A wall of hope...

We've been quiet on the blog and social media front while Boston has been gripped by the horrific tragedy and subsequent lockdown/manhunt/mass psychological event.  Our hearts go out to the victims of the violence and their families, and we hope that none of our readers were a part of the incident. 

But just because we've been quiet on the blog doesn't mean we haven't been active.  The first and most important piece of news is that in response to Monday's events, we asked our artists if any of them would be interested in taking on the largest wall on the site and turning it into an uplifting mural for Boston.  The 8-man crew at Team Rekloos answered the call with a stunning design.  With the help of a scissor lift donated by NES Rentals they started working on the wall today.  Here's what it looked like at 7:30 tonight with 25 gallons of black primer on it and the first characters sketched out.

The Wall of Hope takes shape on Washington Street.

The Wall of Hope takes shape on Washington Street.

Rekloos will be working on this wall all week.  When it's finished, it will be a moving tribute to those who lost their lives and the spirit of this great city of ours.  We invite you to stop by and take a look this week if you get a chance, and we'll update our social media outlets with pictures as they progress.

In addition to the wall, we had our second cleanup day this weekend.  A crew of about 25 volunteers came down and channeled their energy into making the site nearly spotless.  We're astonished by the transformation, and deeply indebted to those who helped.  In particular, the students from Northeastern University's Civic Engagement Program have been incredibly hardworking.

There are still a few odds and ends left to do, though, so grab your gloves and head on down for our third and final cleanup day this Saturday.  We have two areas left that need landscaping attention and a handful of garage doors left to cover with vinyl.  We'll also be showing the site off to the artists and helping any of them who need help with site prep, priming, etc.

Speaking of artists, we have now assigned all of the doors and walls to individual artists and teams.  We're just a few weeks away from May 11 and with our second major art piece going up it's starting to feel very real!  We can't wait to start introducing the site to our artists over the next few weeks and for the incredible transformation that will occur starting May 11.

Stay safe, stay Boston Strong, and come down to visit us this Saturday.  We'll post more pictures of the Wall of Hope over the coming days.

Cleanup #1 Was a huge success!

THANK YOU to the 50 or so volunteers who came out yesterday to help clean up the site!  The place looks amazing now and we are in great shape going forward.  We had a great variety of people come out to help, from Northeastern freshmen to lifelong neighborhood residents.  Collectively, the team filled a roll-off dumpster with trash and debris.  

We also got the chance to meet about a dozen of the artists who will be gracing the walls and doors of the site with their work.  Some of them even helped us paint a sign for Mural fest on the exterior wall. In addition to the murals, we made arrangements for our first sculptural piece - a huge pair of sneakers that we will install on top of the little grey compressor building near Guild Street.  We can't think of a more appropriate piece of art for the site.

We hope that you'll all come back out to join us next Saturday from 10-3 when we continue the cleanup and work to finish installing the vinyl coverings over the garage doors

Thanks to Jeremy Alliger for taking photos!

First Cleanup Day is Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is our first cleanup day, and it's supposed to be a beautiful day to spend outdoors.  Put on some old clothes, closed-toed shoes, and work gloves and head on down to 2565 Washington Street to join us!  

We'll be on site from 10-3 picking up trash, addressing safety issues and noting future safety work to be done, pulling weeds, doing some preliminary planting, closing all the garage doors and preparing them for paint, and more.  Please join us!

What a week! Before I Die, a new partnership, another event, internships, and more...

What an incredible week it's been!  The good news is coming in so fast we can hardly keep up.  Here's a short summary.

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  • On Wednesday, our first art piece went up.  It's Before I Die, an 80-foot long chalkboard wall where passersby can share their dreams with the world.  The wall painting was organized by our own Michelle Murray with help from the wonderful people at YouthBuild Boston.  It's fair to call this an unqualified success!  The wall is literally covered from top to bottom in chalk writing, with some incredibly poignant notes.  In addition, it was covered in Universal Hub and on WBZ-TV.  
  • Tomorrow, we'll officially announce a partnership with our good friends at Harbor Arts.  To those who don't know about it, Harbor Arts is an amazing free outdoor sculpture park that just happens to be sited in the middle of Boston's last remaining working shipyard.  It's an incredible outdoor industrial art space in a neighborhood not usually associated with the arts...sound familiar?  To celebrate, we're having a joint event the weekend of June 15-16.  We'll have a facebook event up soon, for our "sculptural potluck and art swap," in which you'll be invited to bring certain objects to contribute to two sculptures that will reside at each site.
  • With so much happening, we're having a hard time keeping up with it all.  So we're officially recruiting interns for an unpaid summer gig unlike any other.  No fetching coffee and making copies here, these interns will be hands-on in every aspect of the event production process.  Know any college students who might be interested?  Send 'em our way!  Here's the link to the intern page.
  • We just cracked the FIFTY submissions mark for murals!  Holy painted walls, batman!  Fortunately we've got no shortage of space.
  • We're able to officially announce that we are partnering with Massart!  Professor Candice Ivy has two groups of students doing projects.  One will be a mural, the other will be a site-specific installation using mixed media and found objects from the site.  

We'll have lots more news to share soon.  In the meantime please make sure you join us for our first (and biggest) cleanup day next Saturday, April 13.  All of the info is on our Facebook event page.

Before I Die installation today at Bartlett!

Exciting news!  Today Michelle Murray, Mark Matel, and a team of volunteers from YouthBuild Boston are installing our first (official) piece of site artwork - an 80' long Before I Die wall.  This worldwide art phenomenon asks passers-by to write down what they would like to do before they die on a chalkboard wall.

Mark will be live-tweeting the event all morning with pictures of their progress.  Follow along with him @NuestraCDC.

Once the installation is complete, why not head on down to the corner of Washington and Bartlett and add your own life goal?

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Are you ready for some Futbol?

Hey soccer fans!  Looking for a place to play?  Well we've got some great news.  The Bartlett Events team and Soccer1, a Boston-based non-profit that operates a series of programs, social business ventures and collaborative projects to support community development through soccer, are teaming up in an official partnership to bring weekly pickup soccer games to the site!

CC licensed image from Flickr user Michael Coghlin

CC licensed image from Flickr user Michael Coghlin

Under a new program from Soccer1 called PickUpFooty@, Bartlett Yard will be the host to weekly futbolito games, which are played with a smaller, heavier ball to take advantage of the smaller field size in urban areas.  Futbolito games also have smaller 3-5 person teams and feature more footwork than regular soccer.  Don't confuse this with the other futbolito, also known as foosball.

The games will take place every Sunday starting in late May and will go throughout the summer and fall.  Lace up your shoes and head on down to Bartlett to play!

Help Michelle Murray Paint our First Art Project This Saturday!

What do you want to see, be, do, achieve, create, eat, love, become before you die?  

On March 30, JOIN US between 10 and 3 at the Designery, 1884 Washington St,  to prepare Before I Die  ("a global art project that invites people to reflect on their lives and share their personal aspirations in public space") for installation at bARTlett Yard.

To become acquainted with the Before I Die project you can WATCH this TED talk or LOOK at other Before I Die projects from around the world here http://beforeidie.cc/

COME to the Designery, 1884 Washington Street, on March 30 between 10 and 3 to PAINT, CELEBRATE and EAT. 

WEAR clothes that can be spattered with paint! BRING food to share and your own plate, drinking vessel and eating utensils.  CELEBRATE one another. Stop by for an hour or the whole day. 

Email murray_mich@yahoo.com with questions. And thanks to YouthBuild Boston for walking the talk when it comes to building community by donating space, time, and materials to this effort.

The Great News Continues! Grant Funding, Press, and our First Art Project...

We've been neglecting our digital duties here at Bartlett Events, but only because we've been flat-out keeping up with all the positive developments in this little project of ours!

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First up, we're ecstatic to announce that we've been selected as one of the Black Rock Art Foundation's annual grantees to support our Festival of Street Art (aka Mural Fest) on May 11!  BRAF is one of the most sought-after grants in the emerging art world and it's an incredible honor to receive this.  And when we say "art world," we mean it. The other grantees include artists from Ho Chi Minh City, Prague, London, New York, and L.A.  Thank-you to BRAF for your generous support!

Next, Bartlett Events is in this week's Boston Magazine! What can we say?  We're thrilled to have caught the attention of the media, and we hope they come out to see us on May 11 when we start painting!

Finally, local resident Michelle Murray will be starting work on Before I Die, our very first art project, next weekend.  We'll have all the details in a future blog post. We hope you'll join us on March 30 to help paint!

Collaborations and Partnerships!

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!

Good things keep happening!

We might have been a bit quiet on the web recently, but that's only because things have been picking up steam out there in the real world!  We've been doing site walks nearly every day, discussing partnerships, talking to artists, and attending multitudes of meetings.

Mark Matel shows a group of students the site.  Photo by Jess Tones.

Mark Matel shows a group of students the site.  Photo by Jess Tones.

We're not quite ready to announce anything yet, but we've been absolutely floored by the tremendous response we've gotten so far.  To everyone who has inquired about the site, come to a meeting or a site walk, submitted a mural or another art project, or given us your support...thank you!  This is going to be a wonderful project because of the interest all of you have shown.


Jeremy Alliger relaxes after a site walk with YouthBuild's Ariel Stokes and Jess Tones.

Keep the mural submissions and art projects coming!

We've had an exciting week here on the Bartlett Events team!  Our partnership with YouthBuild Boston and their Designery program is moving ahead at full steam, we have engaged several new partners for potential assistance, started navigating the complexities of the permitting process, and had a group of art school students tour the site as part of their class.  We also have even more neighbors interested in the site and will soon have some new photography by Dan Rajter to share.

But perhaps the best news of all is that we are now up to 10 mural submissions!  Please keep them coming, and tell your friends.  We've got dozens of doors left to paint, and when we run out of doors we'll work on the walls.  In addition to the murals, we are also soliciting all kinds of other art projects, including sculpture, site specific art, and more.

Coming soon, we'll be announcing some exciting new partnerships.  Keep spreading the word!  And mark your calendars for cleanup days on April 13, 20, and 27!

YouthBuild Boston & The Designery

We're excited to announce our first formal partners, Roxbury's own YouthBuild Boston and its Designery program!  YBB will be designing our seating area near the corner of Guild Street and Washington.  This area will be the "living room" of the site, with plenty of space to hang out, enjoy a meal from the food trucks, play games, or just relax.  We're absolutely thrilled to have such great partners to start out with.  Not only is their office just a short walk from the site, they'll be working with local youths to teach them design and construction skills.  We couldn't ask for a better group to work with!  

We'll have more details about the design of our community space in the coming months.

YBB works with young adults in the Boston area to develop personal and career skills using innovative programs in the building trades, from design and construction to the green industry. YBB enhances the lives and skills of their students, encouraging them to work with integrity, confidence, discipline and aspiration. More than 1,000 graduates have been equipped with the professional skills and tools necessary to lead successful lives and further their education.
The Designery is YouthBuild Boston’s hands-on urban architecture workshop for high school students. Designery students, or ‘Jr. Designers,’ hone their problem solving skills through a team based approach to real-world architectural problems.
Jr. Designers explore architectural and landscape design, investigate the environmental and social aspects of design, and discover new career opportunities. They develop life and job-readiness skills, build self-esteem, and serve their communities.

Publicity time!

Howdy friends and neighbors!

After months of behind the scenes work, we're finally able to go public with Bartlett Events!  We have several exciting partnerships in negotiation, grant proposals submitted, events in planning, artists lined up, and more!

Please join us as we raise our profile in the community by following us on twitter (@BartlettEvents), liking us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/BartlettEvents), joining our mailing list, following us on Tumblr (http://bartlettevents.tumblr.com/), or volunteering to help out.

We can't wait to see you and your art at Bartlett Yard this summer!

Bartlett Yards!

Hello everyone!  This is our first post.  Over the next year, we hope you will join us as we transform our portion of the 8.5 acre Bartlett Bus Yard into a space for art, events, and community.  We've got great plans for the site, but we're just as excited about the stuff we haven't planned yet...the spontaneous interactions, the surprise art, the unexpected music, the new friends, and the teamwork that will make our dreams a reality.

More than anything, we want this to be a space where everyone from the surrounding community of Roxbury feels welcome to bring their own art, host their own events, or partner with their existing nonprofits.  Please keep in touch.  We can't wait to see you at Bartlett as we get the site up and running!