Public Trust: Observe, witness, pledge

The last three weeks have been incredible. We've met and made promises with over one thousand people at Public Trust in Dudley, Kendall, and now Copley, asking ourselves and each other, how can we make our words matter? What is the value of a promise made by me, or you, the weather forecaster, or the pundits on TV? Who do we trust, and how?

Despite the hesitation we may feel in private, Public Trust has shown overwhelmingly that given a creative, welcoming space, we're all capable of trusting ourselves and each other. Some tears and many laughs have been shared across the table where we sit to make promises. Every day we see people sharing their promises on social media, proud of making a public declaration of love, creativity, adventure, or remembrance

Every promise is as important as the individual who made it. We've seen over 900 people step up to the table, sit down, and create a promise, and stand in front of the billboard, feeling proud or liberated or possibly a little scared. Here are a few promises that really made us think, This is why we're here. This is why Public Trust is so important, why the conversation begun here must continue.

I promise to be a bridge that connects people to their destiny
I promise not to drink
I promise to care for the elderly
I promise to be motivated by love rather than fear
I promise to let my children become the people they want to be
I promise to challenge my own racism
Someday I will obtain freedom in my life
I promise not to let social anxiety win
I promise to be the best version of myself
I promise to be a Beyonce in everything I do
I promise not to be a silent bystander
I promise not to take my life
I promise to try to change the things I cannot accept

Artworks like Public Trust don't happen overnight, of course. They take months of research (where to put it?), planning (how do we get this scaffolding up?), and troubleshooting (what if it rains?). They also take the dedication of many people, from the artist ambassadors working at Public Trust who call Greater Boston home, to the overnight security guards, our amazing volunteers, and a community willing to embrace new ideas and art appearing rather suddenly in their common spaces.

So thank you, Boston and Cambridge, for wholeheartedly welcoming and participating in Public Trust these past three weeks. Thank you for putting your trust in Now + There and artist Paul Ramirez Jonas to create a meaningful experience for all. You made this project come to life simply by stopping to ask, "How do I make a promise?"

As Public Trust's time in Boston comes to an end this Saturday in Copley Square (we're there 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.), we're already thinking about other ways we can engage conversation through public art. And just as you made a promise on the Jupiter Stone, we'd love for you to make another promise right now.

Help Now + There bring more public art here, push difficult and necessary dialogue in our neighborhoods, and create opportunities for artists, students, and volunteers to get involved in the arts. Your donation of $5, $25, or $250 helps Now + There keep our promise to bring impactful public artworks to Greater Boston.

Donate today and get super special, limited edition thank you gifts including wristlets and stickers, t-shirts, tote bags, water bottles, and more.