In May, North Shore Community Development Coalition (North Shore CDC) held a call for Massachusetts-based creatives to use their artistic powers of communication, empathy, and advocacy to develop Public Service Announcements (PSA) for primarily low-income, immigrant, non-English speaking communities.
Through its on-the-grounds-work, North Shore CDC discovered that vital public safety information had not been reaching every neighborhood equitably. Language barriers, lack of internet access, and structural inequality are among some factors barring important communication and resources into communities who need it most.
Rising unemployment, social distancing, and event cancellation greatly undermined those in the creative economy who depend on collaborative and social environments as part of their practice. Recognizing these two issues, the Punto Urban Art Museum (PUAM), the public arts program of North Shore CDC, released a Request for Proposals (RFP) to select twenty-five creatives, prioritizing those most affected by COVID, and awarding them each $1,000 for their works.
Through the RFP, creatives were encouraged to address the following types of topics:
- Healthy Best Practices – Guidelines recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Center for Disease Control to stay safe and healthy during the pandemic
- Wellbeing/Kindness – Take care of our emotional and mental health as best as possible. Note how each person’s ability for “self care” varies by circumstance and privilege.
- Awareness/Advocacy – Highlight existing or rising social issues due to COVID-19
All 25 selected works are available to view and download at www.puntourbanartmuseum.org/rfp/psa. Visitors can enjoy these works privately or distribute to their own communities for free. Please note that North Shore CDC will not allow third-parties to resell or profit off of these artists’ work. The 25 selected works range from posters, educational activities, stickers, music and more, and most are available in English and Spanish. With COVID-19 cases rising across the country, low-income immigrant communities continue to be affected the most, it is now even more critical to share this public safety information.
Physical copies of these works will be shared to Point Neighborhood residents through care packages, and posting posters at North Shore CDC properties and local small businesses who can use some of these works to encourage customers to abide by re-opening guidelines. You can also find these works by following @urban.art.museum on Instagram or @NorthShoreCDC on Facebook.
In July, a panel consisting of curators, artists and public health experts chose three winners from the selected works that best embodied the spirit of the call, who were awarded an additional $350 each. Victoria Enright’s poster entitled “Aire Fresco” (Left), Yenny Hernandez’s stickers entitled “Remember to Remember” (middle), and Kimberly Barzola’s poster entitled “El Pueblo Unido” (right) were selected as winners based on effectiveness, creativity, clarity, and accessibility.
On August 5th, North Shore CDC will be hosting their second Conversations featuring Mickey Northcutt, CEO, and two of the panelists, Pedro Alonzo, Independent Curator, and Meghan Venable-Thomas, Program Director, Cultural Resilience & National Initiatives with Enterprise Community Partners, for a lively lunchtime conversation about the role of public art as a vehicle for cultural resilience in American neighborhoods from 12:30 to 1:00 PM. RSVP and send in your questions to the panelists prior to the event by emailing Ashley Ganem at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in showcasing any of the 25 works, please contact Yuko Okabe at email@example.com.
25 SELECTED ARTISTS
From the selected artists: 68% come from a minority background, 36% are people of color and 80% are women.
- Anna Dugan, Salem
- Anyssa Powell-Irenne, Worcester
- April Jakubec, Medford
- Arifa Awadallah, Dorchester
- Celeste Cruz, Lawrence
- Consuelo Terra and Carolina Sepúlveda, Cambridge
- Curtis Williams, Brighton
- Farah Jeune, Quincy
- Gabrielle Redding, Cambridge
- Jamie Chan, Medford
- Juliet Goodman, Lexington
- Keshia De Leon, Salem
- Kimberly Barzola, Salem
- Michael Grimaldi, Salem
- Michaela Savell, Beverly
- Nicole Garcia, Lawrence
- Olivia Santos, Boston
- Sadie Barboza, Boston
- Sage Shea, Holyoke
- Sheila Farren Billings, Salem
- Sophia Moon, Boston
- Susan Mosijchuk, Westfield
- Valeria Cardenas, Lowell
- Victoria R. Enright, Andover
- Yenny Hernandez, Salem