Arts + Policy

Arts + Policy


CommonWealth wins six awards from New England newspaper association

CommonWealth wins six awards from New England newspaper association

Four first-place honors across a range of coverage areas among the winning entries

COMMONWEALTH WON SIX AWARDS, including four first-place designations, from the New England Newspaper & Press Association in its Better Newspaper Competition. The awards were for articles written between August 1, 2020 and July 31, 2021. The awards were announced over the weekend at the association’s annual convention in Boston.  CommonWealth competed in the category of(...)

Read More »

Using art to address social issues

Using art to address social issues

Projects across state taking up the challenge

First in a series of commentaries on arts in community LeLand Gantt’s performance of Rhapsody in Black was an entry point for people in an overwhelmingly White region to talk about race. This compelling one-man show exploring racism, identity, and self-image was presented virtually in 2021 through a Berkshires community collaboration. Clinton Church Restoration is(...)

Read More »

New Samuel Slater Experience spotlights ‘father of American manufacturing’

New Samuel Slater Experience spotlights ‘father of American manufacturing’

Interactive Disney-like museum teaches about Webster mill magnate

AS SAMUEL SLATER traveled from England to the United States in 1789, he voiced his ambitions to revolutionize the US textile industry with knowledge he had gained in England. Yet he also heard the voice of his mentor in his head telling him if he left England, he would be considered “a spy, or worse,(...)

Read More »

Asian-American/Pacific Islander arts face unique challenges post-COVID 

Asian-American/Pacific Islander arts face unique challenges post-COVID 

Groups struggled with racism, loss of community 

TWO YEARS AGO, Wah Lum Kung Fu & Tai Chi Academy had 200 students learning martial arts in Malden and Quincy. Its performance team was hired to perform lion and dragon dances and martial arts demonstrations at festivals, weddings, and business openings.  Then the pandemic hit. Wah Lum offered classes online. But for students used(...)

Read More »

New Bedford arts groups making connections

New Bedford arts groups making connections

Historical society seeks to promote city’s abolitionist history

THE NEW BEDFORD Historical Society, whose focus is the history of people of color in the South Coast city, appears poised for a takeoff.  The society is developing a park and a historic district centered around the abolitionist movement in New Bedford and the city’s role in the Underground Railroad. “Between 1790 and the Civil(...)

Read More »

The Quabbin lesson of doing big things (mostly) together

The Quabbin lesson of doing big things (mostly) together

In a time of division over even incremental steps, the project to deliver water to Greater Boston stands out even more

BEFORE THE FLOOD Destruction, Community, and Survival in the Drowned Towns of the Quabbin By Elisabeth C. Rosenberg 232 pages, Pegasus Books TODAY IT MIGHT be hard to imagine something that would stir more controversy than a massive dam project, which would displace several towns and thousands of people, and literally inundate the local environment(...)

Read More »

DCR ghosts artist group in Hull

DCR ghosts artist group in Hull

Local artists seek to convert empty state building into arts center

A FEW YEARS AGO, the state Department of Conservation and Recreation put an early 1900s dilapidated, long-vacant building it owns across from Nantasket Beach in Hull out to bid for renovation and repurposing. The agency got no bids. Now a group called Hull Artists wants to come to the rescue, telling DCR that they would(...)

Read More »

High school junior wows Lawrence crowd

High school junior wows Lawrence crowd

Baker calls performance ‘very, very special’

ALLISON CASTILLO, a junior at Methuen High School, got the call on New Year’s Eve. The singer that Lawrence City Clerk Diane LeBlanc had lined up to sing “God Bless America” at Monday night’s inauguration of city councilors and school committee members couldn’t make it. A possible stand-in also said she wasn’t available. LeBlanc heard(...)

Read More »

Michael Rodrigues takes up cause of restoring Azorean Jewish heritage

Michael Rodrigues takes up cause of restoring Azorean Jewish heritage

Catholic politician helped restoration of abandoned synagogue 

PICTURES OF THE old synagogue show a decrepit building with peeling paint, broken furniture, and rotting wood. Prayer books were ripped. There were water leaks, vermin, and structural damage. It looked like what it was – a house of worship abandoned for more than 40 years, built to serve a community that no longer existed. (...)

Read More »