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City unveils 'Raining Poetry 2.0' in partnership with Mass Poetry

The public art installations reveal invisible poetry on Boston's sidewalks when it rains.

BOSTON - Wednesday, September 14, 2016 - The City of Boston's Office of Arts and Culture, in partnership with the Mayor's Mural Crew, the Boston Art Commission and Mass Poetry, today unveiled "Raining Poetry 2.0," the second round of public art installations that reveal invisible poetry on the city's sidewalks during rainfall. Building on the success of the first installations that were unveiled in May, these four new installations are currently available for viewing in different locations across the city.

"Since it was first announced in May, Raining Poetry has received an overwhelmingly positive response from the public who were thrilled to see more public art in their neighborhoods," said Mayor Walsh. "I am excited we are able to add more of these creative installations in new languages to our streets in Boston, adding to our collection of public art and catching the attention of passerby's in new and exciting ways."

The project was initiated to showcase more public art in the city, as well as illustrate the local heritage of different Boston neighborhoods. In the first "Raining Poetry" installation, Boston Poet Laureate Danielle Georges selected the first four poems by poets with ties to Massachusetts. For the new round of installations, poems are in either English or Haitian Creole to reflect the neighborhoods where they reside.

The new installations include:

  • From Pwezi miste, pwezi late, 1328 Blue Hill Ave., Mattapan
  • Untitled, 1961 Centre St., West Roxbury
  • Untitled, Fields Corner, 1520 Dorchester Ave
  • Let, 500 Columbia Road, Upham's Corner

"We're thrilled at the response that the initial installation received, including requests from communities all across the world to make it rain poetry where they live," said Sara Siegel, Program Director for Mass Poetry. "Mass Poetry's mission is to bring poetry to the people and we are proud to be able to do so with such an innovative public art project."

To ensure the installations display properly, the Mayor's Mural Crew uses biodegradable water-repellent spray that vanishes when dry, so the poems remain invisible until it rains. Once wet, the area around the poem darkens, exposing the poem to those passing by.

"We hope innovative ideas like these help connect residents to their community by literally putting the city's art at their feet," said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture. "This an incredible opportunity to partner with Mass Poetry and the Boston Arts Commission, and we are so thankful for the hard work of the Mayor's Mural Crew in designing these installations and expanding our 'Concrete Library' of poetry."

To date, the City's Mural Crew has installed eight poems at eight different locations. The previous four installations include: Dudley Square Café (Lower Roxbury), The Strand Theater (Uphams Corner, Dorchester), Adams Park (Roslindale) and Hyde Park Public Library (Hyde Park).   

For more information about the Mayor's Mural crew, please visit here, and for more information about Mass Poetry, please visit here.

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