Editor’s Note: report was updated at 11:11 a.m. on Monday, January 24.
FRAMINGHAM – The Framingham Centre Common Cultural District (FCCCD) is launching a public art project entitled “Many Cultures, One Heart” designed to highlight the many artistic and ethnic faces of Framingham.
The project will involve 38”x40” heart sculptures, which will be designed by local artists to represent the artistic, cultural, historical, and recreational offerings of the Cultural District partners and Framingham’s arts organizations.
Artwork designs will also incorporate the diversity of the city to celebrate the many communities that call Framingham home.
“We see this project as a fabulous way to honor the artistic and cultural diversity of the city,” said Cultural District Board Chair Aimee Siers. “We look forward to these sculptures adding a beautiful, creative statement to Framingham’s landscape, enhancing the vibrancy of the city.”
Various arts organizations and corporations are sponsoring the statues, which will be located around the Cultural District and throughout the city.
Many other cities and towns across the country have created similar public art campaigns, the most famous of which is the Cow Parade of Chicago.
Franklin recently did a project with ladybugs. Hearts in San Francisco began in 2004, and new hearts are added all the time. The Town of Plymouth has done both lobsters and scallop shells.
These types of sculptures then become a strong focal point for tourism in the city, generating “find the statues” scavenger hunts by visitors and residents who then post pictures of themselves on social media and creating competitive fun, said organizers.
“Public art is a wonderful way to unite the community,” said Danforth Art Museum Director and FCCCD Clerk, Jessica Roscio. “We are thrilled to be active members of the Cultural District, and have high hopes for how this project will bring together many local artists from underrepresented communities to highlight the rich diversity of Framingham.”
The organization held an open house at the Danforth Museum of Art on Thursday night, January 20. It was the first time the public art project was discussed publicly.
The goal of the project is to honor our differences within the unified community of the Cultural District by connecting through art, recreation, entertainment, and history; each heart sculpture will be painted by a local artist and will highlight the cultural partners and races and ethnicities (Brazilian, Latinx, Black, Asian, Indigenous, multiracial, white, etc.) in Framingham,” said the Framingham Centre Common Cultural District.
The organizers plan to meet with BIPOC community leaders in February & March, and to select artists next.
The hearts are expected to be designed painted by local, diverse artists and completed by the end of April.
The heart statues will be unveiled on June 18 during a multicultural festival on the Framingham Centre Common, when the general public will be able to explore what “Many Cultures, One Heart” is all about.
The project has already generated widespread financial support through grants and sponsorships.
The FCCCD is still seeking sponsorship for the heart sculptures at $2,500 per heart, with a 10% discount for sponsoring multiple statues. Co-sponsorship is allowed between two organizations, said organizers.
Sponsor can choose where the heart will be placed after the festival, said organizers.
“We are looking to specifically place some sculptures outsie the District to draw people into the area,” said organizers.
Two of the hearts will be sponsored by atac, formerly the Amazing Things Arts Center, in downtown Framingham. The organization has been fundraising with a target goal of $4,500.
The Framingham Cultural Council awarded a $2,900 grant to the project.
The MetroWest Visitors Bureau is sponsoring a heart, said Siers.
Organizers plan to display at least a dozen hearts this spring, but are hopeful to display up to 20 hearts.
If you are an organization interested in sponsoring a sculpture or an artist interested in design one, please contact Stacey David at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Created in early 2020, the mission of the Framingham Centre Common Cultural District is to create a vibrant cultural, economic, and social hub in MetroWest through collaborative programming between the art and history museums, educational institutions, cultural organizations, and businesses within the District that celebrates the artistic and ethnic diversity of Framingham.