Liberty Tree Project Public Gathering and Plaza Illumination
August 14, 2015 8 pm – 10 pm
Liberty Tree Plaza, Corner of Washington and Essex Streets, Boston
The Liberty Tree Project is a public art event conceived by Michael Dowling of Medicine Wheel Productions in partnership with Revolution 250, and sponsored by the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District and the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The Liberty Tree Project commemorates the anniversary of the first gatherings of Bostonians under the “Liberty Tree” from August 14th–27th 1765. For two weeks in August, 1765, the historic site of the Liberty Tree at the corner of Washington and Essex streets bristled with ordinary people calling for political change and arguing over what shape that change should take.
Medicine Wheel Productions, under the guidance of artistic director Michael Dowling, has been working with Boston residents to create a public art installation that will honor the significance of Boston’s Liberty Tree as a site of inclusion and of positive change.
Members of five community groups, Ostiguy High School, South Boston en Acción, St. Francis House, Boston Asian Y.E.S., and the Museum of African American History, are participating in workshops exploring the historic and contemporary meanings of concepts like liberty, justice, and freedom.
These discussions will lead to the creation of hand-carved linoleum blocks used to stamp images and text onto inserts fitted into 108 copper lanterns modeled on those that hung on the Liberty Tree in 1765.
The Public Gathering and Illumination at Liberty Tree Plaza
(See images of the event here)
As darkness fell on August 14th, 2015, the community groups and members of Revolution 250, with the support of the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District, carried the illuminated lanterns from different points in the city to Liberty Tree Plaza in commemoration of the voices and actions of ordinary Bostonians 250 years ago and as testimony to liberty’s enduring importance in our lives today.
Digital projections of images and quotes from the Revolutionary era and today will give historic resonance to our understanding of liberty and will underscore the importance of constructive civic dialogue to contemporary American society.
The Liberty Tree project was made possible with support from Boston National Historical Park and Eastern National, and the Boston Cultural Council, a local agency which is funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, administered by the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture.