“What Does it Mean to Be Free?”


In August of 2020, we called upon Massachusetts-based artists to design works of art that represented freedom for our local artist wall on Peabody Street in el Punto.  Because of the work of North Shore CDC, we understand that we have a responsibility when it comes to the art we bring into the community. It must educate the community and its visitors about social justice, instill neighborhood pride, and bring about awareness of existing socio-economic barriers.

Inspired by the African American singer, songwriter and civil rights activist Nina Simone’s song, “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free,” the Punto Urban Art Museum (PUAM) awarded 20 Massachusetts-based artists $1,000 each to use their creativity, communication, and advocacy to develop an interpretation of the lyrics and ideas written by jazz legend Billy Taylor and Dick Dallas, of what it means to be free.

Artists were encouraged to interpret the song, pay homage to the singer, songwriters, or the historical context of the Civil Rights Movement, or can use this opportunity to share their our journey of what it means to be free living in the United States. Art is a powerful form of communication. Take 3 minutest to learn more about the project.