BY GAYLA CAWLEY| September 28, 2020
Artwork by artist Jah’Nyah Spencer, to be featured in Beyond Walls’ Truth be Told Initiative.
LYNN — Beyond Walls has reimagined its annual street art festival this year into a downtown art-installation project that will be inspired by Lynn’s youth.
Unlike past years, where events that typically draw large crowds were held, the sole focus of this year’s project will be the large-scale murals, art installations and performances created by a diverse group of local, regional and national artists.
Dubbed Beyond Walls’ Truth be Told, the two-week initiative will kick off on Oct. 11 and consist of the installation of youth-provided art and photography, as well as new artwork created by street artists incorporating elements of stories that have been submitted by the city’s youth, according to Al Wilson, founder and CEO of Beyond Walls.
As the COVID-19 pandemic began to take shape this spring, it became apparent fairly quickly that a large-scale street festival would not be possible this year, Wilson said, which prompted Beyond Walls staff to brainstorm ways that people could still be brought together to share stories of what they have been experiencing in 2020.
“For Lynn youth, they’ve experienced an awful lot this year,” said Wilson. “Times have been scary, (they) have been challenging, but none more so than for kids. The idea is this is a way to show that the youth were heard in a time where it’s really necessary to show inclusion, social justice, opportunity and equity. This is a means for the youth to have their stories heard and seen.”