Coalition for a Resilient and Inclusive Waterfront Kicks Off Waterfront Wellness Series

This week the Coalition for a Resilient and Inclusive Waterfront, an alliance of more than 50 organizations from Charlestown and other Boston neighborhoods focused on access, inclusion, resiliency, and economic vitality on the waterfront, announced the schedule for its upcoming Waterfront Wellness Week.

Waterfront Wellness Week is the first of a series of programming the Coalition will host in 2022.  According to Programming Advisor for the Coalition Anthony Davis, Jr. the goal of the series is to convene communities around waterfront issues and policies and center the waterfront as a priority issue as the city and state grapple with climate change issues.

Waterfront Wellness Week kicked off Sunday and will run through Thursday, June 23 with an event scheduled for Tuesday, June 21 at The Anchor At Shipyard Park in the Charlestown Navy Yard.

At the event the community will celebrate a Summer Solstice Celebration and Grand Opening for “Of Many Minds”, a Waterfront Sculpture Exhibit by Michael Alfano.

In February the Boston Art Commission (BAC) approved the public art exhibit, “Of Many Minds”, to be located along the Boston Harborwalk in the Charlestown Navy Yard.

The exhibit was proposed by the Navy Yard Garden Association and Alfano, who presented the proposal to the Commission.

The exhibit includes 20 sculptures along Charlesrtown’s Harborwalk that will remain in place until December 18, 2023.

Alfano said the artwork will be “accessible to people of all ages and abilities,” and is “intended to celebrate our differences and our commonalities.”

Each sculpture will feature a sign on the base with information about it, as well as a QR code for people to scan on their phones to learn more.

“Over the past few years, Boston’s leadership on the city, state, and federal level have started to reflect the vibrant, diverse cultures present in the city,” said Davis. “However we still have a lot of work to do to make sure Boston’s public spaces, including our harbors, islands and rivers, are accessible and enjoyable for all our communities. Boston’s waterfront provides tremendous public health benefits – from providing open spaces for recreation, to driving economic opportunity – and the Coalition’s efforts this year will be focused on connecting more neighborhoods to those resources. There are residents of Dorchester that have never walked along the Mystic River in Charlestown or residents of West Roxbury that have never explored the East Boston pier, and we are excited to be working with an incredible coalition of organizations to welcome residents from all parts of Boston to our waterfront.”

Waterfront Wellness Week will conclude on June 23rd with a signature event at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston hosted by podcast host James Hills of the Java with Jimmy Show, focused on the intersection between an accessible and inclusive waterfront and public health. Hills will be joined by expert panelists Rev. Mariama White-Hammond, Chief of Environment, Energy, and Open Space for the City of Boston, Sheena Collier, Founder and CEO of Boston While Black, Dr. Joseph Betancourt, Senior Vice President of Equity and Community Health, Mass General Brigham, and James Morton, CEO of the YMCA of Greater Boston.

“Boston is a coastal city vulnerable to rising seas and extreme weather, and we have the responsibility to be a national leader in building a thriving, green economy,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “Our waterfront will be a key part of that transition and we must ensure it is equitable, inclusive, and accessible to all.”

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