Public Art Public Places

Public Trust, 2016 by Paul Ramirez Jonas at Copley Square commissioned by Now + There. Photo: Ryan C. McMahon
Public Trust, 2016 by Paul Ramirez Jonas at Copley Square commissioned by Now + There. Photo: Ryan C. McMahon
Public Art Public Places

MAPC & NEFA

Arts & Culture Discussion Series

Cross-sector convenings and communities of practice for planners, artists, culture bearers,
and community leaders.

Since 2017, MAPC’s Arts & Culture Department has partnered with the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) to organize a series of discussions designed to broaden the understanding of how art can contribute to planning work, and provide new entry points for planners, artists, and cultural practitioners to work together on planning and community development projects. The series aims to:

    • Share key concepts and practices that are used in public art initiatives to improve arts and culture literacy and bridge the gaps between funders, artists, and planners.
    • Facilitate connections between planners and creative practitioners who have the skills to contribute to municipal planning and community development projects.
    • Build cohesion among artists, arts administrators, and municipal planners, and seed cross-sector relationships that can advance creative community development in Metropolitan Boston.

The series launched in 2017 under the direction of Carolyn Lewenberg, MAPC’s first Artist-In-Residence, with a focus on innovative approaches to planning challenges that emerge from artist leadership. The series is continuing under the direction of Emma Boast, MAPC Arts and Culture Fellow, with a focus on public art and public history as vehicles for social change.

Upcoming Events
  • Public Works: Planning and Designing Public Spaces for Spatial Justice
    September 1, 2020, 2 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. ET
    RSVP here!
  • On this Land: Reframing Public Memory
    September 22, 2020, 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. ET
    RSVP here!
  • Future Histories: The Case for Creative Commemoration
    September 29, 2020, 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. ET
    RSVP here!
  • Monument Lab Workshop: Grounding Public Art in Cultural Justice
    October 6, 2020, 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. ET

    October 13, 2020, 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. ET
    RSVP here!

Sign up for our Arts and Culture mailing list to receive announcements about future events. 

Public Art,
Public Memory

How do monuments and memorials shape our experience of public space—and how we define whom “the public” includes? How can we reimagine the systems that have produced and maintained these public symbols of celebration and oppression? And how can artists and public art help us reframe the past and present to create more inclusive futures?

This discussion series, “Public Art, Public Memory,” explores the role that planners, artists, and community leaders can play in cultivating more just and inclusive public spaces through public art and collective memory. Participants will hear from artists and cultural organizers working at the intersection of creativity, history, and community, and learn about inspiring examples and practical tools to help shape more inclusive and expansive monuments in our region.

This series will take place weekly on Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET, from September 22 through October 13. Learn more about the series here.

Join us for the first discussion on September 22Register here! 

Public Art, Public Memory is co-organized by the Arts & Culture Department at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and the Public Art Department at New England Foundation for the Arts.

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Whose Public?
Planning and Placemaking for Welcoming Public Spaces

Public spaces are not neutral. They are steeped in histories of exclusion and oppression. For many who identify as Black, Indigenous, and people of color, public space is anything but public.

What does it mean to shape public spaces that support the rights of BIPOC to be, thrive, express, and connect? What lessons can we learn from the nation’s current reckoning with racism as we consider the future of public spaces in Greater Boston?

This three-part discussion series explores the role that planners, artists, and government staff can play in shaping just, joyful, and inclusive public spaces. You’ll hear from artists, activists, planners, and community leaders who are leading the way in spatial justice and learn practical steps to making the public spaces in your community more welcoming for all.

This series will take place weekly on Tuesdays from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET, from August 18 through September 1.

Join us for the last discussion on September 1. Register here! Check out recordings and resources from the series here.

Whose Public? is co-organized by the Arts & Culture Department at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, the Design Studio for Social Intervention, and the Public Art Department at New England Foundation for the Arts.

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Past Events

The inaugural 2017-2018 series was curated and facilitated by MAPC’s first Artist-In-Residence, Carolyn Lewenberg, and highlighted the role that artists can play in generating solutions to complex challenges in planning and community development.

About

New England Foundation for the Arts

The New England Foundation for the Arts invests in artists and communities and fosters equitable access to the arts, enriching the cultural landscape in New England and the nation. NEFA accomplishes this by granting funds to artists and cultural organizations; connecting them to networks and knowledge-building opportunities; and analyzing their economic contributions. NEFA serves as a regional partner for the National Endowment for the Arts, New England’s state arts agencies, and private foundations. Learn more at www.nefa.org

Stay Tuned

Sign up for our Arts & Culture mailing list to receive announcements about future events in the series.

Questions?

For more information, please contact Emma Boast, Arts & Culture Fellow, at eboast@mapc.org.