Celebrate Boston AIR 2.0

In 2015, we launched Boston’s first Artist-in-Residence Program, with three artists embedded in City departments. The program aims to integrate creative thinking into the work of municipal departments and planning efforts.

This weekend, we’ll celebrate the successful conclusion of the second year of the program, where 10 artists were placed in residence at a Boston Centers for Youth & Families community center in neighborhoods around the city.. These artists, representing various art disciplines, have been working towards finding creative ways to approach problem solving, elevating the importance of the arts and contributing to the cultural fabric of the city.   

The 10 artists and their projects include:

  • Lina Giraldo, whose residency focused on creating ownership and understanding identity using technology and storytelling. During her workshops, youth and seniors used coding and technology to build their own cameras that they used to interview community members.
  • Salvador Jimenez-Flores, who taught the art of printmaking to over 100 5th and 6th graders. Through creating their own prints for Chinese fans, his residency embraced the historic and present immigrant communities that have transformed Chinatown and promote diversity and inclusion.
  • Charles Coe, a writer and artist who developed a community based story collection called, “What You Don’t Know About Me.” The project includes stories that highlight some aspect of the person’s life that might challenge the viewer’s perceptions.
  • Cornell Coley, who facilitated community drumming circles in Roslindale; including the BCYF itself and in the larger community. He contributed to a revitalization of the on-site BCYF recording studio and produced a series of music concerts in the neighborhood.
  • Maria Molteni, who collaborated with youth from the BCYF Perkins after school program and peewee basketball community to repaint designs on the Harambee Park basketball courts, visually reclaiming the court for the community.
  • Marjorie Saintil-Belizaire, who worked towardsreshaping the Mattahunt Community Center as an arts and cultural space to convene, engage and better reflect and celebrate community, local arts, culture, heritage, entrepreneurship, while also honoring BCYF’s ACES (Arts, Community and Civic Engagements, Education and Sports) framework.
  • Rashin Rahandej who worked on a collaborative multimedia project that examines access and equality through the lens of mass incarceration and how it impacts the lives of children, youth, women, communities and society at large.
  • John Walsh, a graphic novelist who interviewed immigrants and wrote and illustrated their stories. Through sequential art, these immigrant experiences are being presented in a new and unique way that will allow for easy translation into other languages.
  • JennDeLeon who ledan exploration of racial and class segregation and its impact on education and student identify as explored through the lens of storytelling. She investigated walls and their impact on community and the power of story to break through them.
  • Ann Hirsch who focused on making connections through public art and sculpture with many different groups of community members, especially youth. She explored the theme of hand gestures as a lens through which to explore current issues and future goals, as well as the use of nonverbal communication modes in the expression of fear, protection and protest.


Through Boston AIR, artists are supported as agents of reflection, collaboration, and activism, whether through process-oriented practice, direct community engagement, or as leaders of system-wide change projects. It’s part of the vision of Boston Creates, the City’s Cultural Plan and it reflects the Mayor’s commitment to making Boston a municipal arts leader.  

On Saturday, September 16 from 4 pm – 7 pm, we’ll celebrate the work of the 2017 Boston AIR Artists at a celebration at the Emerson Media Art Gallery.  Please join us for a video screening and an artist panel to recognize the collective work of the artists and their BCYF centers.  RSVP at  We look forward to seeing you there!





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