Kate Gilbert for Architecture Boston | Can Boston be a Public Art City?

Despite its moniker, Boston is not the hub of the universe. Yet the city is ripe with potential to defy its own history and create a new model for connective experiences in our public spaces, one that transforms our landscapes and the ways in which we relate to one another as citizens in these divided times. Boston should fully embrace temporary public art as a catalyst for the cultural change we seek.

We have a ways to go. For starters, Boston must address its splintered cultural identity, funding structures, and fragile arts ecosystem that make it prohibitive for artists to thrive. These factors also point to why there are so few publicly accessible and contemporary permanent representations of Boston’s shared culture in our public spaces.

This can change. At Now + There, we’re using both the lack of a strong, unified cultural identity expressed in our public spaces and our natural human desire to connect with one another as a clarion call. As a nonprofit public art curator of temporary artworks, we’re using the power of art to shift how people see their city. To motivate people. To affirm the multiplicity of our cultures and cultural assets. To challenge biases and question the status quo. Ultimately, we’re using public art to elevate the economic and social health of our communities. The artwork itself may be temporary, but we believe it has an enduring impact.

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