Documenting a Cultural Planning Process

What does a cultural planning process say about Boston? Artists Shaw Pong Liu and Heather Kapplow, and photographer Leonardo March have joined the team of Boston Creates to invite Bostonians to reflect about their city through art and to create a photographic portrait of Boston’s creative life.


Heather Kapplow is a self-trained conceptual artist, who creates engagement experiences designed to elicit unexpected intimacies.  She writes “In addition to being an artist, I've been documenting public debate/discussion and art/performance and/or facilitating it in various ways for a living and as avolunteer for most of my adult life. I've also lived in Boston for most of my life and benefitted very deeply from public arts programs as a child here—they shaped and informed me more than almost anything else that I had exposure to as a child, and I know firsthand what it's like to have city resources as your only access to culture.

15.2.jpgAs he set out to explore the creative and cultural landscape of Boston, photographer Leonardo March became interested in the people behind the landscape:  What do they do in their free time and how do they invest their creative energy. He’s been working to expand the image of the city in the minds of the people who live, incorporating images of ethnic festivals, religious festivals, entertaining events and political protests.  Through his work with Boston Creates, he wants to explore the cultural life of the city.


Shaw Pong Liu sees herself as a human being, community-builder and artist, someone who wants to connect people of Chinese_graffitti.jpgdiverse ages, backgrounds, cultures, disciplines and ideas through the transformative power of music, stories and interactive art-making. A classically-trained violinist and a composer, she’s collaborated with birdwatchers and naturalists to create performances that explore three-dimensional listening to one’s environment (“Arise”); veterans, VA doctors and actors to question the long-term impacts of war on those who come home (“Soldiers’ Tales Untold”); and teen artists, a Chinese calligrapher and hundreds of passersby to explore historic and contemporary ideas of peace (“Water Graffiti for Peace”).

They were selected among a very strong application pool of 32 artists and photographers. Shaw Pong’s music experiences, Heather’s moments of unexpected intimacy, and Leonardo’s lens will invite Bostonians to connect in surprising ways, and collectively think about the future of arts and culture in the city.


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