No Man’s Land 25th Anniversary Event

Thank you to everyone that came out to the No Man’s Land 25th Anniversary Commemoration on August 25th. We were so proud to welcome many various members of the South Boston community, some longstanding supporters of Medicine Wheel Productions/SPOKE and No Man’s Land: Longtime collaborators the National Park Service, whose Boston Superintendent, Michael Creasy, joined us; and newer partners such as local South Boston business In Good Co. Shop.

We’re also grateful to Boston City Councilor Ed Flynn and Massachusetts State Representative David Biele for joining us. Rep. Biele kindly shared a proclamation from the Massachusetts House of Representatives acknowledging our history of community building at No Man’s Land (photo below of Michael holding it up for the audience).

Founder & Artistic Director Michael Dowling unveils two scrolls honoring our South Boston brothers and sisters lost to addiction.

Founder & Artistic Director Michael Dowling unveils two scrolls honoring our South Boston brothers and sisters lost to addiction.

Michael sharing a proclamation from the Mass House of Representatives shared by State Rep. David Biele.

Michael sharing a proclamation from the Mass House of Representatives shared by State Rep. David Biele.

Many members of the community attended the No Man’s Land celebration to visit the commemorative bricks they’ve purchased to honor loved ones that they’ve lost along the way. A special thank you to WS Development, for underwriting the costs for this event. Thanks also to our Board Chair, Dr. Rohit Chandra, and members Donna Brown, Keith Marion, and Rick Winterson for their generous contributions and attendance.

As is the tradition at our annual No Man’s Land event, a King and Queen of the Hill were honored. The 2021 Queen of the Hill was Mercy Robinson, the Executive Director of South Boston En Accion, one of our local South Boston community partners (pictured below with Michael and Greg). The evening also featured powerful performances from Dakohai Matityahu, Oliver Burns, and Charles Murrell III, all of whom are teaching artists in SPOKE’s recently launched YouthSpeak program (also pictured below).

AfriClassical composer and teaching artist Charles Murrell III performing.

AfriClassical composer and teaching artist Charles Murrell III performing.

Queen of the Hill Mercy Robinson, Executive Director of S. Boston En Accion, with Michael & Greg.

Queen of the Hill Mercy Robinson, Executive Director of S. Boston En Accion, with Michael & Greg.

Three of our YouthSpeak teaching artists who joined us to honor No Man's Land: (from left to right are Charles, Dakohai (seated), and Oliver)

Three of our YouthSpeak teaching artists who joined us to honor No Man’s Land: (from left to right are Charles, Dakohai (seated), and Oliver)

“This was a magical night of art, reflection, and fellowship,” said Interim Executive Director Greg Liakos. “Thank you to all who contributed to making it a success.”

An additional ‘thank you’ to South Boston Online for this beautiful summary of our event. Our resilient South Boston community is the reason why we do our work, which makes this article all the more special.

Medicine Wheel/SPOKE still seeks additional philanthropic support for the ongoing work necessary to maintain No Man’s Land as a public park and continue our community programming there. Please consider a contribution today.

Donate to No Man's Land at https://givebutter.com/zWbvcx

Donate to No Man’s Land at https://givebutter.com/zWbvcx

Donate to No Man’s Land at https://givebutter.com/zWbvcx

Photos courtesy of Ramón Galván

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Help Us Honor 25 Years at No Man’s Land

Join us for August 25 Celebration

On Wednesday, August 25 SPOKE (formerly Medicine Wheel Productions) honors its 25th anniversary at No Man’s Land, a public park and sculpture garden in South Boston’s Dorchester Heights neighborhood, with a community event beginning at 6 pm.

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Register for this special event here. 

Respond to our Facebook event here.

FINAL NML flier

We’ll unveil our new public art project, a series of mosaics marking the 12 Steps of Recovery, installed along one of No Man’s Land’s stone staircases. Young people working to overcome addiction at the Gavin Foundation’s Cushing House, and the recovery-focused Ostiguy High School, have worked all summer with SPOKE artists to design and install these mosaics and are helping to organize the commemoration.

The event will honor the extraordinary 25-year history of No Man’s Land and all those who have contributed to its growth and conservation, and those we have lost along the way. We’ll thank our partners at the National Park Service (NPS), the City of Boston, and the Dorchester Heights neighborhood. SPOKE will use this gathering to publicly announce the signing of a memorandum of agreement to maintain and improve the space with NPS, which operates the adjacent Dorchester Heights National Historic Site.

Founder and Artistic Director Michael Dowling in performance with Boston Youth at No Man's Land in 2009

Founder and Artistic Director Michael Dowling in performance with Boston Youth at No Man’s Land in 2009

The gathering will highlight the need for ongoing support to conserve this space and support public programming there that meets community needs.

WS Development has generously awarded a grant to SPOKE to partially underwrite the costs of this event. SPOKE seeks additional philanthropic support for the commemoration and the ongoing work to maintain this space for this public.

 Help us support No Man’s Land. 

Mosaic of the 1st of 12 Steps of Recovery, reading "We admitted we were powerless over substances—that our lives had become unmanageable."

Mosaic of the 1st of 12 Steps of Recovery, reading “We admitted we were powerless over substances—that our lives had become unmanageable.”

Mosaic of the 1st of 12 Steps of Recovery, reading “We admitted we were powerless over substances—that our lives had become unmanageable.”

About No Man’s Land
In the summer of 1996 the strip of land behind South Boston High School was rampant with substance abuse and violent clashes, the legacies of poverty, racial segregation, and busing. Michael Dowling, SPOKE Founder & Artistic Director, brought together artists, neighbors, activists, and young people, to reimagine and revitalize the space with a series of art installations, performances, and public programs. Today No Man’s Land is a welcoming, active public gathering place of beauty, serenity, and creative expression.

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