10 New Arts Projects Coming To Cambridge’s Port Neighborhood

2/22/20212 years ago

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Tory Fair's "Portable Window," 2020, in Area Code Art Fair, Ink Block Boston. (photo courtesy of artist)
Tory Fair's "Portable Window," 2020, in Area Code Art Fair, Ink Block Boston. (photo courtesy of artist)

Ten new arts projects are coming to Cambridge’s Port neighborhood with $90,000 in funding from Cambridge Arts and the City of Cambridge’s Port Neighborhood Grants. The winning projects range from a mural celebrating scientists of color and a teen film festival to hip hop performances and free tap dance classes.

Each cultural project is funded at $9,000 from Percent-for-Art funding tied to the city’s Port Infrastructure Project, which is a multi-year construction project to reduce flooding in the Port Neighborhood.

ART±BIO Collaborative, ART±BIO Science Mural, a mural highlighting the scientific discoveries, research, and study organisms of a scientist of color, to be created in collaboration with Port-area youth, and educators, mentored by BIPOC artists and scientists.

Cambridge Public Health Department, Arts for Health: Call for Artists, invites artists to make works supporting mental health, healthy eating, active living, and community and social resilience, with an emphasis on health equity and anti-racism.

Community Art Center, Inc., Support of Do It Your Damn Self!! Film Festival, local teens produce this annual festival of films by teens throughout the country.

Cambridge Hip Hop Collective, The Bridgeside Cypher, a supportive and respectful gathering of artists rapping at the center of a live audience, including a freestyle circle that allows a safe space for people who have never before performed in public, a music video shoot, and a featured performance.

Tory Fair, Portable Window, to create a wood wheel with handles and a rectangular window in the center that frames a view to prompt conversations as well as photos and video to become a portrait of The Port.

David Fichter, Moses Youth Center Mosaics, work with students, staff, and community volunteers to create mosaics on the back entrance of Moses Youth Center, facing Sennott Park, that continue the mosaic the artist developed there in 2019-2020.

Elon Fyfield, The Black Matters Performance Series, monthly open air performances by rappers, singers, poets, dancers, spoken word performers and videographers to celebrate Black identity, Black communities, Black artists, and Black businesses. Plus creation of a short documentary film.

Green City Growers, Intersecting Art and Urban Gardening at the Moses Youth Center, continues its existing hands-on gardening program in collaboration with the Moses Youth Center while expanding to include additional arts/gardening activities.

Jenny Herzog, Tap for Joy, free, outdoor, socially-distanced tap dance classes for dancers of all ages and skill levels.

Anna Myer and Dancers, Closing the Divide, completion and public screening and CCTV broadcast of documentary film that features beheard.world dancers and poets who took on racism during a three-week tour from the Deep South to Chicago.

Last fall, Cambridge Arts tripled funding for grants with support from the City of Cambridge. The Port Neighborhood Grants are one of three new funding opportunities Cambridge Arts offered last fall—including $99,000 in Organizational Investment Grants awarded in December and $45,000 in Art for Racial Justice Grants previously announced this month.

“The City of Cambridge had been planning a major increase to its funding for the arts, and we’re especially pleased at this time to be able to share this increase with the community as artists and creative organizations are facing crises from shut downs to prevent the spread of coronavirus," Cambridge Arts Executive Director Jason Weeks said.

Cambridge contributes substantial funding to arts and cultural grants in addition to funding it receives through the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Local Cultural Council Program. In the 2019-2020 grant cycle, Cambridge added $82,000 to $27,600 from the state arts agency. For the 2020-2021 grant cycle, Cambridge has allocated more than $320,000 plus $20,000 from the Cambridge Community Foundation and $5,000 from the Curious George Fund.

Winners of $119,882 in Local Cultural Council Grants expected to be announced soon.