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Workshop 2


BostonAPP/Lab Notes from February 26, 2013

Lessons from HONK! Festival: Collaboration at the urban/neighborhood scale

  • Where else can there be cross-border installations/festivals; necessary strategies/possibilities?

  • HONK! as “template” for other kinds of events/engagements.

    • Originated in 2006 as Brass Band Festival in Davis Square

    • Involvement from the beginning by Davis Square businesses

      • On the cheap, in tradition of Bread & Puppet Theatre

      • Chose to work with spaces that already existed; didn’t need additional electricity, lighting, etc.

      • Didn’t want to close off streets; leave space activated as it was

      • Popular because it’s music, not just ideas

      • Year 2: turned it into a parade, Davis to Harvard Sq.

        • Connected to Harvard Sq. businesses

        • Got help in contacting police, getting parade permits

        • Space between bands during parade occupied by, e.g., puppet theatre, political action groups, hula-hoop performers, etc.

        • At first, challenge to get groups to come

        • Now, repeaters along with artists wanting to design for this

    • Three levels of support:

      • Business community

      • Individuals/public wanting to attend

        • Kickstarter fundraising

        • Individuals/families provide housing for the bands

      • Municipalities

    • Two faces of festival:

      • Bands that come: intermixing among the bands

      • Public: doesn’t care about the details, just want to have fun

    • Expanding each year with new activities

    • Sunday night blow-out after Octoberfest: all musicians play together

  • Collaborations:

    • Worked with Boys & Girls Clubs; participated in voter registration drives

  • Cambridge Arts Council:

    • Provided list of who needed to be contacted from the City/how to move through the bureaucracy

  • Mass Cultural Council:

    • Working within context of MCC’s designated “cultural districts” can provide a baseline 

  • EMichelman noted supportive value of local cultural council, as in Brookline

  • LCardona: Broader issue of information/communication access (or lack of same) related to the arts in the region

  • AHouston: MCC resources include “Adams Grant Program for Public Art,” which includes both planning and completion grants.

    • Make sure this source on the BostonApp/Lab website

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