Introducing the Plastic Tapestry Project

7 Apr

We are actively collecting hard plastic bottle caps for Magazine Beach’s first public art project – a Plastic Tapestry that will debut in the Powder Magazine this July. Many of the plastics in the tapestry will come from community clean-ups in Magazine Beach and the Charles River parklands. 

Sadly, most of the trash we pick up at the park is plastic and it will be around for hundreds of years. This community art project, designed by Riverside artist Michelle Lougee and curated by Cambridgeport resident Cecily Miller, reminds us of our dependency on this petroleum product and of its longterm and negative impacts. In 2016, America produced 42 million metric tons of plastic—twice as much as China, and more than all of the European Union. And only 2% of it is recycled! A lot of it is ending up in our oceans. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch covers 1.6 Million square kilometers, an area twice the size of Texas.

A grant from the Mass Cultural Council has provided seed money, but funds are still needed. Please contribute to this project by donating to our Go Fund Me campaign. Magazine Beach Partners is the fiscal sponsor for this project, so donations are tax deductible. 

Funds raised will support participation of young artists from the Cambridge Community Art Center, who will receive stipends for running workshops in their Port neighborhood and the Central Square farmers market.  Funds will also cover artist fees for additional workshops/talks, presentation of a film about plastics, supplies, and a celebration at the end – including live music! 

Come and meet Cecily and Michelle at Mass Audubon’s Open House on April 23, 1-4.  Sign up to get involved with plastic collection, cleaning and sorting, or making the tapestry here.

Project partners: the Morse School, Cambridge Community Center, Community Arts Center, Gallery 263, Mass Audubon, the Charles River Conservancy and Magazine Beach Partners

On Monday, our State Senators and Representatives walked the park with Magazine Beach Partners.

Our Senators & Representatives Walk the Park

Many thanks to State Senators Lydia Edwards and Sal DiDomenico (with redistricting, our senator in 2023) and Representatives Jay Livingstone and Michael Connolly (our rep. in 2023) for making the time to visit. Magazine Beach Partners were eager to show them the sunken parking lot between the pool and the river and share why it’s critical that the State invest in Phase II-2—turning that 1/2 acre into a grassy beach—next winter, when DCR redoes the swimming pool. The City, which has already committed $300,000 of CPA funds for this, and the community, which has donated $80,000 for this (THANK YOU!), is in if DCR is in. Please, DCR, help us to remove this last eyesore at the park and to create parkland in the process.

Thank you also to new City Councilors Paul Toner and Azeem Burhan who walked the park with us a few weeks ago. Paul’s father, and Sal’s, too, both swam in the river at Magazine Beach!

This sunken parking lot could become a grassy beach! Wouldn’t it be lovely?!

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