Boch Center

Funding Received: 2013
Boston, MA
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
March 27, 2014

ArtWeek has special plans for this light installation beneath the I-93 overpass between South Boston and the South End. (Check out the details on in early April.) Led by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the project is part of a larger effort by the DOT to enliven, clean up, and monetize the space underneath the busy roadway.

With Spring ArtWeek (April 25-May 4) in less than six weeks, our team is operating at high speed as event applications are pouring in! The best part is that while some are returning partners, many are new and some are even outside of Greater Boston. We’ve had encouraging meetings with the City of Boston’s Main Streets program, Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, and many other governmental partners about ArtWeek and its expansion potential. We’ve also had calls with countless small business owners, nonprofits, artists, and educational institutions about how ArtWeek can help creatively galvanize their communities, business neighborhoods, and the public to experience the unique power of creative placemaking. Even better, Fall ArtWeek 2014 planning is already a hot topic for many!

Recent Wins
-- As the Spring ArtWeek event application deadline nears, it looks like Spring ArtWeek will boast double the number of unique events from the Fall launch –we are already 80% ahead of those on September/October 2013 roster! The programs reviewed to-date have been extraordinary in their creativity, uniqueness, and range of experiences – it is exciting (and sometimes overwhelming) to see how quickly ArtWeek is growing!

-- ArtWeek is an idea that has captured the imagination of many, including Digitas, a leading global integrated marketing and technology agency that builds active brands for some of the foremost companies in the world. This week, two teams are in a creative competition as Digitas develops a breakthrough marketing campaign that is sure to take ArtWeek to the next level!

-- While the ultimate goal is to grow and expand ArtWeek, staff and resources are primarily focused on the immediacy of each seasonal event. When an MBA student group at Dartmouth’s Amos Tuck School of Business selected ArtWeek as their first year project (FYP), it was a major step toward creating an ArtWeek model and framework that can be replicated in major cities and rural towns across the country. With these bright young business minds thinking hard about ArtWeek’s scalability, we can only imagine what the future holds!

The recent ArtPlace summit was an inspiring opportunity to meet other creative placemaking peers from across the country. The convening encouraged the sharing of ideas, debates about the benefits of “field vs. movement,” and learnings from both successes and failures. It also highlighted how creative and passionate ArtPlace grantees are and the breadth and depth of their projects. So it is no surprise that everyone left wishing they could read ALL the blog posts each and every month! It was also timely to see a very thought-provoking HuffPost blog earlier this week by John Eger, Director of the Creative Economy Initiative at San Diego State University, about “Creative Age Cities.” He leads with a reference about the New Cities Foundation which believes “success is not just getting an arts building or series of buildings off the ground, it is about ensuring that they are viable and play a central role in their communities." He goes on to say “Not surprisingly, a whole new economy based not on manufacturing or even service provision, but on knowledge or more precisely creativity and innovation is slowly taking shape. What makes people creative and innovative however, is still being debated. Clearly our schools and the educational curriculum must change. But what too, about the communities where young people spend more than half their lives and where their families, friends and fellow citizens live and work. Communities, indeed whole cities, need to reinvent themselves.” He mentions creative placemaking as one of the important strategies that is impacting the discussion about urban policy and Creative Age of Cities. So is creative placemaking a strategy, a field, a movement, or a hybrid? While discussion continues, it is exciting to know that ArtPlace projects are helping to shape the conversation.

Want to follow ArtWeek’s progress as things heat up for spring (April 25 - May 4, 2014)? Connect with us at: