Regional Trails Creative Placemaking Strategy

A photo showing different trails, art, and graphics. Decorative.



Regional Trails Creative Placemaking Strategy

Now Open!
Call for Artists: Mural Art Wanted to Connect Holliston Downtown and the Rail Trail

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Regional Trails Creative Placemaking Strategy

This project will generate a creative placemaking strategy to help subregions and individual municipalities strengthen connections between regional trails and local commercial areas and to enhance a sense of representation and belonging for the diverse communities living in these subregions.  


The Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s (MAPC) Arts & Culture and Transportation Departments will work with the Minuteman Advisory Group on Interlocal Coordination (MAGIC) and MetroWest Regional Collaborative (MWRC) subregions, as well as with the Town of Acton and the Town of Holliston to complete the Regional Trails Creative Placemaking Strategy project from May 2023 – August 2024. 


The project is funded through Barr Foundation support for MAPC's Arts and Culture Department, the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Unified Planning Work Program, and the MAGIC and MetroWest subregional funds. In addition, the Town of Acton and the Town of Holliston will contribute in-kind contributions of staff time to support the work.

MAPC's Role

MAPC’s role is to assess the opportunity for creative placemaking interventions in the MAGIC and MetroWest subregions through an existing conditions analysis. In addition, MAPC will advise the formation of Creative Placemaking Advisory Groups in Acton and Holliston and provide technical assistance and funding to the participating municipalities to commission artists and creatives. In addition, MAPC will support the process of commissioning creative works that activate connection areas between trail access points and local commercial areas as a demonstration of the potential of creative placemaking to enhance the Landline Regional Trail Network as a local and regional resource.  In addition to other project deliverables, MAPC staff will develop the curriculum for and facilitate a one-day Creative Placemaking Training Workshop inviting representatives from the two municipalities, as well as representatives from both the MAGIC and MetroWest subregional cohorts.    

For more information, please contact Archana Menon, MAPC Arts and Culture Fellow at


Creative placemaking is a community-led process that brings artists into community development and planning projects in order to connect people and places in new and innovative ways, while still honoring the history and distinctiveness of the place. This approach to placemaking aims to activate underutilized spaces, enhance community engagement, and promote economic development in surrounding areas.  

Creative placemaking on trails can also be a powerful tool for building a welcoming and inclusive community. It leverages a community's arts and cultural assets to encourage social interaction and engage diverse communities, foster a sense of pride and ownership for one’s community and create a sense of place. It can increase access and equity by addressing barriers that may prevent certain community members from using the space, thereby collaboratively shaping a place’s physical and social character.  

The MAPC Regional Trails Creative Placemaking Strategy will, therefore, help the participating municipalities achieve the following goals, thereby advancing a shared vision for creating vibrant, inclusive neighborhoods:   

Strengthen strategic connections between trails and downtown commercial centers to support local small businesses and economic vitality.

Convene a wide cross section of stakeholders to form advisory groups who will steward arts, culture and creative placemaking efforts in their communities.

Promote trails as equitable public spaces that foster connections and a sense of belonging among diverse groups of people in our communities.

Connect arts and culture to larger community revitalization efforts.

Identify areas along the trail that need inclusive signage and wayfinding initiatives.

Call for Artists:

Mural Art Wanted to Connect Holliston Downtown and the Rail Trail

Submit your applications and be a part of this transformative project that will highlight Holliston's unique character and vibrant community spirit. 

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) and the Town of Holliston invite artists to apply for an exciting public art opportunity.

Artists are invited to submit their qualifications and preliminary concepts for mural artwork at three prominent sites where they will enhance connections between the Holliston Rail Trail and the downtown area:  

  1. The doors of the Blair Square Pavilion (Rail Trail at intersection with Central Street) 
  2. The electric box at the intersection of Washington and Hollis Streets
  3. The electric box at the intersection of Washington and Green Streets   

We seek one artist or team to design and install murals at all three sites.

The selected artist/artist team will receive a $10,000 stipend to bring their vision to life. We seek one artist or team to design and install murals at all three sites.

Application Deadline:
July 19, 2024

Artwork Should be Installed by:
August 20
th, 2024

Virtual Questions and Answers Session Video

July 9, 2024


Key Dates

June 28, 2024: Call for Artists opens 

July 9, 2024: Virtual Q&A Session
Register to Join the Q&A

July 19, 2024: Call for Artists closes 

July 23 – 25, 2024: Selection Committee reviews submissions and selects finalists 

July 26, 2024: Decisions and announcement of artists 

July 27 – August 20, 2024: Artists painting on sites

August 24 - 25, 2024: Celebration of completed project

For more information about the project, contact MAPC’s Arts and Culture Fellow, Archana Menon at