BOSTON - Monday, October 3, 2016 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, and Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) today announced the ten artists selected for the City of Boston's second year of artists-in-residence program, Boston AIR. This second year of the Boston AIR program helps fulfill a commitment made in Boston Creates, the city’s cultural plan, and expands the size of the artist cohort, increases the length of the residencies, and grounds each residency at BCYF through their community centers and core citywide initiatives, such as the BCYF Streetworker Program, youth summer programs, and leadership development for young women.
"Arts and culture form the building blocks that make our city thrive. They encourage us to engage with each other and connect to the larger community," said Mayor Walsh. "Boston AIR brings this creative practice into the work of our city departments. I am excited to announce the new Boston Artists in Residence and look forward to the positive impact they will have on BCYF.”
Recognizing and supporting artists’ essential contribution in creating and maintaining a thriving, healthy and innovative city is a stated goal in the Boston Creates plan launched earlier this summer. Boston AIR is one initiative as part of the plan that will integrate creative thinking into the work of municipal departments and planning efforts.
Through Boston AIR, artists are supported as agents of reflection, collaboration, and activism, whether through process-oriented practice, direct community engagement, and/or as leaders of system-wide change projects at BCYF and other City agencies. The ten selected artists are invited to study and expand their own civic and social practice, alongside a parallel cohort from ten BCYF community centers and other City employees who will explore methods to incorporate artistic social practice into government and community work. Both the artist and City cohorts will share examples of their work, attend master workshops and lectures by guest artists, and have opportunities to exchange ideas and co-design proposals.
The Blackstone Community Center is working with:
Rashin Fahandej is a multidisciplinary artist and filmmaker whose projects include feature documentaries, video-sound installations, photo, sculpture, and painting. Fahandej is currently teaching at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Bunker Hill Community College, Emmanuel College, and a research fellow at the MIT Open Documentary Lab where she is researching new forms of documentary filmmaking and developing a transmedia project based on the narratives and stories in the city of Boston.
Each artist will be awarded a $22,500 stipend for a nine-month-long residency to develop and test ways that creative approaches can meaningfully impact the work of the public sector and society at large. Each artist will be paired with one of ten designated BCYF community centers and provided a studio space at that center.
"When we began the Boston Artists in Residence program, we hoped that by embedding the artists in City Departments it would bring creative thought to municipal problem solving and project implementation,” said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston. “The work of our first three Artists in Residents exceeded our expectations.This time, we hope to have the same impact on the work being done by Boston Centers for Youth and Families.”
The mission of Boston Centers for Youth & Families is to enhance the quality of life of Boston’s residents by partnering with various organizations to offer a wide range of comprehensive programs and activities according to neighborhood needs and interests. BCYF’s ACES programming framework (arts, civic and community engagement, education, and sports and fitness) is designed to provide access to these programs at every BCYF center. Through Boston AIR, BCYF hopes to expand their arts and civic engagement programs.