Department of Play (DoP)—a Boston-based collective that makes temporary play zones in public areas—assisted the community engagement process. DoP creates opportunities for city residents to step out of their everyday lives and have collective experiences of play in public spaces, taking a break to reflect on their relationship with the city and with one another. We invited DoP to serve as a creative resource for the Boston Creates team and to engage a broad cross-section of the public.
Using the Boston Creates logo, DoP designed jumbo, interlinking foam blocks for building structures. They used these blocks at public festivals and at youth meetings, inviting people to build their visions for the future of Boston’s arts and culture. DoP also worked with the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics to add an “I imagine something here” tab and icon to the asset map on Boston Creates’ website. Using text and/or images, people could pin their ideas for art amenities to specific locations on the map. DoP contributed to the creative engagement of Boston residents during the planning process and facilitated the work of the Boston Creates artist-ethnographers.