City Councilor At-Large and Candidate for Mayor Michelle Wu, joined by José Massó, Announcer and Producer of WBUR’s ¡Con Salsa!, members of the arts community and residents, called for a summer of play and issued proposals to transform, expand and connect our arts and culture sector to every neighborhood today. She declared that summer 2021 should be a summer of play as part of Boston residents’ healing and reconnection, and also launched an innovative Playstreets proposal to reimagine Boston’s relationship with public space. The Boston Playstreets proposal would emulate Philadelphia’s, closing hundreds of streets with a volunteer supervisor, including food, art and activities for kids, hiring DJs and artists, and plugging in our professional sports teams and private companies to participate.
She also called for the city to create space for every community to hold block parties in their own communities, following up on her 2019 Boston Globe op ed and Block Party Guide on strengthening our democracy through building community block by block. Wu called for simplifying public event permits, directing public streets and parks to be venues for arts and culture programming, and creating direct city assistance for communities to set up block parties, with microgrants to remove financial barriers for every neighborhood.
“As Boston reopens and recovers, it’s time for a Summer of Play—using arts and culture to heal, connect, and inspire. Imagine music and community events in every park, block parties in every neighborhood, and every bit of Boston’s diversity reflected in the vibrancy on our open streets. Let’s supercharge our recovery, support local artists and small businesses, and help communities heal through an intensive focus on infusing arts and play throughout our neighborhoods,” said Michelle Wu.
“We have been holding our breath for over a year as all of us have been wishing and hoping and praying that we would again be able to celebrate in community with one another in person, and do it in a way in which we can celebrate life. On this day in which Councilor Wu asks for us as a City to embrace arts and culture as being very much the fabric of what could be our DNA, I join in with Councilor Wu in supporting this initiative. Arts and culture in our open spaces must play an important role as a segue from what has been the last fifteen months to the years ahead,” said José Massó.
Michelle Wu has proposed a detailed agenda for bold change, including a vision to establish a Cabinet-level Chief of Worker Empowerment, close the childcare gap, transform our public schools, Boston Green New Deal and Just Recovery Plan, renegotiate police contracts for transparency and accountability, Food Justice Agenda, Digital Equity Agenda and more.