By Meghan Richter
The Boston Creates initiative is a newly launched cultural planning process designed to empower everyday citizens to design their own social policy, and above all else, create. While City of Boston Mayor Martin “Marty” J. Walsh’s administration has had a great deal to do with this planning, it was the passion of Boston artists that made it all possible. They called upon City Hall to increase its support for the arts, to “create a sustainable cultural plan, increase performance and work spaces, and embrace the rich diversity” of Boston.
Walsh has been working to make the city a municipal arts leader since he was elected in 2013. This initiative is the first of its kind, and intends to provide more artistic resources to schools, and incorporate the arts into all of its new building projects. It also re-appropriates space within the City of Boston, one resource that is hard to come by.
The city will be converting its underused spaces into rehearsal spaces, as well as 10 units of housing for lower income artists. At the announcement for “Boston Creates” on June 17, Walsh stressed the importance of making the city, a “fertile ground for the arts” that is inclusive, a place where everyone can succeed. He addressed one of the major issues in Boston: income inequality, with special regard to underemployed artists. He hopes that this program will give struggling or emerging artists a platform by which they can build a career on, as well as a continuous process by which citizens can continue to work with and for the arts.
This commitment to the arts was based on their power to conduct social change, and to serve to support healing and spark dialogue surrounding some of the major issues of our time. The City of Boston has put its faith into this cause, as it is the belief of its citizens that they can serve to break down some of our divides.
(For updates on the Boston Creates initiative, visit http://www.bostoncreates.org.)