Healing Walk to Mark Toll of Concurrent Pandemics

Boston Artists, Activists to Lead Healing Walk to Mark Toll of Concurrent Pandemics: AIDS, Covid, Addiction, & Racism

Who: SPOKE, a nonprofit organization that activates art as a threshold through which we heal, overcome division, and build social cohesion; Boston Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture; Office of LGBT+ Advancement; Office of Neighborhood Services, et al.

What: Days Without Art Healing Walk: Greater Bostonians of all backgrounds will join artists, dancers, musicians, friends, and collaborators in a procession from City Hall to the Boston Center for the Arts’ Cyclorama. There they’ll formally open SPOKE’s 31st Annual World AIDS Day art installation and vigil, marking the effects of multiple pandemics on our lives and our communities. City Hall will be lit red in honor of those lost to HIV/AIDS from dusk Nov. 30 until dawn Dec. 1. Participants will walk from City Hall holding small bowls fashioned from newspaper obituaries that honor the lives of our dear ones, and a 150 foot stream of red satin, evoking the AIDS Red Ribbon and the beauty of the thread of human connection.

Where: Start at Boston City Hall, 1 City Hall Square; end at the Boston Center for the Arts’ Cyclorama, 539 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116

When: Gather in front of Boston City Hall Wednesday November 30th at 10:45 pm.

Why: On Thursday December 1 SPOKE presents Days Without Art, its 31st annual World AIDS Day installation and vigil at the Cyclorama. Out of the Ashes, We Remember Their Names features 400 portraits of those we have lost to pandemics.  All portraits were created by Michael Dowling, Founder & Artistic Director of SPOKE, as an act of keeping memory alive. Also, 25 sections of the historic AIDS/ Names Memorial Quilt, the only Boston venue for this unique work, will hang on the Cyclorama’s walls.

“In this 31st year Days Without Art takes on new resonance as we face multiple pandemics: Covid-19, opioid addiction, violence, and racism,” says Michael Dowling. “We invite the community to share this creative experience with us.” The 24-hour vigil is marked by artistic offerings of dance, poetry, music, chanting and more that counterbalance tragedy with work that lifts us up.

Days Without Art originated in 1992 as the “Medicine Wheel” installation in response to the ravages of the AIDS epidemic and the lack of official response. 


L’Merchie Frazier, Executive Director [email protected]    617-947-9306

Michael Dowling, Artistic Director      [email protected]   617-872-6065