Project Overview: The Winthrop Community Garden in Roxbury has undergone a transformative multi-faceted art installation, led by Northeastern assistant professor of architecture, Killion Mokwete. The project commemorates the historical significance of the Black Panther Party and its contributions to the Roxbury community. Collaborating with the Roxbury Path Forward Neighborhood Association and other community leaders, the garden’s redesign was aimed at preserving cultural heritage, green spaces, and affordable housing for the community’s benefit.
Location: Roxbury, Boston, less than 2 miles south of Northeastern University’s Boston campus.
Project Description: The art installation at the Winthrop Community Garden honors the legacy of the Black Panther Party in Boston. It celebrates the efforts of the Black Panthers in supporting the community through programs that addressed food access, healthcare, and education. The project features a striking weathering steel gateway, showcasing the Black Panthers’ logo and pillars displaying their 10-Point Platform and Program. It serves as a visual reminder of the organization’s revolutionary spirit and commitment to social change.
- Commemorate the historical significance of the Black Panther Party’s contributions to the Roxbury community.
- Preserve cultural heritage and local narratives through community-based art and design.
- Foster the preservation of green spaces and affordable housing in Roxbury.
- Weathering Steel Gateway: A tall, weathering steel gateway featuring the Black Panthers’ logo and the 10-Point Platform and Program.
- Community Engagement: The project was developed in close collaboration with the community, with their perspectives and input shaping the final design.
- QR Code-linked Database: A public digital database accessible through QR codes provides visitors with more information on the Black Panthers’ legacy in Boston.
- Northeastern University’s College of Arts, Media, and Design
- Roxbury Path Forward Neighborhood Association
- The Trustees of Reservations
- Boston Celtics
- Beyond Walls
Funding and Management: The project received funding from the City of Boston and is managed by The Trustees of Reservations. Various collaborators, including the Boston Celtics and Beyond Walls, have contributed to the successful realization of the art installation.
Legacy and Community Empowerment: The art installation at the Winthrop Community Garden represents a model for empowering local communities to take charge of preserving their own stories and heritage. Through research, community engagement, and implementation, the project showcases the power of collaborative efforts in shaping a meaningful and impactful public space.