[IMC-Boston-Dispatch] Boston Street Artists Press Conference
Tuesday, August 30, 2005at 10 AM; Boston Common
News at JamaicaPlainGazette.com
news at jamaicaplaingazette.com
Fri Aug 26 08:22:36 PDT 2005
Regarding: Boston Street Artists Current Status and ongoing Issues
after revocation of a repressive city ordinance and police rule in
When: Tuesday, August 30, 2005 at 10 AM
Where: Boston Common at the French Fountain, Boston, MA
(Rain site: Perkins, Smith & Cohen, LLP, One Beacon Street, Boston, MA)
Who: Stephen Baird of Community Arts Advocates, Inc., with Darrell
Lisa Housman, Dave Falk, and other artists
Stephen H. Baird, Community Arts Advocates, Inc., PO Box 300112, Jamaica
Plain, MA 02130-0030 phone: 617-522-3407 email:
info at communityartsadvocates.org web site:
Jerry Cohen, Perkins, Smith & Cohen, LLP, One Beacon Street, Boston, MA
phone: 617-854-4000, fax: 617-854-4040, email: jcohen at pscboston.com
The existence in the City of Boston of Street Artists provides a public
amenity that enhances the quality of life and character of the city
city seeks to encourage such performances and artists to the extent that
they do not interfere with the reasonable expectations of residents
enjoyment of peace and quiet in their homes or the ability of
conduct their business uninterrupted. All seek to balance the
Constitutional First Amendment Rights of the Street Artists with
the residents and businesses of the City of Boston.
The street artists of the Boston area have accomplished a
revocation of a
repressive city ordinance and police rule and an improved protocol for
police to deal with street artists. But police compliance with the new
protocol has been hit or miss, private businesses are trying to pre-empt
public spaces and there remain ambiguities; these still put street
in fear and limit the public amenity they provide and their freedom of
expression. Stephen Baird of Community Arts Advocates, Inc., together
several artists affected by the present problems, will present a press
conference on Boston Common at the French Fountain on Tuesday,
2005 at 10 AM to show some of the remaining problems, perform in various
ways representing the street life contributions of the artists and
proposed city ordinance for Boston (based on existing and well working
procedures in Cambridge and several other U.S. cities).Also presented
long standing Code of Ethics for street performers well understood and
implemented by most of artists voluntarily.
The proposed ordinance has the following features:
Street Artists may use electric or electronic amplification. The
behavior of all Street Artists will be in compliance with the
ordinances and codes.
Street Artists may not block the passage of the public through a public
area. If a sufficient crowd gathers to see or hear a performer such
passage of the public through a public area is blocked, a police
disperse the portion of the crowd that is blocking the passage of the
public, but said police officer shall not cause the performer to
Street Artists may accept contributions of money or property at a
drawing display, sidewalk art display, and performance including the
own musical and video recordings. Contributions may be received in any
Activities by Street Artists may take place between 7:00 a.m. and
No permit is required from the City of Boston or other government
such activities within Boston city limits.
The following definitions apply:
--The term, "Street Artists," includes, but is not limited to, the
activities: (a) Acting, singing, playing musical instruments, pantomime,
juggling, magic, puppetry, dancing, reciting; (b) Sidewalk Art
Sidewalk Artists working with non-permanent water-soluble media, ie
pastels or watercolors directly upon the pavement.
--The term, "Sidewalk Art," means original works of art including but
limited to pavement renderings as described above and also portable art
works displayed upon publicly owned sidewalks and park strip areas,
city operated parks and the artist making and/or selling such art in
public space is a Sidewalk Artist. Sidewalk Art does not include: 1)
artwork produced by any person other than the sidewalk artist
artwork, 2) any artwork purchased or taken on consignment and held for
resale, or 3) any clothing other than jewelry and other accessories
painted or tie dyed garments, which if containing mass produced or
commercially manufactured parts, such mass produced or commercially
manufactured parts, have been assembled by the artist and are not the
predominant element of an item sold.
[NOTE: All this can also be the core of an appropriate ordinance with
format adjustments for that purpose]
Street Artists Code of Ethics
1. We acknowledge each individual's First Amendment/Self Expression
with mutual respect and in cooperative spirit.
2. Spaces are allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis. Artists are
encouraged to share spaces.
3. Artists should not set up within 50 feet of another artist(s) without
first consulting with that artist(s). Rotating sets are encouraged in
4. Artists should generally not be heard more than a 25 foot radius from
their performance site. Loud and amplified instruments/voices heard
25 feet are considered an infringement upon other artists' First
Amendment/Self Expression Rights.
5. Artists using loud and amplified instruments/voices are encouraged
a. Find locations that conflict or interfere with the fewest artists and
cause fewest community complaints.
b. Turn amplifiers/drums/loud instruments in toward walls and/or
blankets to dampen and confine sounds to immediate area.
c. Schedule and/or rotate performance times that conflict or
the fewest artists and cause fewest community complaints.
d. Consult with other street artists in immediate performing area about
volume and seek mutual solutions.
6. Street artists acknowledge the importance of the streets and parks
historic forum for all artists and community members, acknowledge the
importance of the cultural diversity expressed on the streets and in
and acknowledge the importance of the street arts in the continuing
of a world community.
Background information on court case and Boston street performance
Copy of proposed ordinance PDF format:
Additional interviews can be scheduled upon request.
Stephen H. Baird
Street Arts and Buskers Advocates
Community Arts Advocates, Inc.
PO Box 300112
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130-0030
email: info at communityartsadvocates.org
web site: http://www.communityartsadvocates.org
Perkins, Smith & Cohen, LLP
One Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02108
email: jcohen at pscboston.com
More information about the Boston-dispatch