About a year ago, we began planning for Bartlett Events. We knew at the time that we'd have an uphill battle for permitting, but we didn't know just how bad it would be until six months later. That May, after months of meetings, calls, and emails with officials in 3 offices of City Hall, 3 counters at 1010 Mass Ave, and BPD, we reached out to a handful of elected officials for help.
Enter John Connolly. Even though he was hitting his stride in the mayoral race and no doubt had a full plate immediately following the Marathon tragedy, he and his staff made the time to make sure that we got our permits in time for Mural Fest. He was timely, responsive, and personally checked in with us more than once to make sure that the situation had been resolved. Likewise, everyone we dealt with on his staff was equally as helpful and professional. After dealing with an uncaring and arcane bureaucracy for so many months, we can't overemphasize what a relief it was to finally get someone who understood our issues and could help us figure out a way to resolve them. We can say this unequivocally: without the help of John Connolly, there would have been no Bartlett Events this summer.
A few weeks later, he invited the Bartlett Events organizers to a meeting of artists and arts administrators from across the city's broad arts community. He impressed us again with his understanding of the multitude of issues that face artists in Boston as well as his ability to ask the right questions and actually listen to the answers. And it was very encouraging to us that the meeting wasn't just the big players from the museums and established institutions, but smaller arts groups like us. We left hopeful that if John won the election, the arts scene in Boston would be much better off.
By the time August rolled around, it was clear that we had a successful series on our hands. We were suddenly fielding dozens of requests to hold events on the site, and started getting some great press. Now that we were popular, a couple of the other mayoral candidates - previously uninterested in us - suddenly wanted to use our space for campaign events. It would have made sense for John to ask the same, and we certainly would have said yes. But instead, he asked us for a tour, and invited some other artists groups to join him. In a field of 12 candidates, John was the only one who actually wanted to see the art we had made and talk about the pros and cons of street art instead of just using us for quick political gain.
For his commitment to the arts, his willingness to take a political risk helping out a bunch of street artists, his ability to hire and manage a great team, his follow through and professionalism, and his thoughtful approach to crafting the arts platform that Boston deserves, Bartlett Events enthusiastically endorses John Connolly for Mayor. We thank John for his support of our work from start to finish and wish him the best of luck in the remaining days of the campaign.
Don't forget to vote on Tuesday!