One Jamaica Plain resident and a faculty member of the Southern Jamaica Plain’s Racial Reconciliation and Healing Project were among seven chosen for the city’s Artist-in-Residence program for 2018.
This year is the third year for the program that creates a collaboration between the artists, community members and city employees through projects that examine topics such as racial and social equity, climate change, immigration and income inequality.
“The Boston AIR program brings bold and creative thinking into policy areas of municipal government,” said Mayor Martin Walsh via press release. “I’ve been very impressed with past Boston AIR projects, and I can’t wait to see what this next group of artists accomplishes.”
Among the seven artists is Jamaica Plain resident Karen Young, who specializes in percussion. Young’s passion is for taiko drumming, which she uses to inspire marginalized populations to reclaim their voice, culture, power and a sense of belonging. She is influenced by Japanese-American taiko activists of the 1960’s. Young is a member of Genki Spark, a multi-generational, pan-Asian women’s arts and advocacy organization that uses taiko drumming, personal stories, creativity to build community, develop leadership and advocate respect for all.
Another artist-in-residence has a Jamaica Plain connection, too. D. Farai Williams is a faculty member with Southern Jamaica Plain’s Racial Reconciliation and Healing Project. She is the founder and facilitator with Dynamizing Equity (dEQ) and Idjeli Theater Works (ITW). Williams is an artist, theater of the oppressed facilitator, racial equity strategist and cultural organizer. She is a Roxbury resident and is a partner and racial equity strategist with The Disruptive Equity Education Project (DEEP). She is also the core-coordinator for the Network of Immigrants and African Americans Building Solidarity.