There are people who can create great art.

There are people who can inspire and uplift a community.

There are people who can work in a consummately professional manner.

There are people who can identify and solve real problems, in a timely way, and in solving them engage and teach young people.

There are people who can work with multiple public and private partners, be patient with bureaucracy, be persistent when answers don’t come, be nimble when an opportunity presents itself.

There are very few people who can do all of these things together.

Beyond Walls are those people.

I’ve been proud to work with and support Beyond Walls through my roles both at MassDevelopment and the MBTA. As one of the earliest and most dynamic partners in MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places program, Beyond Walls attracted thousands of small donations and far exceeded their fundraising targets, because its message and work has been so compelling.

Beyond Walls has brought stunning beauty, pride and a can-do spirit to the great city of Lynn, and is inspiring other cities around Massachusetts and the nation that they, too, can use art as the foundation for building a local economy and community.