Local artists and organizations receive city grants to increase public art in Mission Hill

Last month the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture awarded grants to artists and organizations to create short-term public art projects and activations of public spaces through the Transformative Public Art program.

In Mission Hill the grant money will fund a video art project that has been in the works. 

The TransCultural Exchange’s project “Hello World – Hello Boston” is meant to be a global celebration of the pandemic’s easing of restrictions presented as a video projection on MassArt by a group of local artists. 

Since its grassroots inception in 1989, TransCultural Exchange has worked directly with hundreds of artists, arts organizations, foundations, galleries, museums, and cultural centers in 60 countries to produce over 350 art projects. All of these have involved artists from different cultures, working across disciplines and, typically, include artist exchanges and collaborations as key components. 

“We also provide professional development resources, new markets, and career opportunities for artists around the world through our social media, Resource web portal, talks and International Conferences on Opportunities in the Arts,” said the organization in a statement. “In addition to serving artists, the Conferences also facilitate new partnerships and exchanges between international organizations and educational institutions, leading to increased visibility, cultural understanding and economic activity.”

TransCultural Exchange’s efforts have earned the organization considerable acclaim, support and awards from institutions such as the Northeast Chapter of the International Art Critics Association (AICA), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Massachusetts Cultural Council, Asian Cultural Council, Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, Boston Foundation, Swedish Embassy, the Netherland-American Foundation and numerous consulates, among others.

The city has allocated a total of  $750,000 in funding for mural projects at 10 sites across nine Boston neighborhoods as well as another $323,950 for 27 short-term projects. 

“(Art) brings joy and inspiration to communities, and helps revitalize our neighborhoods,” said Acting Mayor Kim Janey. “I hope Boston residents and visitors enjoy these beautiful works of art, and that these projects encourage those who pass by them to find creative ways to brighten where they live.”

Last year, Janey said 24 public art projects were awarded grants totaling $35,000. The program relaunched as a key part of Janey’s Joy Agenda, which is a citywide invitation, opportunity, and investment in the City’s collective well-being. 

In the spring Janey put out a call to artists and after an exhaustive application process the local artists were chosen by the city to create art around the city.  

“Paying artists to integrate bold, new artwork throughout our neighborhoods is a step in the right direction as we focus on reopening our city and coming back together around the notion of joy and renewal,” said Kara Elliott-Ortega, Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston. 

The artists will also work with consultant Liza Quiñonez, a creative entrepreneur and founder of the award winning urban contemporary art and design agency Street Theory. 

Quiñonez will provide project administration services and provide the artists with proposal development guidance, community engagement strategy and support, technical assistance, and logistical production and support. 

“It’s an exciting time for Boston and I look forward to working with the selected artists on bringing their vision to life in big and bold ways,” said Quiñonez.

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