Cambridge Arts Year in Review


12/31/2015

2015 has been a dynamic year for the arts in Cambridge. Our Community Arts, Public Art and Art Conservation & Maintenance programs have been engaged in critical and exciting work supporting artists and the arts in our community. Through board service and community engagement we participated in successful advocacy for increased arts funding together with MASSCreative, artists and arts organizations across the state. View our #ArtsMatter videos on YouTube.

Bringing Art to the Community

In January, made thirty financial grants to individuals and organizations to fund the artistic expression that enriches the everyday life in our city throughout the calendar year. In May, over 100 artists participated in the seventh annual City-wide Cambridge Arts Open Studios. In June, the 37th Cambridge Arts River Festival brought over 200,000 people to the Central Square Cultural District for a day of festivities and the revival of People's Sculpture Racing. In July and August, Summer in the City provided children and families with access to free, professional concerts and performances in parks and open spaces in every neighborhood of the City. 

Currently on view in Cambridge Arts Gallery 344, Refining Landscapes, the work of Vivian Beer, presents a deep exploration of how an artist's studio process translates into a commissioned public artwork. Refining Landscapes will be on view through February 29, 2016.

New Public Art Commissions

Commissioned for the new Martin Luther King, Jr. and Putnam Avenue Upper Schools, Christopher Janney's Light Shadow: MLK is a 7-foot x 32-foot "urban musical instrument" designed to engage the school community in playful exploration. A computer model of the artwork will serve as a lab for STEAM learning, allowing students to reprogram the wall with their own light and soundscapes. 

Light Shadow: MLK from artist Christopher Janney being installed at MLK School in Cambridge, MA.

DeWitt Godfrey's work in Cambridge began in 2006 when he was one of three artists selected for an award-winning temporary project Public Art/Moving Site. In October 2015 DeWitt installed Quake, a commission of the Cambridge Public Art Program. Spanning the Waverely Extension, a new shared path that provides a pedestrian and bicycle connection through Cambridgeport, Quake provides a unique moment of sensory experience.  

Quake, a new public art commission by artist DeWitt Godfrey in Cambridge, MA.

Sidewalk Poetry Makes it's Mark

Through a collaboration between the Department of Public Works, Cambridge Public Library and Cambridge Arts the City launched a new Sidewalk Poetry program in 2015. The inaugural contest attracted over 300 submissions from residents from 4-95 years, demonstrating the ageless appeal of poetry! In December, we launched a new Poetry Ambassador Program, engaging local poets to curate public open-mics, readings and other events.

Posted by Molly Akin
December 31, 2015