WeSpoke Gallery Talk – “BODY” with Amanda Shea

Title: WeSpoke Gallery Talk – “BODY” with Amanda Shea
Date: 2021-05-05

First of WeSpoke Gallery Talk Series Features SPOKE Artist-in-Residence Amanda Shea

MW Productions launches its WeSpoke Gallery Talks with “BODY,” featuring SPOKE Artist-in-Residence Amanda Shea, on Wednesday, May 5th.

Last year Shea received news that she would undergo an invasive surgery to repair two dislodged discs in her neck. In the 20 minutes that followed Shea poured her emotions into a poem, capturing the shock, anxiety, and fear stirred by the risks of the procedure and its impact on herself and her livelihood.  “BODY” for Shea meant coming to terms with her own body’s journey and all it has endured. One year later, after releasing a video alongside her poem, Shea’s art has sparked new conversations around body positivity, body dysmorphia, eating disorders, and disability (visible and invisible).
On May 5th MW Productions/SPOKE shares the voices of Black and Brown women and artists as they speak candidly about how they view themselves, health in the Black community, and their treatment during traumatic and transformative moments. Following a viewing of the “BODY” video, moderator Arielle Gray (WBUR The ARTery Arts Engagement Producer, Writer, Artist) will lead a discussion with panelists Denika Alvarez, Brandie Blaze, Adrianna Boulin, Oliver Burns, J.A.B.S., & Shea in a deeper conversation around their journey with their own body and how it has shaped their livelihood. This first “WeSpoke” Gallery Talk will begin at 7 pm in the New Spoke Gallery and will be available via Zoom, Facebook and YouTube. Future “WeSpoke” Gallery Talks will focus on climate change, addiction and recovery, and racial justice and reconciliation.
Photo credit: Danny Reyes Figueroa of Maze Radio

Photo credit: Danny Reyes Figueroa of Maze Radio

Check out this WBUR article highlighting Amanda’s work here! 

MW Productions/SPOKE Launches New Creative Placemaking Partnership in S. Boston’s Old Colony Neighborhood

Last night MW Productions/SPOKE announced a new partnership with two exceptional Latinx artists, Beacon Communities, and the Boston Housing Authority to activate S. Boston’s Old Colony neighborhood with community-driven public art over the next two years. The organization shared news of this exciting initiative at last night’s Latinx Community Excellence Awards, which it co-hosted virtually from its SPOKE Gallery on Summer Street.

Allison Maria Rodriguez and Franklin Marval will work with MW Productions/SPOKE to engage residents and key institutional partners in Old Colony to activate the transformative power of art to improve the quality of life in this neighborhood as it undergoes a complex, decade-long redevelopment. MW Productions/SPOKE (then Medicine Wheel) has created public art in Old Colony during earlier phases of its redevelopment. This year the organization began planning to transform a facility at the center of this neighborhood as a new public arts center.

“Art is a universal language that helps us understand and navigate change. This is as true for neighborhoods and communities as it is for us as individuals,” said Greg Liakos, Interim Executive Director, MW/Productions/SPOKE. “This project is the first step towards a creative placemaking strategy for Old Colony, where we will work alongside residents and community partners to integrate public art, architecture, and landscape design. We’re so grateful to Allison and Franklin for their willingness to engage with us in this work. And we thank Beacon Communities and the Boston Housing Authority for their confidence in us and our mission.”

Both Franklin Marval and Allison Maria Rodriguez bring deep experience creating inclusive public art with communities across age, race, gender, sexuality and culture. They will use this perspective to guide residents in sharing their ideas, hopes, and vision for Old Colony.

Marval creates vibrant art inspired by the landscape and colors of his native Venezuela. Contrastingly, Cuban-American artist Rodriguez works predominantly in video installation and new media. She creates immersive experiential spaces that challenge conventional ways of knowing and understanding the world, focusing extensively on climate change, species extinction, and the interconnectivity of existence. MW/SPOKE honored Rodriguez with its annual Artist Activist Award in 2019, and exhibited Marval’s work in its SPOKE Gallery last year.

Originally constructed in 1940, Old Colony is one of the oldest federal public housing developments in the country. Beacon Communities and the BHA are redeveloping the 845-unit Old Colony in multiple phases. The first two phases and part of the third phase of the redevelopment have been completed, resulting in the replacement of aging public housing with 420 new apartment units and townhouses. Beacon Communities is currently building 170 new affordable homes in two new, four-story buildings. All of the newly constructed units will be for households earning at or below 50 percent of the area median income (AMI) and will be supported by project-based Section 8 vouchers administered through the BHA.

Last night’s event with the Latinx Wellness Center leaders and celebrated the Latinx/a/o/e LGBTQIAPK + experience, recognizing 18 individuals and local businesses/organizations for their outstanding work in Boston and across Massachusetts. Awards recognized Innovation, Social Impact, Civic Service, and Contributions to The Arts, amongst others.

Photo credit: Boston Magazine

Photo credit: Boston Magazine

Turning the Wheel: June 16 Annual Fundraiser

Title: Turning the Wheel Annual Fundraiser
Date: 2021-06-16

Racial justice and reconciliation. Addiction and recovery. Public health and community healing.

MW Productions/SPOKE activates art and artists to address these and other urgent social challenges.

Turning the Wheel is our annual fundraiser and your chance to ensure we can continue to do our work.

Taking place Wednesday, June 16, Turning the Wheel will honor three exceptional individuals whose lives and work embody our mission:

SPOKE AWARDS

Read more about our 2021 SPOKE Awardees!

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BeSpoke: $25,000

OutSpoken: $10,000

Well-Spoken: $5,000

Plain-Spoken: $2,500

Soft-Spoken: $1,000

I-Spoke: any amount

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