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Poetry Mobile in Downtown Boston

Poetry Mobile ExteriorLast year Massachusetts artist and Revolving Museum founderJerry Beck aimed to break the world record for largest paper airplane with a jet-shaped sculpture covered in art that flew high above a Fitchburg airfield and signaled his town’s economic rebirth. This year, he’s lifting youth voices and community ideals across New England by driving a refurbished 1952 Ford pickup truck and trailer enveloped in poems created by students and well-known writers. The colorful, interactive “Poetry Mobile” comes to Boston’s Downtown Crossing Mon. and Tue., Aug. 19-20, from 10 AM to 6 PM at the corner of Summer and Washington Streets.

The collaborative project, which Beck describes as “a public art odyssey,” is outfitted with interactive components, a walk-through art gallery (with installations by Beck that take witty looks at complex themes), sound and video projection, solar lighting, and 250 short poems from students and professional poets. Basketball hoops affixed to the trailer encourages both play and aspiration: poems near the rim encourage “shooting for higher goals.” Each Poetry Mobile stop will include special programming for viewers.

In Downtown Crossing, the Revolving Museum will host a poetry-inspired fashion show, community workshops in which participants create 12-foot-high “Totem Poems,” a 50-foot recycled-material public art work called “Poetic Solution to Pollution,” and more. High school students will serve as Youth Poetry Ambassadors to take visitors on tours, lead workshops and organize performances.