Meet the Member - Beyond Walls
Beyond Walls - a group of Lynn residents, business owners, and public art/placemaking enthusiasts using grassroots efforts to create a sense of place and safety in the heart of Downtown Lynn.
1) Tell us a bit about you and what you do?
We are a creative placemaking organization based in Lynn, Massachusetts. Our mission is to strengthen communities through the activation of space. We do this work by partnering with local organizations, municipalities, residents, and property owners to infuse public art and curated experiences into the community. We were founded in 2017 by a group of local business owners, residents, and public art/placemaking enthusiasts. The first projects spearheaded by Beyond Walls include 600 feet of interactive LED underpass lighting, a 10-day Mural Festival, vintage neon art, and a sculpture paying homage to Lynn's industrial past. We now have a full-time staff with a background in arts administration, city planning, and fundraising led by Founder and Executive Director Al Wilson.
2) What do you love the most about your creative work?
We are inspired every day by the community that can be built around public art and placemaking. Whether it is a conversation shared between two people in front of a mural, or the look of awe when gazing at a piece of neon artwork restored from yesteryear… art has the power to transport and inspire.
3) How does your creative work contribute to the Creative Economy?
Central to our mission is our hope to drive positive economic change while bolstering community engagement and activating the physical landscape.
Our activities have a proven track record of impacting Lynn’s Creative Economy. For our inaugural festival in 2017, a third party survey found that there were 5,000+ festival visitors participating in our arts and cultural activities whose spending created an economic boom in Lynn. They also found that five out of six business owners surveyed post-festival felt that the foot traffic at their place of business increased during the festival run.
Beyond Walls works to ensure Lynn is known as a cultural and artistic hub, buzzing with energy and a vibrant local economy as well as a destination for arts and culture.
4) What’s your favorite part of creative work?
Working collaboratively with other creative partners to accomplish our monster-sized goals!
5) What’s the one thing people wouldn’t know about you or (your business)?
We have a robust volunteer committee that helps us year round and during our banner projects like the Mural Festival. We hold meetings that are open to the public and we invite anyone with a passion for Lynn and/or Public Art to join! Send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know you’re interested!