Winning creations will be showcased during Natick Center Creative Placemaking Demonstration Weekend, Nov. 3-4
Natick, MA (October 5, 2018) – The Natick Center Cultural District, the Town of Natick, and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council in Boston are excited to announce eight finalists that have been awarded funding to execute temporary art and design projects that aim to transform public spaces in Natick Center.
The finalists were identified through a Call for Creatives that was released this summer as part of the Natick Center Creative Placemaking Project. The Call invited creatives to pitch concepts for temporary art and design that can transform public spaces in Natick Center, specifically the Town Common, Moran Park and the footbridge over the Natick Center Commuter Rail Station and Adams Alley.
Over a dozen members of the Natick and metropolitan Boston region submitted applications in response to the Call. The roster of finalists includes emerging and established artists from a range of backgrounds.
Learn more about each of the selected projects at natickcenter.org/sites/default/files/Finalists.pdf.
Finalists were selected by a juried process involving members of the Natick Center Associates’ Public Art Committee and members of the Natick Center Creative Placemaking Advisory Group. The projects range in scale and imagination from performances that would help foster a sense of community to art installations that would facilitate wayfinding efforts within Natick Center.
“Placemaking is the practical application of art in Natick Center to make it a more functional, interesting, welcoming and unique place by honoring its past and embracing its future,” said Ted Fields, Senior Planner for the Town of Natick.
“The selected concepts aim to advance the town’s vision and values for creative placemaking in Natick Center,” said Athena Pandolf, Executive Director of Natick Center Associates.
Each of the six installation/visual artists will be awarded up to $1,500 for their project – which includes cost of materials and labor. In addition, two performance artists will be awarded $300 for their involvement in a closing event to the demonstration weekend, which will take place Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The selected projects will demonstrate the potential for arts and culture to transform Natick Center through installations that can activate public spaces in ways that make the Center more interactive, inclusive, sustainable and bold. The projects aim to attract more residents and those who live outside the town to visit and spent more time in the Center and to interact with the local community.
The selected creatives were assigned mentors to help translate their proposals into built projects and demonstrations and to offer consultation on matters of design, construction and installation.
In addition to the roster of projects awarded through the official Call for Creatives, project partners have also been working with the Common Street Spiritual Center, which has commissioned a diverse group of local artists to produce artistic “Visions of Community” that will be displayed on the gazebo on Natick Common, as well as to collaborate with the Natick Coalition for Change on the “We Are Natick” photography campaign launched in 2017.
“The gazebo is an iconic structure at the center of our common life, so presenting these visions at this spot is symbolically potent and very exciting,” said the Rev. Dr. Ian Mevorach, Founder of the Common Street Spiritual Center. “We hope these creative expressions will inspire people who live, work, and play in Natick to imagine a more inclusive world in which people of diverse racial and national backgrounds are fully celebrated. The ‘We Are Natick’ photo campaign has a similar purpose, to awaken appreciation for the diversity of our community.”
All of the public art installations and performances will be showcased at the Natick Center Creative Placemaking demonstration weekend, which takes place November 3-4, 2018 in Natick Center. The artwork displayed that weekend will also be on view for an additional two weeks following this kick-off weekend.
The demonstration is a part of the Natick Center Creative Placemaking Strategy, which is being produced for the Town of Natick and Natick Center Associates by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC). The goal of the plan is to provide the town with actionable recommendations that aim to improve the breadth and quality of arts and cultural experiences in public places within Natick Center.
To learn more about the project, visit www.mapc.org/natickcreativeplacemaking.
MAPC Press Contact: Amanda Linehan, 617-933-0705 firstname.lastname@example.org
Natick Center Cultural District Press Contact: Athena Pandolf, 508-650-8848 email@example.com
About the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC)
The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) is the regional planning agency serving the people who live and work in the 101 cities and towns of Metropolitan Boston. Our mission is to promote smart growth and regional collaboration. Our regional plan, MetroFuture, guides our work as we engage the public in responsible stewardship of our region’s future. MAPC’s Arts and Culture Division delivers technical assistance in emerging practice areas including cultural planning, creative placemaking, creative community development, arts and cultural data collection and analysis, and cultural policy. Learn more at www.mapc.org/our-work/expertise/arts-and-culture.
About the Natick Center Creative Placemaking Strategy
MAPC is providing technical assistance to the Town of Natick to help with the development of a Natick Center Creative Placemaking Strategy. The project will produce recommendations for new processes, tools, and strategies that the Town of Natick and Natick Center Associates can use to facilitate continued creative placemaking in Town Center. This project is funded by a grant from MAPC’s Technical Assistance Program that was made possible with funding provided by the Barr Foundation. Additional funding is also provided by the American Planning Association (APA), Americans for the Arts (AFTA), the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and in-kind support is provided by the Town of Natick and Natick Center Associates (NCA).
For more information, visit www.mapc.org/resource-library/natick-center-creative-placemaking
About the Natick Center Cultural District
Natick Center Cultural District is home to more than 100 working artists, The Center For Arts in Natick, the Morse Institute Library, The Walnut Hill School for the Arts, many independently owned businesses and cultural organizations, and an active Parks and Recreation Department, all contributing to a busy year-round schedule of arts and cultural events. The Cultural District is fostered by a private-public partnership, managed by Natick Center Associates. This nonprofit organization is comprised of property owners, retail and office workers, concerned neighbors, town officials, nonprofits and corporations with a history of more than 40 years working together for downtown revitalization.
For more information, visit www.natickcenter.org