East Arlington has been undergoing a face lift this past year. Sidewalks have been widened and improved, pedestrian bump outs have been added, bike lanes, new street “furniture” and plantings have been created. Although a contentious process, the upheaval has given way to a more pedestrian-friendly boulevard.
Way back when the plans were being formulated for the Mass Ave Corridor Project, several members of our committee had the foresight to ask that it accommodate sites for public art. Thanks to Town Meeting members, a warrant article proposed by Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine was passed to provide funds for an expert to lead Arlington through its first large scale, contemporary public art process.
We are very pleased to welcome Cecily Miller as our public art manager for the East Arlington initiative. As the first Executive Director of the Somerville Arts Council, Cecily created the hugely popular Artbeat Festival in Davis Square, among many other ground breaking projects in Boston and surrounds. Cecily conceived and led a highly successful and innovative project at the Forest Lawn cemetery in Jamaica Plain, MA, where she commissioned artists to respond to the subject of remembrance in poetic, contemplative ways.
APA will work closely with Cecily as she engages with the neighborhoods and business community of East Arlington. As she has done so successfully before, she hopes to listen to the stories and history of East Arlington residents in order to help APA commission art works that reflect this community.
We welcome your input and we invite the public to attend our community meetings to share your stories.
Our first public meeting is scheduled for November 4, 7 pm, at the Robbins Library Community Room. True Story Theater will be facilitating this session as part of their “Living Brochure” project in collaboration with Arlington Vision 2020. Please join us to listen, learn, and share.
Our second public meeting is scheduled for December 8 at 7 pm at the Fox Library Community Room, also facilitated by True Story Theater.
More to come!