Medicine Wheel Board Honors Artisitc Director Michael Dowling

Join us at the TAJ to Celebrate 25 Years of Art and Healing and to honor Artistic Director  Michael Dowling’s Vision of a shared new future!  For tickets




Artistic Director in Boston Police Commissioner William Evans Office,  Presenting Hand in Hand


Dowling’s artistic work takes many forms, but it is united by his deep conviction that art and

the act of artistic creation have unrivaled power to break barriers and bring people together

around a common sense of purpose. Dowling is interested in the potential for personal and

collective change found in this liminal experience of crossing and uniting in what Dowling

calls the “threshold” through which individuals pass at the invitation of a work of art or, better

yet, as they share in the act of artistic creation. Certainly there is a long genealogy to the

notion that art can or should serve as an agent of social change, but Dowling’s

understanding of the nexus between art and change is both more nuanced and more

practical than I had previously encountered. As we worked together on the Liberty Tree

Project in 2014 and 2015, I came to understand Dowling’s vision of the power or art and the

role of the artist as both deeply aspirational and surprisingly earthbound. Dowling’s work

proceeds from the idea that something important happens when we bring together people

from different backgrounds and with different experiences and views of the world and invite

them to share a common experience of collaborative artistic creation or interpretation. They

learn that they are not as different as they had expected. They learn to communicate, to

listen, to understand. Indeed, they are changed.”

Nathaniel Sheidley Historian and Director of Public History The Bostonian Society