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Chelsea expands capacity for public art

The City of Chelsea has been selected among eleven communities across the state to participate in Making It Public, a public art program presented by the NEFA (New England Foundation for the Arts), the Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s Arts and Culture Department, and Forecast Public Art, a Minneapolis based non-profit supporting artmaking in public space.

The goal of Making It Public is to foster more equitable opportunities for public artmaking while also preparing more artists to respond to calls for public art across Massachusetts.

The initiative has two parts with one for cities to support equitable processes for the commissioning of public artmaking and another focused on the needs of artists to strengthen artists’ capacity to expand their public art practice.

Making it Public for Municipalities includes a five-week workshop series to strengthen local capacity to support, create, and promote more vibrant and just public art making. Each participating municipality receives $15,000 to put their new skills to work by conducting a Call for Temporary Public Art in 2023.

Through an open application process last fall, the following 11 cities and towns were selected to participate in the Spring 2023 Making it Public: for Massachusetts Municipalities cohort:

  • Acton, MA

  • Brockton, MA

  • Chelmsford, MA

  • Chelsea, MA

  • Concord, MA

  • Devens, MA

  • Erving, MA

  • Greenfield, MA

  • Holyoke, MA

  • Middleborough, MA

  • Revere, MA

The cohort representing Chelsea in this program are Mimi Graney, who coordinates public art and events for the City of Chelsea under the City’s neighborhood initiative, Chelsea Prospers; District 3 Chelsea City Councilor Norieliz DeJesus; Communication and Community Outreach Manager Lourdes Alvarez; Director of the Chelsea Public Library Sarah Gay Jackson; and Chair of Chelsea’s Historical Commission Matt Frank.

Making It Public for Artists is now accepting applications. This companion program equips artists to develop their public art practice with the goal of creating a more vibrant and equitable public spaces across Massachusetts. This free, professional training program will cover practical and tactical subjects including site analysis, stakeholder considerations, community engagement, funding opportunities, contracting, and insurance. Sessions will include guest public art professionals, both local and national, adding a depth of knowledge about the field of public art, the profession, and its contemporary issues.


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