Back to top

Boston Day of Reflection to take place at Copley Boston Public Library

January 31, 2017

Boston Public Library

Published by:


The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture and the Berklee College of Music will host the event in Rabb Hall.

On Saturday, February 4, 2017 the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture will join with the Berklee College of Music to present the Boston Day of Reflection: Creating a More Caring and Just Community in Rabb Hall at the Boston Public Library’s Central Library in Copley Square. This free, all-day event includes an expert panel on campus inclusiveness, a presentation and Q&A by Lesléa Newman, and a performance by noted singer/songwriter Melissa Ferrick.

Boston Day of Reflection: Creating a More Caring and Just Community will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at the Central Library. Refreshments will be served from 9:30 - 10 a.m. Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston, will offer welcoming remarks at 10 a.m.

The first panel, How to Create a More Inclusive College Community, will be presented by the Boston ProArts Consortium. Panelists include Brenda Bailey, Assistant Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Massachusetts College of Art; Neil Donohoe, Dean of Theater, Boston Conservatory; Tamia Jordan, Director, Intercultural Student Affairs, Emerson College; Rene Pfister, Voice Faculty, Berklee; Daniel Soghomonian, Phonathon Manager, Berklee; and will be moderated by Kevin Johnson, Director, Office for Diversity and Inclusion, Berklee. The panel will take place from 10:15 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Lesléa Newman will present He Continues to Make a Difference: The Story of Matthew Shepard from 1 – 3 p.m. Newman is the author of 70 books for readers of all ages. She is the author of Heather Has Two Mommies, the first children's book to portray lesbian families in a positive way. Newman is also the author of many books for adults that deal with lesbian identity, Jewish identity, and the intersection and collision between the two.

Massachusetts native Melissa Ferrick will be performing from 3 - 4 p.m. Ferrick grew up in Ipswich, MA, during the 70s, playing the violin and going to jazz clubs on the North Shore with her father, who managed local bands. In elementary school, she learned to play trumpet and bass guitar, which led the way to songwriting in high school. At 16, Ferrick was accepted into the New England Conservatory's Youth Orchestra and Wind Ensemble as a trumpet player, giving her the opportunity to tour with the Conservatory's Extension Division, which traveled to perform in California and China. She was accepted to Berklee College of Music on songwriting and trumpet scholarships and chose to continue her music education there from 1988-1990.  

“Collaborating with Berklee allows for learning opportunities among diverse populations and cultures,” said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston. “Boston Day of Reflection brings the community together to discuss diversity and inclusivity while supporting our local Boston artists.”

Boston Day of Reflection will be followed by the presentation of celebrated Grammy-winners Craig Hella Johnson and choral ensemble Conspirare’s performance of Johnson’s new musical masterwork, Considering Matthew Shepard, on Sunday, February 5 at Boston Symphony Hall.

Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture (MOAC)

The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture’s mission is to support artists, the cultural sector, and to promote access to the arts for all. The office houses the Boston Cultural Council, the Boston Art Commission, and the Poet Laureate program. Responsibilities include leading implementation of the City’s cultural plan, Boston Creates; managing the Boston Artist-in-Residence program; curating exhibitions in City Hall; and operating the historic Strand Theater in Dorchester. For more information, go to the Arts and Culture website.


Boston Public Library has a Central Library, twenty-four branches, map center, business library, and a website filled with digital content and services. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. It was the first large free municipal library in the United States, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts thousands of programs and serves millions of people. All of its programs and exhibitions are free and open to the public. At the Boston Public Library, books are just the beginning. To learn more, visit

BPL Communications Office