposals to work with a city department. Three proposals will be chosen for further development, and artists 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. "MassArt is excited to partner with the City of Boston on the Boston AIR initiative," said Ken Stickland, Interim President of MassArt. "We are proud of our unique heritage as the only freestanding public college of art and design in the country. Our collaboration with Boston AIR offers us the opportunity to demonstrate the power of art and design in many spheres of public life."
The artist cohort represents a wide variety of disciplines, including dance, film, street art, and social engagement. Below are the selected artists:
- Peter DiMuro - Performance artist, Dance
- Rashin Fahandej - Visual artist, Film
- Pat Falco - Visual artist, Illustration
- L'Merchie Frazier - Visual artist, Textiles
- Georgie Friedman - Visual artist, Film, and Photography
- Shaw Pong Liu - Performance artist, Music, and Social Engagement
- Roberto Mighty - Visual artist, Film
- Caleb Neelon - Visual artist, Murals
- Melissa Nussbaum Freeman - Visual artist, Photography
- Liz Nofziger - Visual artist, Mixed Media
- Juan Obando - Visual artist, Time-based Media
The Boston AIR project is funded in part by an Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Our Town grant program supports creative placemaking projects that help transform communities into lively, beautiful, and resilient places with the arts at their core. Since the program's inception in 2011 and including these projects, NEA has awarded 325 Our Town grants totaling nearly $26 million.
"The City of Boston demonstrates the best in creative community development and whose work will have a valuable impact on its community," said NEA Chairwoman Jane Chu. "Through Our Town funding, arts organizations continue to spark vitality that support neighborhoods and public spaces, enhancing a sense of place for residents and visitors alike."
"The Our Town project is another step in the City of Boston's leadership in arts policy," said NEA Director of Design Programs Jason Schupbach. "It's a fantastic example of putting artists at the center of government innovation, and the NEA is excited to see where it leads."
About Boston Creates Boston Creates is the City's cultural planning process. When completed, the plan will identify priorities and strategies for how to strengthen the city by leveraging and growing the creative capital of its residents, communities, and organizations.
For more information, please visit www.cityofboston.gov/arts, or follow@ArtsinBoston and @PublicArtBoston, #BostonCreates on Twitter.