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Boston Looks to Artists in Cultural Plan Development

A program in Boston to "enliven and strengthen" the arts and creativity in the city's diverse neighborhoods employed artists to seek out and define how people interact with art in their community.
June 2, 2016, 7am PDT | jwilliams | @jwillia22
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As part of the "Boston Creates" program, undertaken by the city of Boston to enhance and build creative capital, the city partnered with local artists to engage residents in conversation and activities to help identify how these residents interacted with art in their daily lives and what they felt was necessary to strengthen the arts in their communities. E. San San Wong writes on the Barr Foundation's web site about the role of artists in communicating with the public to share and gather information.

During the Summer of 2015, artists fanned out across the city building impromptu galleries and public art pieces and speaking with various groups to understand how the multitude of cultures throughout the city use art as expression.

Artists think creatively about how to solve problems. They can hear and translate multiple voices into action by pushing conversations forward and bringing together people who may not otherwise meet. The Boston Creates artists were the connective tissue between the sometimes jargon-heavy language of urban planning and the personal experiences of residents that makes a cultural plan necessary and immediate.

The information gleaned from the conversations and interactions has been included in the drafting of Boston's new Cultural Plan, which is anticipated to be completed this month.

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Published on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 in Barr Foundation
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