JP Residents, Urbano Project Receive City Grants for Public Art Projects in Response to COVID-19

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Several Jamaica Plain residents and a local nonprofit received public arts grants from the city focused on addressing public connectedness during these insecure times.

A past Biosounds project of Lani Asuncion's (photo courtesy artist)

A total of $35,000 in grants were given through the city's Transformative Public Art Program. The city announced a call to artists in April with particular interest in temporary and new media art projects that respond to COVID-19.

Grants were provided in two categories: Now and Later. Now projects will take place in a virtual or public setting through September 30 of this year, and are $5,000, $2,500, or $1,000 grants. Later grants are $500, and will support artists to research and develop future projects.

“Public art can take many forms in our city, including murals, augmented reality, and performance-based works, all of which can be used to make sense of this unprecedented time,” said Kara Elliott-Ortega, Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of Boston. “This program will help support artists who keep contributing and sharing their art and resiliency despite being especially hard hit during the pandemic.”
COVID-19 and provided creative approaches to public connectedness and community rituals at a time of disorientation and insecurity."

Jamaica Plain resident Lily Xie received a Now grant with Crystal Bi Wegner to create the Chinatown Story Cart project. The project will provide residents of all ages with creative tools to reflect on the present moment and dream about the future of Chinatown.

Jamaica Plain resident Lani Asuncion received a Now grant for their Biosounds project, which is a public performance series focusing on Franklin Park that enables the connection to plants to produce sound and music.

Laura Smith and Raquel Jimenez received a Later grant to work in partnership with Jamaica Plain-based nonprofit Urbano Project to create a mural, Precious Work. The mural will be sited nearby the Urbano Project and will affirm the vital role of womxn in Boston during the pandemic.

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