Orange Fly Contemporary Art, 2018

Orange Fly Contemporary Art is a video installation specially developed to be viewed in the historic vault of the old Citizens Bank building (now occupied by DS4SI). The video is produced by Afro-Brazilian Artist-in-Residence Tiago Gualberto and features a partnership with performance artist Hannibal Hopson of Houston. It was filmed at the SERC (Social Response Emergence Center) which Tiago co-created with Maria Molteni and DS4SI for Project Row Houses in Houston. Orange Fly takes about 5 minutes and brings together images from different contexts and periods, seeking to navigate a non-linear route between the dream and the current social and political moment. The fly with large eyes and disposable life occupies the metaphorical role of the artist.

Destination Upham's This Weekend!


THIS WEEKEND in Upham's Corner:

The Gentrification Game , Oct 25 & 26, 4-7pm (and November 1&2!)
Tory Bullock
A life size board game where players try to keep up with the cost of living in Upham’s! Tip: Don’t hate the player, hate the game. Check out Tory's teaser video and details here!

Print Ain't Dead: Pop-Up Bookshop, Oct 26th, 7-10pm and Oct 28, 12-5pm
Arielle Gray and Cierra Peters

A series of pop up bookshops and storytelling events that focus on the works of writers of color--particularly Afro-diasporic femmes. Check out their splash page here!

Onwards & Upwards Jazz Series, Oct 27th, 2-5p
Fredrick J. Woodard and friends

Featuring the Lance Martin Trio. Check out his facebook event here.

Radical Black Girl x L'Merchie Frazier of Cross Cultural Collective, Oct 27th, 7-9pm
A healing evening of visual art making, dance movement and open-mic performances. See flyer below!


Announcing Destination Upham's Artists

DU Announcement Poster-final.jpg

DS4SI is proud to announce our selected Destination Upham's Artists! Together they represent a diversity of approaches and perspectives and a collective rich in talent and vision. As we continue to work with our programming and space partners around Upham's Corner, we will update you on the exact times and locations. In the meantime, take a look at all these reasons to come to Upham's:

Radical Black Girl

Part open forum discussion, part rising talent showcase and part dance party--Resist(d)ance is a family-friendly celebration and call to action.

Hip hop, BreakDancing, Graffiti Art Shows +
Frenell Jean-Georges

This interactive 4 part hip hop event includes a Graffiti Art Show, a DJ Showcase & Dance Party, a Break Dance Lesson & Performance and a Local Hip Hop Music ShowCase/ Rap Cypher.

Pop-Up Bookshops
Arielle Gray and Cierra Peters

A series of pop up bookshops and storytelling events that focus on the works of writers of color--particularly Afro-diasporic femmes.

Melissa Nussbaum Freeman and Red Sage Stories

A multi-sensory creative storytelling tool that uses images, smells and sounds to inspire and enable multicultural, multilingual storytelling with Playback Theatre dramatization for Upham’s seniors.

Live Jazz
Fredrick J. Woodard and friends

Four live jazz events for the whole family to enjoy. Featuring  The Fred Woodard Collective, The John Kordalewski Trio, The Kurtis Rivers Quartet, and Lance Martin Trio
Community Square
Cross Cultural Collective : Allentza Michel, Ashleigh Gordon, Daniel Callahan, L’Merchie Franzier, Melissa Alexis, Tiffany Cogell

The Community Square will function as both a collectively-built 3D square and a space for community members to come together for conversation & performance.

 Afro-Futurist Interviews and Afro-Mixer
Jordan Holmes
An intercultural afrofuturist audio-theater piece featuring the voices and languages of Upham’s diverse Black community of the future--complete with an Afro-Mixer listening party!

The Gentrification Game
Tory Bullock
A life size board game where players try to keep up with the cost of living in Upham’s! Tip: Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

Destination Upham's is funded in collaboration with the Fairmount Cultural Corridor, the Barr Foundation and the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA).

Stay tuned for Dates and Locations!

DS4SI featured in YBCA 100!


The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts has released their 5th Annual YBCA 100. In their words, "The YBCA 100 is an annual list of the people, organizations, and movements that are using their platforms to move society forward. The 5th annual YBCA 100 is a diverse list where celebrities rub elbows with unsung heroes, and activists and artists are as revered as pop stars."

Basically, we'll be rubbing elbows with everyone from Marlon Bundo (the gay bunny) to Janelle Monae! (The whole list is here.) Super fun. We just wanted to share the good news and say that we are honored to be a part of it. And we're very excited about picking our outfits...=)

RFP: Destination Upham's

 Photo from Black Citizenship Project.

Photo from Black Citizenship Project.

Attractors turn places into destinations. For communities of color here in Boston, there aren’t enough attractors in the mix such that we have adequate destinations. We want to create regular public spaces where people of color know they can drop by to relax, be inspired, dance, listen, and more. The Design Studio for Social Intervention (DS4SI), in collaboration with the Fairmount Cultural Corridor, the Barr Foundation and the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), seeks proposals from artists to “make space” in and around Upham’s Corner.


DS4SI is particularly interested in proposals from artists of color and local artists who live along the Fairmount Cultural Corridor. Our hope is that collectively we can contribute to making Upham’s Corner a destination for residents along the Corridor and beyond.

What do we mean by “making space”?

We want informal, public community-building and engagement; we imagine things like Claudio Prado’s whimsical “Rua Augusta” project in Sao Paolo, where he’d bring his living room furniture out to the street every late Saturday night to make his community’s own Saturday Night Live, or our Black Citizenship Project, where folks waiting at a busy bus stop might find themselves a part of Kizzy’s Appeal, with local poets, actors and dancers collaborating to bring to life the modern day losses of young Black sons and daughters. We imagine chances to dance to live music, eat fresh local food, engage with art and artists, do yoga in public, talk about daily life, and imagine the future.


We have access to do pop-up “activations” and performances in the beautiful old Bank of America Building (555 Columbia Road) in Upham's Corner. Artists can also use nearby outdoor spaces.


We are looking for events to occur between July 14th and October 14th. Each proposal should include at least 4 days and/or evenings of programming.

Proposals are DUE July 6th by midnight.

How much?

Awards will range from $1000-$2500. We are looking to accept 7-10 proposals.

How to Apply:

Please answer the following questions in no more than 3 pages:

1)      What is your idea/vision for “making space” in Upham’s Corner? Please include some specifics about what you plan to offer.

2)      Will you be collaborating with anyone? If so, please briefly describe collaboration. (Not required.)

3)      What experience do you have doing this kind of public art? (If you do not have experience in this type of public art, please describe what experience you do bring.)

4)      What is your relationship to Upham’s Corner and/or the Fairmount Cultural Corridor?

5)      What is your plan for outreach to the community(s)?

6)      What is your total budget and how much are you asking for? Please include a short description of what the funds are for (including your time). It is okay if you are asking for your total budget.

In addition, please send/attach 2-6 samples of your work. (Photos or video links.)

Send proposals to uphams @ by July 6th at midnight. You may also ask us questions via that email address.

FOR A PDF OF THIS RFP, CLICK HERE. Please share widely!

SERC at PolicyLink's Equity Summit in Chicago


Equity Summit, Chicago
Thursday, April 12th and Friday, April 13th

For anyone attending Policy Link's Equity Summit in Chicago, come check out our SERC!  It will be in the Randolph 2 Room (Concourse Level) of the Hyatt Regency. If you'd like to lead something there, please contact us. If you'd like more information about the social emergency and our on-going artist and activist led Social Emergency Response Centers, click here.

The Creative Force of Black History

Artists, historians and activists came together at DS4SI to explore how Black History is a creative force for imagining, depicting and creating the present and future. Listen to some amazing ideas from our panelists and audience.

Panel included:

Hosted by Beatriz E. Balanta, PhD

Assistant Professor of Art History, SMU | Meadows School of the Arts


Mindy Thompson Fullilove, MD, HonAIA
Professor of Urban Policy and Health, The New School
Author of Urban Alchemy: Restoring Joy in America's Sorted-Out Cities

Faith Smith, PhD
Brandeis University
Sex and the Citizen: Interrogating the Caribbean (2011)

Black Panther Black Joy

Today is the day Black Panther opens across the U.S.! Meanwhile, the amount of anticipation and exhilaration--particularly in the black community—is garnering its own coverage. (Already Black Panther is the most tweeted about movie ever.) Efforts far and wide have been organized to make it possible for black children to see the movie for free. Central to this narrative is the power (and rarity!) of seeing ourselves in a black hero.

Along with the narrative of visibility, we at DS4SI believe that the exhilaration for Black Panther speaks to a kind of affective, haptic yearning, a thirstiness for black public joy. We haven’t had a moment of joy like this since Obama won in 2008. That was 10 years ago! We see meeting this need as a political act. We see it as an intentional act of radical, inclusive joy in opposition to the default position of white public joy in the U.S.. Whether it’s symbolically laundered as Red Sox Nation, a Bruce Springsteen concert, the Academy Awards or the Winter Olympics, white public joy gets to be ubiquitous—it doesn’t even have to claim its whiteness. (And if you don’t believe this, read John Moody’s pathetic nostalgia for the white hero in his lament of the U.S. Olympic team as “darker, gayer, different”.)

After we all go see the opening night of Black Panther (and a few other nights too!), let’s be about the making of joyful black experience as part of our political duty. Let’s not assume that Black Panther will quench our thirst. That will take the building of new kinds of public life, visibility and vision. Let’s claim a radical, inclusive black joy—a darker, gayer, different joy—as our collective super power.

Home / Portal: Christopher Cozier and Friends This Thursday!


HOME Series: The Portal

How do we find home?

DS4SI wraps up this season's HOME Series with a return visit from Trinidadian contemporary artist Christopher Cozier. Cozier will present on his piece Home/Portal, inspired by his time in the Upham's Corner area, that has since engaged artists from Kingston, Jamaica to Bogota, Columbia, Port of Spain, Trinidad and here in Boston. Collaborating artists from those cities will join us via Skype, while local artists from HOME 1 and HOME 2 (Intelligent Mischief and Keith Deviere Donaldson) will join us in person. Together we will explore how we find--and make and connect--home in a time of global environmental and political crises. 


THIS Thursday, November 9th, 6-8pm

Design Studio for Social Intervention
1946 Washington St, Roxbury, MA



HOME Series continues with Future Shock Disco!


Future Shock Disco

What does home sound like? An immersive, generative and evolving sound sculpture.

Keith DeViere Donaldson (Boston) and Jamal Moss, aka Hieroglyphic Being (Chicago)
The Future Shock Disco is an immersive, generative, and evolving sound sculpture that will elicit a journey through time – past, present, and future, by enabling participants to communicate with the space and other beings within it using the universal language of music. In Mark Dery’s 1994 essay, “Black to the Future,” he asks, “Can a community whose past has been deliberately rubbed out, and whose energies have subsequently been consumed by the search for legible traces of its history, imagine possible futures?”
Sound sculptors Moss and Donaldson have created interactive sound panels that will both trigger and manipulate a series of sounds when they are touched or a body comes near. Participants will be able to interact and engage with one another as they explore the relationship between interface, interaction, and sound. The output of the interaction will be a generative soundscape, which will continue to evolve as the piece is interacted with and as participants engage with one another and create a sense of place through sound.

Location: Dorchester Arts Collaborative,


HOME Series Kicks Off !

Come check out this week-long cross-border collaborative art making intervention along Dudley and Upham's! We're so excited to be working with Chris Cozier, Bruce Cayonne and Intelligent Mischief!

 The Art Talk with Chris Cozier, Bruce Cayonne and Intelligent Mischief has a home! We will be at the beautiful Shirley Eustis House, 33 Shirley St, just behind DSNI (off Dudley St.). You can find out more at the  facebook event page  too!  See you there!

The Art Talk with Chris Cozier, Bruce Cayonne and Intelligent Mischief has a home! We will be at the beautiful Shirley Eustis House, 33 Shirley St, just behind DSNI (off Dudley St.). You can find out more at the facebook event page too!

See you there!

UPDATES for SERC this weekend!



6-7pm: Sheldon Scott, DC-based performance artist, "Artists' Responsibility In These Times"

7-8:30: Come bang a taiko drum! Join The Genki Spark in their interactive "Joy Bubble" intervention


4-5pm: Heal Flow Yoga with Ivor Edmonds from Taireiki Yoga

4-5:30pm Open Mic! Join us for dance performances by Smallie Michelle and McKersin Previlus, spoken word by Ashley Rose, Emceed by GaJah


12-1pm: Sheldon Scott, DC-based performance artist, "Artists' Responsibility In These Times"

1-2:30pm: Film screenin: Ovarian Psycos (radical women's bike crew in LA)

4-5pm Yoga with Michelle Mendes