See How to Find Art Works Created for Watertown’s Drive-by Exhibit

The following announcement came from the organizers of YardArt Waterotwn:

YardArt Watertown 2021 is the first annual outdoor art exhibition featuring the work of over 120 artists and art enthusiasts. The town-wide exhibit begins Friday, March 5th and runs through April 2nd and features a variety of art projects displayed on residents’ front yards and porches. The free, self-guided tour is a COVID-safe community event for anyone walking or driving through Watertown. YardArt locations are marked by yard signs and will appear on an interactive online map (coming soon, click here), along with creators’ statements and photos. A special temporary sculpture exhibit is on display at the Commander’s Mansion at Arsenal on the Charles.

Mosesian Center for the Arts Reimagining Itself in 2021

The following announcement was provided by the Mosesian Center for the Arts:

Closed since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mosesian Center for the Arts has had to reimagine its programming. In the past year, the nonprofit has kept its virtual doors open, however, for programs like Watertown Children’s Theatre, providing exceptional online production opportunities and classes, and for free online content, including an Annual Meeting, on its website and social media. The MCA has even reimagined itself with a new Executive Director, Darren Farrington, who joined the arts center last August. “In this year of upending change for the arts and all of our community,” Farrington said in an announcement to the center’s membership, “the MCA is embracing the opportunity for more change. We’ve been reimagining the look and functionality of our building itself.”

Since last summer, the MCA has quietly been conducting a feasibility study with architects from Sasaki Associates for a renovation of lobby and gallery spaces, classrooms, and administrative offices.

Council Approves Public Arts Master Plan, Creates New Committee

A mural created on Melendy Avenue in 2015 is an example of public arts in Watertown. A committee will be formed to help Watertown implement the Public Arts Master Plan, which received approval from the Town Council on Tuesday night. While Watertown has had some public arts projects, most notably a series of murals created from 2013-15, it did not have a formal plan. Planning to create a master plan began in 2019, when the Watertown Department of Planning and Community Development brought on the Metropolitan Area Planning Council as a consultant. The group gathered input from multiple community forums, from online surveys and by speaking with local artists and stakeholders.

New Rep Theatre Receives Grant from National Endowment for the Arts

The following information was provided by New Rep Theatre:

New Repertory Theatre is thrilled to announce that they have receivedfunding through the Grants for Arts Project Fund from the National Endowment for the Arts in the amount of $25,000. These funds will be used to help support New Rep’s newly commissioned Indigenous Moving Play, our upcoming 2-person production of Romeo & Juliet, as well as other programming to come. The Grants for Arts Projects (GAP) awards range from $10,000 to $100,000 and cover these artistic disciplines: Artist Communities, Arts Education, Dance, Design, Folk & Traditional Arts, Literary Arts, Local Arts Agencies, Media Arts, Museums, Music, Musical Theater, Opera, Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works, Theater, and Visual Arts. In February 2020, the agency received 1,674 eligible GAP applications requesting more than $82.4 million in FY 2021 support. Approved for funding are 1,073 projects totaling nearly $25 million, with grants recommended to 64% of all applicants and an average grant amount of $23,190.

Make Your Own Creation and Join in YardArt Watertown

Everyone from artists to people who have never created anything before are invited to make something and display it in their front yard as part of a Town-wide art exhibition. Organizers of the event, dubbed YardArt Watertown, wanted to bring some cheer to Watertown during the gloom of winter, said one of the organizers, Roberta Miller. “We need something this winter that is fun and gets people outside — kind of like porch fest, only it’s art,” Miller said. “Some people have done projects similar to this, decorate your door. So, after a lot of discussion with this small group, the idea emerged that we would do YardArt and we would encourage people to make something fun.

Business Group Seeks Input on Creating Neighborhood Identities, Cultural District

The Watertown Business Coalition has two upcoming virtual events to discuss promoting the different neighborhoods around Town, and creating a Cultural District. The group welcomes the ideas and input from businesses and residents. Neighborhood Identities

The effort to create stronger neighborhood identities emerged as an idea to boost local businesses during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic and moving forward. A virtual meeting will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 20 from 8:30-9:30 a.m.

The event announcement said: “We will discuss ways we can rally around the idea of creating neighborhood identities and promote businesses and the communities within those neighborhoods.

Dance Film & Photography Exhibit Showing at Watertown Art Studio

A shot of the new art installation at Room 83 Spring, “up in the air,” by Margaret Wiss. Watertown art studio Room 83 Spring is hosting an exhibition featuring the work of one artist, who has produced a film featuring dance as well as a photography exhibit. The show, up in the air, features the work of Margaret Wiss, a young, bright, emerging star, according to Room 83 Spring founders and co-curators Ellen Wineberg and Cathleen Daley. The show can be seen by coming into the studio, or from outside. “The whole show can be seen through our  windows and is especially vivid in the deep dark winter nights,” Wineberg and Daley said in the show’s announcement.

New Rep Director Leaving to Head Mass. Cultural Council

Michael Bobbitt will take over as New Repertory Theatre’s Artistic Director in August 2019. Michael Bobbitt, the artistic director of New Repertory Theatre, will be leaving the company to become the new executive director of the Mass. Cultural Council. Bobbitt took over New Rep in July of 2019, and left his mark in his time in Watertown — increasing audiences, revenues and leading company’s anti-racism efforts in the wake of the George Floyd’s killing. Prior to that, he had already started efforts to stress the importance of diversity, inclusion and equity at New Rep.

Even during COVID-19, New Rep brought theater to town with its Historical Moving Plays, which were performed on the streets of Watertown.