John Connolly Announces Arts & Culture Agenda


Tours Bartlett Yard to Highlight Importance of Community Art Space

On Saturday, September 7, Mayoral candidate John Connolly toured Bartlett Yard in Roxbury to highlight the importance of space for artists and communities to come together, and to announce his agenda for enhancing the role of Arts & Culture in the civic and economic life of Boston.

Bartlett Yard is a former MBTA bus yard that has been turned into a temporary community art space.  Connolly helped the organizers to obtain the necessary permits for the project.

“Bartlett Yard is a great success story of how the city, artists and communities can work together to create exciting and interactive art that adds to the cultural diversity of our city and improves the quality of life in our neighborhoods,” said Connolly.  “The arts enrich our lives, spark our curiosity, bring us together, and make our city a more interesting, welcoming, and vibrant place to live, work and visit.  We should be supporting arts for the social and economic value that they add to the city.”

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John Connolly's Responses to Create the Vote Questionnaire

If you would rather have pdf version, find it here

1. Addressing Citywide Issues: Just as any other major city, Boston faces many economic and social issues. Can you provide examples on how you would integrate the arts, culture, and creative community in solving social problems? How would you use our community to drive economic development in the city?

As mayor, I will make support for the arts and culture a priority. The arts enrich our lives, spark our curiosity, bring us together, and make our city a more interesting, welcoming, and vibrant place to live, work and visit. By doing all of that, the arts also strengthen our economy. One of our greatest economic challenges is keeping skilled and talented workers here in the Boston area, and those workers want a city with a thriving artistic and cultural life. If we attract and retain skilled and talented workers, then we’ll also attract the companies that want to hire them. I will also work to ensure that all Bostonians benefit from the city’s arts and cultural resources, not just downtown but in every neighborhood. I supported the effort by a group of community members to use Bartlett Yard in Roxbury as a community arts space, and I will work to establish a culture at City Hall that works collaboratively to green light more projects like this.

We are fortunate to have incredible arts organizations for young people, like Artists for Humanity, which provides teens with jobs making and selling art; and Zumix, which builds community by teaching young people to play instruments, write songs, and record music, among other things. These programs are helping young people to build self-esteem, giving them the confidence to imagine a positive future for themselves. As mayor, I will do everything I can to support arts organizations working with young people in our neighborhoods, including exploring options to increase direct funding for them.

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John Connolly's Creative Economy Platform

From John Connolly's page "Making Boston A Competitive Job Creator" on his website.

Nurturing The Creative Economy

With world-class museums and universities and our unique history, Boston is in a position to become a leader in the creative economy. The city can support artists by promoting public art and creating space for artists to create and sell their work. As mayor, I will promote efforts to ensure the availability of affordable loft and studio space and would work with artists' groups and nonprofits to create vibrant exhibit spaces and marketplaces throughout the city. 

As mayor, I will remove the red tape that stifles our creative economy. We will retain young talent and have a more vibrant culture as a city if we lift restrictions on businesses that provide space for arts and music. We must also remove barriers to mobile vendors and food trucks and expedite permitting for new restaurants and stores. 

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Community Impact

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