Lynn Creative Placemaking

A mural on the side of a building in Lynn

Photo by Rob Larsen, Flickr   Artist: Julia Yubaba

Lynn Creative Placemaking

MAPC

Smart Growth & Regional Collaboration

Lynn Creative Placemaking

MAPC’s Arts & Culture Department is leading the public engagement and selection process for a visually compelling art piece to identify the gateway and boundaries of the Downtown Lynn Cultural District.

The Director of the Downtown Lynn Cultural District, in partnership with the Lynn Department of Community Development, identified the need to mark the cultural district’s gateways, engage local residents more directly in the public art process, and act as a magnet, much like the city’s recently-painted murals, to draw visitors to downtown Lynn.

In preparation for this flagship signature art piece, the City, as it was reconstructing Mt. Vernon Street, set aside a large, circular portion of the sidewalk for its anticipated installation. Multiple inter-municipal organizations, residents, and members of our arts and cultural community have been working toward establishing this particular spot for a public piece of art visible from the sidewalk and the commuter rail. The art will act as a central gathering point, the heart of the community, and something that belongs to everyone.

The second step of this multi-pronged communal art piece is the extension of its details throughout the District.

MAPC is also working with the Downtown Lynn Cultural District, Kick It Up Consulting, the Lynn Department of Community Development, and the Lynn Creative Placemaking Advisory Group to build a long-term creative placemaking strategy that will expand the impact of the signature art throughout the district. To develop the strategy, MAPC is engaging residents, businesses, local institutions, and artists to identify areas of strength, emerging challenges, and a shared vision for a compelling work of art that has widespread community support.

Questions?

For more information, please contact Annis Sengupta at asengupta@mapc.org.

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Updates

On March 18, 2019 the Brickyard Collaborative hosted MAPC’s Creative Placemaking Workshop for Working Group members, Lynn staff, artists, and other potential partners. Workshop participants imagined the future of Mt. Vernon Street, discussed the challenges and opportunities that the public art project might address, and established the parameters of the concept selection process and engagement approach.


The Lynn Creative Placemaking Working Group (LCPWG) kicked the project off with a meeting on Feb. 20, 2019. In preparation for the meeting, participants completed a site survey to gather data about the site conditions and use that will inform the artist selection process and creative placemaking strategy. At the meeting, the group explored the potential for creative placemaking to engage with community members and social issues and established a set of shared values to guide the project.

Lynn Creative Placemaking Working Group

The Lynn Creative Placemaking Advisory Group meets, sitting around a table

Convened by the Downtown Lynn Cultural District and Kick It Up Consulting, the Lynn Creative Placemaking Working Group includes representatives from businesses and organizations active in the Cultural District and in promoting arts and culture throughout Lynn. Organizations represented in the group include the Lynn Public Schools Fine Arts Department, Ironbound Marketplace, New Lynn Coalition, Brickyard Collaborative, the Food Project and Lynn Farmers Market, North Shore Community College, Khmer Cultural Planning Committee, and Lynn YMCA, as well as working artists. Together, this group is combining their collective experience to establish a shared vision and values the signature artwork on Mt. Vernon Street.

What Makes Lynn Special?

Convened by the Downtown Lynn Cultural District and Kick It Up Consulting, the Lynn Creative Placemaking Working Group includes representatives from businesses and organizations active in the Cultural District and in promoting arts and culture throughout Lynn. Organizations represented in the group include the Lynn Public Schools Fine Arts Department, Ironbound Marketplace, New Lynn Coalition, Brickyard Collaborative, the Food Project and Lynn Farmers Market, North Shore Community College, Khmer Cultural Planning Committee, and Lynn YMCA, as well as working artists. Together, this group is combining their collective experience to establish a shared vision and values the signature artwork on Mt. Vernon Street.

History

In 2012, the Massachusetts Cultural Council designated a portion of Downtown Lynn as one of the Commonwealth's inaugural Cultural Districts. Although appointed in 2012, the history of arts & culture activism in Downtown Lynn goes back decades. Countless individuals and organizations have contributed their time and energy to Downtown Lynn. The Downtown Lynn Cultural District (DTLCD) is a keeper of this movement and collaborates with cultural partners, both new and well-established, to foster a shared creative and cohesive vision for the city’s cultural community.

2012

Massachusetts Cultural Council designates a portion of Downtown Lynn as one of the Commonwealth's inaugural Cultural Districts.

2014

Lynn is among ten Gateway Cities selected to pilot the Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) Districts. The boundaries of the One Lynn District coincide with the boundaries of the Downtown Lynn Cultural District. The Downtown Lynn Cultural District hired its first Director to staff the district.

2015

MassDevelopment hires a TDI Fellow for the City of Lynn.

2017

Beyond Walls brings to life a public-arts movement resulting in large-scale murals and new lighting throughout the Downtown Lynn Cultural District with support from the TDI Fellow and TDI program.

The hiring of a new Director for the Downtown Lynn Cultural District (LCD) increases local capacity to build on the success of Beyond Walls by renewing the Downtown Lynn Cultural District’s state designation and expanding its boundaries. The Lynn Public Arts Commission launched under the leadership of the Director of the Downtown Lynn Cultural District.

2018

Lynn is one of six communities in the Commonwealth invited to sign a Cultural Compact with the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

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