This weekend, a small group of about 40 of Boston's makers, creators, and doers spent 2 days and nights in a cabin with no electricity or running water in the woods of the White Mountains. Two of the organizers of Bartlett Events were lucky enough to participate. In between fun, games, food, and fires, we met new people, got to know old friends better, and had a chance to catch up on all the amazing projects we are working on.
Separately, a new group call Boston Art in Public Places Lab (or APP Lab for short) has sprung up from the energy of Ron Mallis, with the goal of fostering a dialogue about public art in Boston. His work has been yielding dividends. An email he sent us led to the development of a new crowdsourced interactive mind-map of the emerging Boston arts scene, pointing out areas where we are rich in talent and areas where we need to focus on development.
Between the in-person and on-line conversations, in the last week we have been in contact with Boston APP Lab, Big Red & Shiny, the Firefly Arts Collective, Harbor Arts, the City of Cambridge, the Boston Burning Man crew, Art Morpheus, and a host of others. One thing we are encouraging Ron to do is organize a summit of some kind of all the dozens of people that he has connected with over the last year. Naturally, we want him to host it at Bartlett!
These new discussions are a refreshing change from the often frustrating process of making public art in Boston. It's a real treat to get to meet new creators and find out more about all of the amazing things that happen in spite of the obstacles that art faces in our little city. And it's very encouraging to see that we're not the only ones who are fed up enough with the status quo to work to change it so that future artists don't have to face the same struggles we're facing.
Whatever happens next, it is clear that this is an incredibly exciting time to be involved in the public arts scene in Boston and that good things are happening not just in Roxbury but across the region. One upshot of all this activity is that we will soon have several exciting new partnerships, with art and events attached, to announce, and we expect to have project submissions from some of Boston's finest artists shortly. In the meantime, we are just two months away from our first event, and we're moving into the permitting and logistics phases of our operation. Wish us luck!