Special to the Sun
Mayor Michelle Wu and the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture (MOAC) announced Street Theory, Inc. as the City of Boston’s mural consultant. This three year contract, which totals $3,525,000, includes artist payments and all related project costs. It is funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and capital funds through the City’s Percent for Art program. As the mural consultant, Street Theory will be responsible for the administration and completion of 10 to15 murals or other mutually agreed upon public art projects across Boston through December 2025. It is the largest contract awarded by the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture for public art to date.
“Murals in Boston are a critical part of highlighting and amplifying culture and beauty in our communities,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “Arts help to create dynamic, connected and welcoming communities representative of our residents. I’m grateful to Street Theory for their partnership and dedication to equity in the creative space. This historic investment will uplift the work of diverse artists in all of our neighborhoods.”
Street Theory will work with MOAC to identify potential mural sites across Boston, provide feedback on Calls to Artists, and facilitate artist selection processes. They will also lead the documentation and community engagement processes related to these new mural projects. This support allows for the City to commission more artists for projects all over the city, with the goal of bringing more public art to every neighborhood. Projects that Street Theory will oversee include three basketball court murals at Malcolm X Park and a mural on a wall of the BCYF Shelburne in Roxbury, as well as murals in partnership with the Boston Public Library, Boston Housing Authority, Boston Public Schools, and Boston Centers for Youth and Families (BCYF).
“Public art has an incredible impact on communities, and we’ve seen that through some of the artworks we’ve been able to install in different neighborhoods over the past year, like Rita’s Spotlight by Rixy in Allston and The Joy of Growing by Mattaya Fitts in Dorchester,” said Kara Elliott-Ortega, Chief of Arts and Culture. “We’re looking forward to continuing our partnership with Liza and her team to transform neighborhoods across the city through more murals.”
“Murals are a form of public expression that create powerful experiences,” said Councilor Gabriela Coletta, Chair of the Committee on Arts, Culture, and Special Events. “They represent community values and foster the vibrancy of our beloved neighborhoods. Thank you to Mayor Michelle Wu and Street Theory for their investment that will ultimately empower artists across the City.”
Street Theory, Inc. is an award-winning creative agency that activates communities, spaces, and global brands through street art, experiential marketing, cultural placemaking, branding and design. Established in 2016, Street Theory is an artist-centric agency, owned and operated by its founder Liza Quiñonez. In 2021 and 2022, Street Theory served as Mural Consultant for the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, through which Liza supported 11 mural projects across the city, including:
• Doujans D’al Hirhoal by Cyrille Conan at the Patricia White Apartments in Brighton,
• Tree of Life, You Are Loved, Tree with Network of Stars, and Thank You Heroes by Alex Cook at the Engagement Center in Newmarket Square,
• Together by Mz. Icar at the Engagement Center in Newmarket Square,
• Youth Lead the Change: Rise Up from Your Roots by Mel Mandel at Franklin Field in Dorchester,
• Rita’s Spotlight by Rixy at 506 Cambridge St. in Allston,
• The Future of the Past Is Here Now by Curtis Williams at the Faneuil Branch of the Boston Public Library in Brighton (in progress),
• The Joy of Growing by Mattaya Fitts at the Peabody/Englewood Apartments in Dorchester, and
• A mural activation at the Boston Blooms Block Party in Downtown Crossing.
Street Theory’s overarching mission and strategy is to empower BIPOC creatives by fortifying and amplifying their respective artforms through talent and business development, intergenerational mentorship, cross-sector collaboration, and local engagement to increase equity in creative industries and build a more inclusive creative sector. The organization believes in breaking down barriers to the art industry by meeting BIPOC artists at every stage of their careers and creating pathways towards becoming thriving career artists through education, training, advocacy and exposure, while beautifying cities, communities, and neighborhoods with diverse and culturally-inspired public art.
“As the newly appointed mural consultant for the City of Boston, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to develop and administer dynamic and impactful murals and public art projects over the next three years,” said Liza Quiñonez. “I am excited to collaborate with the City, local artists, and community members to create works of art that reflect the diverse and vibrant culture of Boston. I look forward to bringing new life to public spaces throughout the city and leaving a lasting impression on residents and visitors alike.”
Street Theory was identified as the bidder that was most advantageous regarding proposal quality, vendor experience and qualifications, and diversity and inclusion plan. Street Theory is also certified by the City’s Supplier Diversity Program as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Woman Business Enterprise (WBE), and Small Business Enterprise (SBE).