During this the season of thanks we take a moment to recognize our many friends, collaborators and generous supporters who helped us create three new projects in Lower Roxbury, on The Charles River Esplanade and at City Hall Plaza in 2017.
We give thanks to the following remarkable people and organizations who are helping us build a public art city, one project at a time.
Thanks first to YOU, the tens of thousands of Bostonians who engaged with us either in-person or online at See Her, Patterned Behavior, The Beehive’s Thrive, and Slideshow.
Lisa Chute of Community Resources for Justice opened the door for artist-activist Ann Lewis in June to engage with the McGrath House, a re-entry facility in Lower Roxbury for women transitioning out of prison. Without her belief in her residents’ future, we wouldn’t have worked with the courageous residents to create See Her at 808 Tremont Street. Much love and respect goes to the women of McGrath and in their journey ahead: Ana, Anna, Latia, Laura, Stephanie, Stacy, Vanessa and Vida.
It’s not every day you get a cold call asking if someone can paint on the side of your historic property. Steve Lodi of The Community Builders (TCB) took such a call and was overwhelmingly supportive as we navigated producing See Her on the side of one of their many affordable housing developments. Much appreciation goes to TCB and the Boston Landmarks Commission for working with us to approve a process for creating a reversible, temporary mural.
Other kind souls who took our calls and repeated visits during the creation of See Her include Rev. Dr. Wesley A. Roberts and Iris Truell of People’s Baptist Church of Boston. Their patience and the open hearts of the entire congregation sustained us through the process – not to mention the refreshing shade and facilities offered during the brutal summer heat.
Thank you to Martina Tanga for chronicling the process so beautifully and to Aaron Luckman and Ryan Dais Toppin for being there to paint, paste and provide stellar support to Ann.
Ann Lewis' willingness to question power, her belief in the inherent worth of every woman and her invitation to the McGrath women to trust their voices drove this process. We are grateful for Ann’s vision and fierce activism.
Alexi Conine, Audrey Foster and the entire volunteer curatorial team of the Esplanade Association were a delight to work with as we curated the first professional mural on The Charles River Esplanade.
Thanks to the committee, the dedicated staff at the Esplanade Association — including rockstar project manager Emily O’Connor — and the over 40 volunteers, we collectively transformed a 120-foot graffiti-filled wall and corridor into a joyful destination for the 18,000 bikers and runners who use it daily.
With her all female-team, Silvia López Chavez created Patterned Behavior, a stunning work that represents the diversity of Boston and the beauty of the Esplanade. Special thanks go to her team – Laura Menucci, Sophy Tuttle, Amanda Hill, Julia Roth, Sara Barrientos – who worked in all conditions and often into the night to create a new destination in Boston. And big props to all of you who cheered us on as you ran, rode and scooted by the job site.
We are most grateful to Silvia López Chavez for boldly saying yes to this, her largest commission to date, and being a shining illustration of grace under pressure.
In September we hung the work of eight women in Thrive at The Beehive Restaurant. Many thanks go to Jennifer Epstein for the opportunity to promote the work of Now + There and to Ann Lewis, Rania Matar, Maria Molteni, Chanel Thervil, Silvia López Chavez, Elisa H. Hamilton, Evelyn Rydz, and the Safarani Sisters (Farzaneh and Bahareh Safarani) for inspiring us to be bold. (Right: Photo by Rania Matar displayed at the Beehive Boston as part of Thrive - through Nov. 28.)
Good things happen when you collaborate and invite others to the table. We were honored to be asked by Leonie Bradbury and Beth Kantrowitz of HUBWeek to submit a proposal for their “festival of the future” and thrilled to produce Elisa Hamilton’s Slideshow for this quintessential Boston technology festival.
Elisa Hamilton continues to be on our gratitude list in 2017. As a past volunteer and blog contributor, Hamilton proved she was ready for the big time and ready to bring more voices to the opportunity when she proposed Slideshow.
We are grateful for Elisa’s generous and gutsy determination in spite of all odds.
Slideshow featured ten generous and gutsy local women who should be center stage in any conversation about our city’s future. Laura Boston, Tiffany Cogell, Camila de Castro, Sabrina Dorsainvil, Charla Jones, Nina LaNegra, Abigail Norman, Lolita B. Parker Jr. , Clarissa Lynn Robertson, and Audrey Robert-Ramirez thank you for gifting us your stories to connect with, learn from and share. Thank you also to the over 3,000 festival-goers who joined us to see the women’s slides and hear their stories.
We give great thanks to the Now + There staff and team who made our projects come to life including Curatorial Consultant Martina Tanga, Program Intern Aaron Luckman, Office Intern Emily Brodrick, and Production Assistant Katie Miller. Operations and Development Coordinator Maddie Doctor deserves more coffee and chocolate for the heroics she performed to keep us on track — from moving a 12-ft pole via a Lyft, to creating the organization’s first prospect database, to pitching in on projects when needed.
Spreading the word about the power of public art comes easily with the support of Barbara Quiroga and Associates on press relations. Mary-Liz Murray of Streamix Consulting keeps us on message (Now) and makes us look like we’re everywhere (There) and with her on-point digital strategy.
The job of spreading the word just got easier as we initialed our first Advisory Board and we give thanks to Nick Capasso, Sylvia Lopez Chavez, Elizabeth Dobrska, Jennifer Epstein, Cher Krause Knight, Nathalie Lemle, Gioia Perugini, Barbara Quiroga and Kathy Sharpless for joining us.
We can be nimble in action and brave in heart thanks in large part to a networked office covered by Boston IT and fueled by many, many local coffee shops too numerous to mention.
Our ability to bring free, accessible artwork to Boston is sustained by the contributions of 175+ donors, the time and effort of over 40 volunteers, and our incubation space in the Boston Center for the Arts, Artist Studio Building.
Now + There would not exist without the continued support of some of Boston’s finest foundations and the very generous contributions of individuals like you. We’re grateful to have The Boston Foundation’s continued support in 2017 underwriting an energized plan created with TDC to build a public art city. And we are indebted to the numerous anonymous donors and foundations underpinning our growth with seed funding and program support for our new Public Art Accelerator.
We have much to be grateful for.
Kate Gilbert, Executive Director
And the Now + There Board of Directors: Chris Colbert, Emily Foster Day, Geoff Hargadon, Matthew Hincman, and Lisa Tung.