Mission & Vision

Mission

MW Productions/SPOKE activates the transformative power of art to heal divisions, strengthen community, and drive social progress. We forge a common path of equity and civic engagement across Greater Boston through visual art, dance, poetry & spoken-word performance. Young people are essential contributors to all of our work. Creating together, we emerge with a deeper understanding of ourselves, each other, and the world we share.

Our award-winning public programs empower artists and youth to triage critical community needs, from addiction and alcoholism to racial justice, LBGTQ+ rights, HIV/AIDS, environmental stewardship, and climate change. MW Productions/SPOKE serves a public that is racially, socioeconomically, and culturally diverse.
Medicine Wheel’s work in creative youth development empowers teens and young adults find their voice through the arts to deepen self-understanding, recover from addiction, and make a difference in their communities. This work has garnered numerous awards, including the Social Innovator-Youth Arts Social Innovation Forum at RootCause, Harvard Youth Violence Prevention Center, and the Harvard School of Public Health’s Boston Peace Prize.

Michael’s Vision

For the past 29 years I have been building places for people to gather and to heal. In 1992, I was invited by the Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) to create a ritual to honor A Day Without art. I wasn’t sure what I was doing, but I was about to find out. I went to the quarries in Quincy, where I had grown up and gathered large blocks stone to scatter throughout the vast space of the BCA Cyclorama. During the day I invited people to carry a stone to the center of the room, feel it’s weight and to build a cairn in the center of the room to mark the significance of the day. I noticed two women trying to lift a large piece of stone, probably weighing around 120 lbs. I offered to help and they politely declined. A young man, ringing a gong every 16 minutes to mark the rate of HIV infections in 1992 , also offered to help. Again the women declined. I offered a third time and one of the women turned to me and said ” You don’t get this do you? Her son, my nephew just died form AIDS. this is our weight.

I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach. I realized in this moment what I was called to do as an artist.