Boston Harbor [Re]creation creates platforms for artists to interpret the unique elements that comprise Boston Harbor, so that artists, in turn, may engage new audiences through creating place-based artwork that offers innovative educational and recreational opportunities for the public. 


Please Join us! Arts on the Edge Cruise, Monday July 8, 6:30-8:00

Join Boston Harbor Now on a cruise through Boston Harbor, making connections across cultures and communities and celebrating the many forms of artistic expressions that flow into the Harbor. This free boat ride will feature music, performance, poetry, and participatory visual art, showcasing intergenerational and diverse expressions. Meet the Boston Harbor Artists in Residence and learn about their projects, and an all-star lineup of poets, visual artists, musicians, and dancers. With many of our communities located within a short distance from Boston Harbor, Boston Harbor Now in partnership with the National Park Service, through funding from the Boston Cultural Council wishes to introduce (or re-introduce) communities to the enjoyment of Boston Harbor so we can all take advantage of this great resource. Not to be missed!
- Destiny "Divine" Polk: afro-indigenous poet, dancer, choreographer, producer, multi-disciplinary artist, community organizer/space holder, art-educator and founder of art-activist platform Radical Black Girl. - DJ TROY Frost: an artist, educator and DJ born and raised in Dorchester/Roxbury. - Marsha Parrilla: Danza Orgánica bring an eclectic mix from their repertory work. - Red Panda House: hip-hop dance group - Amanda Shea: multidisciplinary artist and spoken word poet. - Kera Washington and Zili Misik: Music bridging cultures, continents and generations - Veronica Robles: Mariachi and traditional Latin dance - Billy Dean Thomas, AKA “The Queer B.I.G” is a Hip-hop recording artist and composer

Tickets are free. Reserve your spot on Eventbrite.

**Boat departs from the World Trade Center at 6:30 pm. Please arrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure. Boarding will begin at 6:00 pm.  The cruise cannot wait for late guests


We are excited to announce the 2019 Artists in Residence on the Harborwalk and on the Islands!


Harbor Islands: Past, Present, Future

Through intentional partnerships with Native American members of the Nipmuc, Massachusett, and Mashpee Wampanoag communities, multidisciplinary dance theater artist Marsha Parrilla will facilitate the creation of Harbor Islands: Past, Present, Future. The residency will: shed light on the historic accounts of Harbor Islands as expressed through the voices of the people whose ancestors were part of the islands; illuminate their contemporary history (and the ongoing presence of Native peoples on the islands), and serve as a platform to collectively create a fresh vision for Indigenous people from Boston. This project creates spaces to heal these collective wounds to our land, our minds, and our spirits- and to dream a better future for generations to come.
Environmental Racism and Environmental Justice: Panel on the uses of the Land and Water, with a focus on the Boston Harbor and the Waterfront. - History of the Island’s water/land use. (past) - How has it changed from 1675-2019. (present) - Where are we going as climate change gets stronger? (future) Location: Joe Moakley Park Date: August 18th Activities: 1. Panel and Q&A on Environmental Justice- Panel Moderator: Cedric Woods (tbc). Panel: Robert Peters, Kristen Wyman, Hartman Deetz & Michelle Cook (to be confirmed), Faries Gray (Massachusett), and youth (tbc). 2. Interactive creation of a model of the Harbor Islands in three of its stages. Led by: Andre “Strongbearheart” Gaines Jr., and Miles Bernadett-Peters. 3. Using our natural resources as a source for healing: Healing Salve making workshop by Nia Holley. 4. Songs to Mother Earth: to be shared in event, and to be used at final presentation in 2020. This will include commitments individuals can make: songs/dance/ language for the Earth; she responds to that.
Second Event: Historical and Contemporary History of Deer Island. - How it was like before 1675. What happened in 1675-6 - What is taking place today (community efforts) - What we envision for its future (ie. recover existing curriculum to educate the youth, involvement of Native voices in all aspects of planning for the islands, protection for the islands, etc). Location: Joe Moakley Park. Date: September 14th Activities: 1. Panel and Q&A on Deer Island- Panel Moderator: Kristen Wyman. Panel: Elizabeth Solomon, Nia Holley, Jasmine Rochelle Goodspeed, Larry Mann (tbc), youth (tbc). 2. Interactive dance and song offerings by: Andre “Strongbearheart” Gaines Jr., Miles Bernadett-Peters, Larry Mann (tbc), and youth (tbd). 3. Dance for Social Justice Workshop- Led by: Marsha Parrilla, and Dey Hernández.
Marsha Parrilla Bio Afro Taíno choreographer Marsha Parrilla is the founding Artistic Director of Danza Orgánica. After obtaining a Bachelor's Degree in Foreign Languages ​​from the University of Puerto Rico, Marsha moved to New York, where she completed a Master's Degree in Dance Education at New York University. Now a resident of Boston, Parrilla is a recipient of several awards from the New England Foundation for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the Boston Foundation, among others. Parrilla is also a Luminary artist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, where she has been commissioned to create artistic work - and is a dance ambassador for the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art. In 2017, Parrilla received the Brother Thomas Fellowship Award from the Boston Foundation. Recently, Parrilla received a Creative Development Residency at Jacob's Pillow, and performed at the Jacob's Pillow Dance Inside/Out Festival. She is also the producer and founder of the Boston-based acclaimed annual festival: We Create! Celebrating Women in the Arts. In 2018, Marsha was selected for the Boston AIR program (artist in residence), with a focus on environmental justice. Currently, she is developing the program: Daka Yanuna (I am Mother Earth, in Taíno), with a focus on best practices towards decolonization and environmental justice.

Quilting the Islands Together

The public will be invited to embellish squares during art gatherings on Peddock’s and George’s islands for a community quilt facilitated by artist Robin MacDonald-Foley. These art gatherings will connect people together through sharing stories. Robin will gather and stitch the art pieces together during her residency, and the resulting quilt will reveal the many common threads of place, nature, and people. The quilt will unfold over several weeks, linking each square together in a beautiful visual story. Quilting is an activity that brings different generations of people together in a meaningful way. As an artist and educator, Robin feels the islands are a perfect setting to make the art quilt, and hopes her own experiences on island will inspire new stories for future visitors.
Please join Robin at a Harbor Islands Art Gathering. All materials will be provided. - Wednesday Aug 7, 2:00-3:30: Peddocks Island - Thursday Aug 8, 2:00-3:30: Lovells Island - Sunday Aug 18: Peddock's Island - Monday, Aug 19: Spectacle Island The Quilt will be finished and on display on August 24 from 12:00-2:00 on Georges Island.
Robin MacDonald-Foley Robin MacDonald-Foley is a multi-faceted artist who prefers working outdoors and considers the natural environment her studio. Documenting nature's subtitles and extremes, Robin’s reworking of visual imagery in various art forms has evolved in several bodies of work, including stone carving and photography. Raised in Quincy, Massachusetts on a one-square-mile peninsula, Robin grew up boating and spending time on the neighboring Boston Harbor Islands with her family. The islands connection has always been a big part of her life, a place her family called home six decades ago. Quilting the Islands Together will be a time of reflection and sharing stories with island visitors she meets during her stay. Her childhood roots remain a continual source of inspiration in her artwork today. Robin received her BFA in Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, and has been widely exhibited in a variety of venues both locally and nationally. She currently teaches art in Mission Hill, and enjoys working with adults and children of all ages.

Typewriter Island

In a “novel” (pun intended) approach to breaking down barriers between writing and the general public, Brian Sonia-Wallace and his “public typewriter” will transform the stories people share into instant-poems on the spot for participants to take home as a memento of their experience. Brian will spend two weeks on Spectacle Island in August 18-September 1, writing poems for those who seek him out and unsuspecting passersby alike. He will also compile the texts created into a single meta-text that weaves together the breadth of experiences people bring to this space. Visitors can also bring Brian stories, poems, pictures, and histories to become part of the tapestry of words.
Pop-ups on Spectacle, George’s and Ferries throughout the residency. Full schedule of pop-up’s coming soon. Confirmed: Boston Harbor Artist in Residence Public Event: August 24, 12:00 - 2:00 pm on Georges Island
Brian Sonia-Wallace Traveling poet Brian Sonia-Wallace has made a career of helping people tell their stories with the help of a vintage typewriter through on-demand poetry. His first book of essays, “Do You Need a Poem?”, forthcoming from Harper Collins, is about Brian’s poetic travels across America as Writer-in-Residence for Amtrak, Mall of America, a political campaign, and more. He started writing poems for strangers in 2012, which led to creating his own company, RENT Poet. Brian compiled some of these poems into his first book, “I Sold These Poems, Now I Want Them Back” (Yak Press, 2016), and his writing has additionally appeared in Rolling Stone, The Guardian, and Rattle. Brian’s work bringing poetry into the mainstream has been profiled in the New York Times, The Guardian, and NPR’s How I Built This. Brian is based in Los Angeles, and his favorite animal is, and has always been, the three-toed sloth.

 Artists were selected through a juried process.

2019 JURY

Luis Edgardo Cotto’s background in arts administration spans more than 20 years, working in Hartford, Seattle and Washington, D.C., and he currently sits on the advisory board of the Cambridge Arts Council. Prior to joining the MCC, was Executive Director of Egleston Square Main Street (ESMS), located on the border of Jamaica Plain and Roxbury from 2014-2018. Luis is originally from Hartford, CT where he served on the Hartford City Council from 2008 until 2012. As a City Councilor, Luis was known as a champion for the Parks, Arts and Immigrant rights while also serving as primary care provider for his newborn son. From 2004 to 2007, Luis and his sisters ran a Spanish language coffeehouse and bookstore named La Paloma Sabanera, bringing Ray Oldenburg’s third place concept to life.
Lucas Cowan became The Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy’s first Public Art Curator in 2014. Previously, he directed the Public Art Program for the Maryland State Arts Council, where he spearheaded the passage of legislation requiring all state-funded capital project to include public art in their construction, and was the Senior Curator of Exhibits for Millennium Park and the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture in Chicago, IL. He has curated and managed dozens of public art commissions and exhibitions of work by artists such as: Mark di Suvero, Jun Kaneko, Thomas Sayre, Shinique Smith, Sui Jianguo and Mehdi Ghadyanloo. Cowan has served on juries and panels across the United States, and has consulted on cultural park planning for cities such as San Francisco and Chicago. In 2016, Cowan was elected to the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network Council and previously served on the board of trustees for the International Sculpture Center. Cowan is a founding member of the Advisory Council for Cold Hollow Sculpture Park in Vermont, Madison Square Park Public Art Consortium, NY, Dean's Community Advisory Council at Lesley Art+Design, Cambridge MA, and the Punto Urban Arts Museum Advisory Board in Salem, Mass. Cowan attended the Maryland Institute College of Art where he studied Fiber and Material Studies and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago's Master Program in Arts Administration.
Celena Illuzzi has worked with the National Park Service (NPS) for eighteen years and is currently the Youth Employment and Development Specialist for the National Parks of Boston. She enjoys learning about the significant natural and cultural resources of the NPS, and finds great delight in connecting young people with these amazing resources. She appreciates the opportunity to work for an agency that values both stewardship and education. In college, Celena studied art and biology, and upon graduation, accepted a position teaching art at a middle school. She returned to graduate school in 1999 and earned a Master’s Degree in Museum Education from Tufts University. It was during her time in graduate school that Celena learned about becoming an educator with the NPS.
Lewenberg has worked for many years with the Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park using art as a point of departure for visitor engagement. These initiatives include a summer on Bumpkin Island creating sculptural installation; organizing and co-curating the Bumpkin Island Art Encampment from 2007 to 2011; and developing the Boston Harbor Artist in Residency program. Lewenberg just completed an 18 month Artist in Residency position at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, where she worked with a variety of regional planners and municipalities on creative projects that built inclusivity in planning efforts, increased appreciation of the natural world, and engaged residents in downtown revitalization efforts. Her artwork has been shown at locations including Medicine Wheel Gallery, the Jewish Community Center, Harbor Arts, and the Charlestown Navy Yard and long term installations are currently at the Boston Children’s Museum and Franklin Park Zoo.
Denise is a long time employee of DCR and has been fortunate to have spent all her service on the Boston Harbor Islands. Before her employment with DCR she alternately lived aboard a vessel and was a resident of Peddocks Island where she became more familiar and devoted to the harbor community. At that time she worked on a lobster boat and commuted to her other job as a Medical Technician. The islands worked their magic and beckoned her to apply with DCR for a summer position with the Operations crew. Through the years DCR has given her outstanding opportunities learn new skills to care for the islands, create meaningful relationships on the harbor and inspire even the youngest island visitor to return again and again. Denise absolutely loves her job and calls the harbor-Home.
Courtney is an urban planner who focuses on advancing equitable access to resources in communities. Prior to becoming the Director of Planning for the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, she served as a Senior Planner at the Boston Planning and Development Agency. An alumna of both Peace Corps and AmeriCorps, before joining the City of Boston she also co-chaired the inaugural Black in Design Conference and worked as both an Innovation Fellow and Innovation Field Lab Coordinator for the Harvard Kennedy School Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. Courtney holds a BA from Northwestern University and received her Master in Urban Planning from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.
In this role, Rebecca is responsible for all programming, youth engagement, education, free access and activation for the Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park, and waterfront programming and harbor access. Prior to Boston Harbor Now, she worked at Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage as a production manager of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and special events manager. Rebecca received her bachelor's degree in Anthropology and Art History at Brandeis University. She enjoys traveling, hiking, exploring and spending time with her family.
Kera M. Washington is an applied ethnomusicologist and the founder of Zili, (, an all female world music ensemble that retraces routes of forced exile and cultural resistance through diasporic rhythm and song: roots music of the African Diaspora, or "New World Soul." Washington is on faculty in the Music Department of Wellesley College, MA, is a Music Teacher at the Mather Elementary School in Dorchester, MA, and is completing a dissertation on Haitian folkloric music, about folkloric arts and identity expressed through the music of Emerante de Pradines Morse. Kera Washington has been performing and teaching music, using Boston as her base, for over two decades. Washington is a multiple instrumentalist, a performer of hand percussion, african harps and "thumb pianos" (she is a beginning player of adungu, ngoni, mbira and akogo), of voice and vocal percussion, of flutes, and of piano. She has studied with master musicians from Haiti, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Brazil, and the United States, and has traveled to Haiti, Brazil, Cuba, Sierra Leone, Palestine, Cape Verde, and VietNam to advance her studies. Washington was a 2018 Boston Harbor Islands Artist in Residence. Visit for more.
Cynthia Woo is the Director of the Pao Arts Center at the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCNC). The Pao Arts Center opened as a partnership between BCNC and Bunker Hill Community College in May 2017 as Chinatown’s first arts, cultural,education center. Woo started her work in the arts and culture sector as part of the staff that opened the Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles in 2003. Fueled by a commitment to strengthen the connection of arts to the community, Woo earned her Masters of Arts in Art History and Museum Studies certificate from Tufts University. Over the past ten years, Woo has worked as the director of programs and special events at LynnArts, Inc., and as the director of community relations at the Boston Center for the Arts (BCA). Woo also served an adjunct educator at the Museum of Fine Arts, as the Community Arts Initiative Liaison.

2018 Artists:


Beacon, a 20’ tall bamboo sculpture by The Myth Makers, Donna Dodson & Andy Moerlein was a monumental bamboo sculpture inspired by the Osprey as a tribute to Rachel Carson and her ecological restoration efforts in Boston and beyond. The Myth Makers public artwork initiated the first project of the new Harborwalk Artist in Residence (AIR) program. The Myth Makers highlight the Osprey as a survivor and adapter in our rapidly evolving human landscape. Devastated by DDT poisoning, these skilled fish hawks are recovering from the brink of extinction, and are an inspiring example of the role humans can play in restoring balance when we engage the living world around us. The Harborwalk is a great vantage point to study these rugged birds in the Boston Harbor. The sculpture was installed at Head Island, also known as the Sugar Bowl, at the far end of the loop around Pleasure Bay. The artists led a processional celebration to install the sculpture where they discussed the legacy of Rachel Carson and citizen scientists worldwide who have contributed to science through personal observations and documentation. The sculpture was on view at this location until Friday Sept 7th, and then it migrated to the Charlestown Navy Yard where it was on view until Friday November 16th.

In the Harbor, Freedom Sings

In the Harbor, Freedom Sings was created by Artist Kera M. Washington who metaphorically traced the footprints of African and Native (Indigenous) Americans who walked on and in the Boston Harbor Islands. Washington composed songs and rhythms inspired by music that was written by early activists and abolitionists during and/or about pre-Emancipation Boston-based struggles for freedom. Through percussion workshops and public performances on George’s Island, Washington explored the messages in this music that are relevant today, and shared this (new) music and creation with visitors of the islands. This music and its messages of inspiration spoke to the continuing struggles for liberty that African and Native (Indigenous) Americans still experience today.

Shore Line Recall

In Shore Line Recall, the public was invited to join artist Freedom Baird in recording their experiences of the Boston Harbor Islands’ lowest-lying areas which are in danger of vanishing with rise in sea-level caused by climate change. For each day of the residency, Baird visited the most vulnerable areas of each island and set up The Human Nature Field Desk, a portable, weather-resistant desk where participants created 2-D visual art and text to capture their impressions. These records were bound into an archival volume which serves as a document of future places long-gone. The public participated in the project and contributed to the art created during each day of her residency: Sun Aug 19 (12:30-4:30pm): George's Island Tues Aug 21 (noon-3pm): Peddocks Island Weds Aug 22 (11am-3pm): Lovells Island Thurs Aug 23 (10am-2pm): Spectacle Island Fri Aug 24 (9:30am-12:30pm): Bumpkin Island, (1:30-5:30): Grape Island Visit for more info.



Freedom Baird’s Shore Line Recall

2017 Artists

Ryan Edwards is a Boston-based composer and interdisciplinary artist, as well as the co-founder and drummer of Afro-Beat band Federator N°1 with a background in West African drum and dance, jazz and new-music composition. He is a New Music America Grant Recipient, and travels the world to make people dance to his multi-genre music and art. In his residency, Ryan captured sounds of the island and made new sample / triggered / electronic instruments. With these new instruments, he wrote, performed and recorded a suite of songs for the island, on the island, and in a way, by the island. Read more about the works of Ryan Edwards:

Field Recordings made 8/2/17- 8/10/17 by Edwards on Spectacle Island were recorded with an H4n Zoom mobile recording device. All files are raw and unedited. Edwards “created tracks” with all sounds sourced, created, written and mixed on Spectacle Island, in the yurt.


Daniel Zeese is an artist, designer and educator practicing in Boston. His latest work explores populations, belonging and identity within urban environments. He received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts, Sculpture, from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2010 and a Masters in Architecture from Boston Architectural College in 2015. In his residency, Daniel Zeese investigated what it means to be on the edge of civilization and the wilderness. Zeese produced a series of narrative vignettes and imaginary landscapes using collages of scanned images collected from the island as well as wearable sculptures. The body of work Daniel created in this residency is called “Toile” and can be best seen on his website:



Peddock’s Island is a platform for artists to investigate, expand, and challenge the creative potential of landscape management through sculptural installation made primarily of invasive plant species harvested on the island.

2017 Peddocks Island Artists

Josh Falk is a Boston based mixed-media artist. Born and raised in North-Central, MA he spent most of his time exploring the outdoors, skateboarding and painting graffiti. Falk began to use photography as a means to document his various urban explorations and it soon became his main creative focus. More recently his work has evolved to include collages, painting, and site-specific sculpture work. A Tree wind chime using Norway Maple saplings are layered to create a dense, bark-like look. Leaf-like sections of Japanese knotweed create a hollow acoustic sound. The Tree is the centerpiece of an interactive Zen garden for visitors to Peddocks Island to explore. "Give" 2017
Gary Orlinsky is a public artist whose site-specific installations have been shown in museums, parks and gardens throughout the United States. He currently teaches at Assumption College and in the Commonwealth College Honors Program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Porta is a tall, graceful towering gateway using stacked logs, an open grid work, and a double cantilevered roof spanning the structure. Views of land, sea, forest and sky are framed by the structure, and these landscapes become part of the piece. Porta
Kerri Schmidt is a Boston-based multimedia artist and educator. She seeks to create points of entry into her art that engage and invite interaction and develop new ways of seeing and knowing. Her nature-based experiences and a profound pleasure for small moments encountered during daily life are deeply rooted in her artwork and reflect the conversations she creates with the world. “Two-Family Cottage” is be a human scale duplex bird's nest made out of oriental bittersweet vines, maple saplings, and soft nesting materials (grass, yarn, fiber, flowers, string).
Gianna Stewart is Boston-based artist with a passion for public art. She received her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/ Tufts University. She developed her signature technique for casting resins with Midden, a dozen oysters of mythical proportions installed on the Greenway. Invasive Maple trees distribute their seeds via a winged nut known as a samara. These small specimens float through the air, spinning to the ground. Samaras consists of oversized samaras suspended in midair, cast in transparent plastic that catch the sunlight as they gently spin overhead Battery Whitman. Samaras
Kristen Wyman is a member of the Natick Nipmuc tribe of Massachusetts and a longtime advocate for access to public lands, environmental justice and rights to self-determination for tribal peoples of New England. Over the past decade, Kristen has focused much of her work on youth development and women’s programming. She held positions with the National Park Service, US Geological Survey, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, and the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Education and Natural Resource Departments and developed curriculum material compatible with tribal epistemologies and statewide learning standards in STEM. As the Community Programs Coordinator with Gedakina, Kristen collaborates with tribal youth and families to increase access to indigenous knowledge, restore traditional lifeways, and strengthen indigenous economies. Nia Holley is a recent graduate from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Tufts University. Her interests include the integration of traditional Nipmuc art forms with modern materials and usage and the rooting out of the politics that prevent communities from thriving. Most recently, she has been focusing on creating various objects and their relationship to the body as her work is largely based off of the various experiences Black and Native bodies undergo. The objects she creates are reflections of said experiences. Since 2012, she has been working under the concept of survival, ranging specifically from cultural survival and now to other various and sometimes discreet forms of survival adopted generationally. Members of the Nipmuc, Massachuset, and Wampanoag tribes collaborated to create a Fish Weir, as a way to introduce park visitors to the very unique relationship of Eastern Woodland peoples to the coastal environments of Massachusetts Bay. Kristen and Calista Wyman Fish Weir


With many of our communities located within a short distance from Boston Harbor, Boston Harbor Now, through funding from The Boston Foundation, the Boston Cultural Council, Reynders McVeigh Capital Management and Fresh Pond Capital wishes to introduce (or re-introduce) communities to the enjoyment of Boston Harbor so we can all take advantage of this great resource.