Photo by Adli Wahid
“Artists, organizers, and cultural workers” are welcome to participate in a 15 month long residency
Mayor Michelle Wu announced on Jan. 11 that applications are open for the City’s Boston Artists-in-Residence program. Six artists will be selected to create projects that “that imagine and test new approaches to challenges the City faces.” Artists will have the opportunity to learn about government, while City departments will push themselves to learn about creative approaches to solving problems. Wu spoke to the importance of the arts in the city.
“Elevating and investing in Boston’s artists by bringing them into City Hall and embedding them in our departments’ work is crucial to addressing the challenges we’re facing as a city in new, creative ways,” said Wu. “In this moment, arts and culture will help us recover, heal, connect, and thrive.”
Participants will design projects that meet a particular set of needs. Specifically, these include “consider[ing] the needs of Boston’s diverse communities, examin[ing] City policies with a lens of resilience and racial equity, help[ing] residents understand how local government impacts them, support[ing] a collaborative creation of City policies and processes, and provid[ing] a model for civic practice that departments can use going forward.” Erin Genia, a former Boston Artist-in-Residence, spoke to the experience she had.
“As an artist concerned with the potential of the creative process to positively impact communities, being a Boston AIR was a transformative experience,” said Genia. “It allowed me to think deeply about how my practice might be of service, to develop my ideas within a supportive cohort and to learn how to enact them directly through city processes. It has changed how I see my own contributions to society through art by connecting me with amazing people around the city who are working to address deep disparities and create positive change.”
A virtual info session for interested applicants will be held on Wednesday, January 26 at 12 p.m. ET. The deadline to apply is Friday, February 18, 2022 at 5 p.m. More information about the program can be found at boston.gov/boston-air.
Shira Laucharoen is a reporter based in Boston. She currently serves as the assistant director of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. In the past she has written for Sampan newspaper, The Somerville Times, Scout Magazine, Boston Magazine, and WBUR.