Katherine Copeland '17 turned an internship secured during Professor C. Eduardo Siqueira’s capstone class into a paid position with the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement. The mural campaign that she suggested launches at a second location this weekend.
Copeland, who has a degree in community development from the School for Environment, is currently the immigrant public art coordinator for the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement. She came on as an intern to assist with policy analysis and review the office’s outreach services data.
Her internship evolved into something much more when the office was brainstorming how to expand the national “To Immigrants with Love” social media campaign. Copeland had recently visited the city of Philadelphia and was inspired by the public art campaign "Love Letters" that Assistant Professor of Community Development Alan Wiig had encouraged her to visit.
“I started to see many parallels (with) the “Love Letters” project and what “To Immigrants With Love” could potentially turn into for Boston," Copeland said.
She proposed to model a similar idea for a series of murals depicting Boston’s immigrants.
“Shortly after, I met with the director of the Mayor’s Mural Crew, Heidi Schork. Heidi accepted this collaboration with open arms and agreed to have her mural crew take on the project in the summer," Copeland said.
Copeland oversees all aspects of the project, finding mural locations, fostering relationships with property owners, creating promotional materials, and doing the event planning. She also works directly with the artists.
The first two murals are in East Boston and Roslindale because immigrants have shaped both neighborhoods. Veronica Robles, who came to Boston from Mexico in 2000 and serves as a cultural ambassador, educator, and community activist in the City of Boston is figured prominently in the mural outside Dr. Dental in East Boston. Carmello Scire is also remembered on the mural, which is outside the catering business he opened shortly after arriving from Sicily in the early 1930s.
The Roslindale mural, featuring Alex Castillo and Russian immigrants and entrepreneurs Louis and Beatrice White, will be celebrated at an event at the mural tomorrow, Saturday, October 14 at 2:30 p.m. The mural is outside Atlas Wine & Liquors, located at 591 Hyde Park Avenue in Roslindale.
About the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement's “To Immigrants With Love” Mural Campaign:
Boston’s immigrants and their contributions have shaped our City. From community leaders to entrepreneurs, our immigrants move us forward. “To Immigrants With Love" represents Boston's commitment to stand with our immigrant communities. The campaign both celebrates immigrants and fosters civic engagement in our immigrant communities, through: murals, multimedia projects, social media outreach, and a website with City resources and services. To learn more, visit https://www.boston.gov/departments/immigrant-advancement/immigrants-love
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