Acting Mayor Janey Kicks off Her Joy Agenda: Initiative Looking for Artist to Create Mural at New Eastie Senior Center

Last week, Acting Mayor Kim Janey, in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, Boston Parks Department and the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, announced the “Joy Agenda” initiative. 

According to Janey the Joy Agenda is a city-wide invitation and opportunity for local artists to take part in a Transformative Public Art Program that includes creating a mural at Eastie’s new Senior Center, which is currently under construction. 

“After over a year of incredible hardships caused by COVID-19 and acts of violence against communities of color across the country, we’re looking at ways we can foster an equitable recovery that allows all residents of Boston to thrive,” said Janey. “We believe that by emphasizing the power of joy in healing and growth, we’ll be able to come back together as a stronger, more welcoming city.”

A key part of this work includes a focus on City-led initiatives that create job opportunities for creative workers across artistic disciplines throughout communities, organizations, and City departments. The Transformative Public Art Program, led by the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, is one element of this initiative.

For the Eastie Senior Center mural project, interested artists will have an opportunity to apply for a grant between  $25,000-$75,000. 

The artist that receives the grant will then work with Age Strong and community members to create a mural at the Senior Center. The deadline to apply for this opportunity is Wednesday, June 16 at 5 p.m.

The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture will be holding virtual Question and Answer sessions on Wednesday, May 26th at noon and artists can apply at https://cityofbostonartsandculture.submittable.com/submit/194885/transformative-public-art-the-joy-agenda. 

“This past year, we saw so many artists bring together communities amid social isolation and provide collective opportunities for processing grief, healing, and joy,” said Chief of Arts and Culture for the City of BostonKara Elliott-Ortega. “This program will bring more arts opportunities to Boston, while also investing in artists and creative workers who need our support now more than ever.”

For decades Eastie senior citizens and senior groups like the Golden Age Club have been clamoring for their own space in the community. 

In the fall the city released a set of artist renderings for the first time that depicts what Eastie’s first ever Senior Center will look like once construction is completed. 

Construction on the future senior center began last summer at the former Bremen Street branch of the Boston Public Library across from Orient Heights MBTA station. 

Construction work on the senior center will include accessibility upgrades, new HVAC systems, new elevator, window replacements, landscaping, new utilities, new bathrooms, new kitchen, sprinkler system and roof replacement. 

The renderings released by the city for the first time show the all glass, 850 square foot addition that will house the senior center’s main entrance, lobby, elevator and stairwell. The renderings also show the outdoor terrace that is part of the design. 

Investments from Massport, through mitigation struck with the Logan Impact Advisory Committee (LIAG), will help support the programming and operational needs of the newly-renovated center once construction is complete. 

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