Embrace Boston Hosts First-Ever Boston Arts and Culture Summit

Special to the Times

Embrace Boston, the enterprise inspiring change to build an equitable and inclusive Boston, partnered with Arts Emerson, Boston Center for the Arts, A Beautiful Resistance and Mass Humanities to hold the first-ever Boston Arts and Culture Summit on Thursday, Nov. 2, at MassChallenge in Seaport.

Dr. Imari Paris Jeffries, president and CEO of Embrace Boston, addresses the crowd about advancing policies to reduce the eight harm areas that have historically hindered communities of color at Embrace Boston’s 2023 Culture Summit.

The summit was the kickoff for Everyone 250 and the first in a series of annual convenings that bring Boston’s diverse cultural institutions together. The Summit began the work of highlighting the unique contributions of arts and culture across the city with a goal to strengthen existing and build new institutional relationships. Each summit will build on the last and lead to a city-wide, curated cultural experience in 2026 – “Everyone 250” – which will mark the United States’ 250th anniversary.  Beginning on Juneteenth and continuing through July 4, 2026, Boston will also be hosting FIFA Men’s World Cup, and it is also when the Tall Ships return.  To say that it will be a month of extraordinary opportunity for telling a more robust story of Boston and providing an incredible menu of experiences to the world is an understatement.

“Boston is at the intersection of promise and possibility. The people here are more motivated and willing to do the work to make a positive difference,” said Jeneé Osterheldt, deputy managing editor for culture talent and development at the Boston Globe and A Beautiful Resistance during a panel discussion at the Summit. “Nationally, people look to us as leaders, and if we can play a role in shaping the story of inclusivity, the rest of the country will follow.”

Boston is one of America’s premier storytelling cities, with a rich cultural history and many untold stories. The Summit and Everyone 250 are opportunities to tell a new and inclusive story that celebrates Boston’s diversity and the community’s commitment to equity and justice, according to a press release.

The first Boston Arts and Culture Summit, organized around the themes of racial justice and equity, included opening remarks from NBC10 Boston’s Latoyia Edwards, ArtsEmerson Executive Director David Howes, Mass Humanities Executive Director Brian Boyles and Boston Globe Deputy Managing Editor Jeneé Osterheldt, workshops, a panel discussion, and networking opportunities for over 130 of Boston’s cultural leaders. Through these activations, the summit explored strategies to promote inclusivity and belonging in the arts and culture sector, how to tell a more robust and complete story of our country’s past, present, and future, and develop new collaborations that further advance the work. Embrace Boston is the lead organizer but is excited to see all intersecting programming that this group will host, building a curated experience for residents and visitors.

“The future of the city is built on a foundation of the arts and culture. We recognize the importance of lifting all our cultural institutions in the conversation so that we can build the Boston that we truly are. We need to build a rich arts ecosystem that will power us forward as a community,” Dr. Imari Paris Jeffries, President and CEO of Embrace Boston, said in a press release.

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