BOSTON – Wednesday, May 24, 2017 – Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced that the City of Boston’s Office of Arts and Culture, in partnership with the Mayor’s Mural Crew, the Boston Art Commission and Mass Poetry recently installed a new round of Raining Poetry in neighborhoods around Boston. Stenciled on Boston’s sidewalks with water-repellant spray, hidden poems emerge when it begins to rain.
“Raining Poetry brings the art of poetry directly to the neighborhoods,” said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston. “The messages of the poets are invisible, unveiled only when it rains, providing a surprising and unique opportunity for individuals to interact with art in their everyday lives.”
The first Raining Poetry installation was launched in 2016 when the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture collaborated with Mass Poetry. Since the program’s initial installations, Raining Poetry has been implemented by other cities and organizations across the U.S. and around the world including Houston, Charlotte, Vancouver, Budapest and Singapore.
The poems are selected by Boston’s Poet Laureate, Danielle Legros Georges, who also assisted with identifying sites across the city. The feature poems were selected based on their connections to the installation sites, and in support of poets with ties to Boston. “There are wonderful poets in the area, and this project is a way to have their work seen by Bostonians in many areas of the city,” said Georges. The select locations include:
Boston Public Library, Copley (both sides of the main entrance)
America’s Food Basket – 926 Cummins Highway, Mattapan
Mildred Avenue Community Center, Mattapan
Mary Buchinger Bodwell
Temple Street Bus Stop, Downtown Boston
Charles St./Boylston St. by Edgar Allan Poe Statue, Boston
A Dictionary of Limbo
Dudley Cafe, 15 Warren Street, Roxbury
Burke School, 60 Washington St, Dorchester
Flat Black Coffee, 1906 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester
Día del Esplendor y la Abundancia
Near the Mexican Consulate at the corner of Franklin and Hawley Streets, Downtown Crossing
Haymarket and Congress Street at the Public Market, Government Center
The Right Light
Corner of Mass Ave and Boylston Street – NE corner (turnpike side) Back Bay
Give me That Light!
Mary Clare Powell
Curtis Hall, Sedgwick St, Boston Public Library, Jamaica Plain
Boston Common crosswalk to Public Garden, Boston
The stencils used for this year’s Raining Poetry installations were designed by Lesley University students as part of Professor Heather Shaw’s Typography II class. The students worked with Boston’s Poet Laureate to interpret the literary works through typographic expression in order to communicate each poem’s tone and message. Both typeface choice and positioning of letterforms were taken into consideration when making design decisions. The Mayor’s Mural Crew then installed the poems using these stencils. To date, the Mayor’s Mural Crew has installed 16 poems throughout the neighborhoods of Boston.
“One of Mass Poetry’s missions is to bring poetry to people, particularly to those who don’t usually have the chance to interact with it. Raining Poetry has been great because it facilitates an engagement with poetry in a surprising and unsuspecting way,” said Sara Siegel, Program Director for Mass Poetry.
For more information about the Raining Poetry, click here.
Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture (MOAC)
The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture’s mission is to support artists, the cultural sector, and to promote access to the arts for all. The office houses the Boston Cultural Council, the Boston Art Commission, and the Poet Laureate program. Responsibilities include heading up the City’s Cultural Plan, Boston Creates; managing the Boston Artist-in-Residence program (BostonAIR); curating exhibitions in City Hall; and operating the historic Strand Theater in Dorchester. For more information go to: http://www.boston.gov/arts
About the Boston Creates Cultural Plan
The cultural plan is a ten year plan for supporting arts and culture in the City of Boston. It was created out of a year-long community engagement effort designed to help local government identify cultural needs, opportunities, and resources and to prioritize, coordinate, and align public and private resources to strengthen Boston’s cultural vitality over the long term. The full cultural plan can be found online athttp://plan.bostoncreates.org.
Boston Art Commission
The Boston Art Commission (BAC), an independent board of arts leaders charged with the care and custody of all artworks on City of Boston property, advocates for the creation of innovative and transformative art and promotes its accessibility to enrich the lives of Boston’s diverse citizens and visitors. The Art Commission advises, supports, and consults with artists and communities, City departments, and others. It commissions, approves, and conserves the City of Boston’s collection of art and historical artifacts. For more information go to: http://www.publicartboston.com