Nubian Square Public Art Initiative

The Nubian Square Public Art Initiative is a newly launched initiative spearheaded by Black Market Nubian to develop a series of public murals and installations as a catalyst for neighborhood economic empowerment by the community, for the community. This effort aims to compensate local artists to collaborate on the envisioning of the square, which was recently renamed in 2019 as part of a larger effort to acknowledge the district as an Afro Centered community hub within Boston and the greater New England Region.

The initiative officially kicked off on July 4-5th through the installation of the City’s first Black Lives Matter street mural on the Washington Street corridor, led by local Roxbury Artist Lee Beard and Paul “Mar” Chapman with Christopher Grant as Lead Art Engineer. This kickoff event has engaged over 20 collaborators through street painting and documentation. An estimated 1000 people have visited the mural during its creation.

*more details coming soon

Support the Cause

Moving forward, Black Market is seeking financial and creative support for a multi-year effort in order to sustain a more equitable arts ecosystem centered in Nubian Square and throughout the Boston region. In addition to physical pieces, Black Market will also spearhead the development of a digital walkable art and placemaking to further highlight contributors and content.

Community supporters can contribute via GoFundMe. Whether large or small, all donations are appreciated!

Our Sponsors

If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, please reach out to:

Our Mission

We see the Nubian Square Public Art Initiative as a catalyst to transform both the physical and social landscape of the district. Our district has been struggling for many decades with the disinvestment of white flight, redlining; shift to e-commerce purchasing habits, the opioid crisis, and now the Coronavirus pandemic. 

This initiative serves to strengthen Nubian Square as the commercial center of Boston’s majority Black Community as well as its state-designation as an Arts and Culture District. The investment made in Nubian Square’s creative community will ensure equity, encourage collaboration between seasoned and emerging artists.

We believe art is not just a luxury; art predetermines success in a world increasingly driven by creativity, design, technology, and innovation. This initiative is a unique opportunity to kick-start the local economy, create jobs, and attract new businesses to Nubian Square. It is an opportunity to invest in a neighborhood rich with artistry that has served as a cultural backbone in the community for decades.

For Us, By Us

The Nubian Square Public Art Initiative is born out of the collective vision of the Roxbury community. In 2019, Black Market launched a series called “Dudley in Crisis” to workshop with local residents a collective strategy that would support the ongoing work. This series amplified ongoing efforts by elder community leaders to join in the collective district rebranding of Dudley square to Nubian square—an afro-centric collective identity. The name change was an important first step in establishing cultural precedent from historical and social visibility and a sense of self-preservation. Beyond the renaming of the Square, the community-centered workshops resulted in the development of a 7-point plan that highlighted public art as a key catalyst to rebrand and boost the activation of Nubian Square. As a result of the district priorities identified through Dudley in Crisis,” the Black Market team has been working to bring these visions to reality.

About Black Market

Black Market was established in 2017 as a nascent pop-market with a vision to help close Boston’s $247,500 wealth gap and mission to reignite Roxbury’s creative economy. The Marketplace was widely accepted as one of Boston’s premiere spaces to gather, meet and shop, understanding the need for micro-business Founders to develop the business acumen and literacy needed to move towards sustainability. Black Market is no longer just an economic engine, but has evolved into a young institution with centralized programming built on three tenants: Economic Justice | Arts + Culture | and Civic Engagement. In its 3 year span, it has hosted 81 Marketplaces, 64 Events, 3 Festivals, 3 Teach ins, 4 health and wellness classes with over 300 Vendors and 30,000 estimated visitors. 

Black Market Founders Kai and Chris Grant are longtime Roxbury residents and visionaries who want to be the change they want to see, and have been building cultural infrastructure in Roxbury for the last 20 years.


Tiesha “Tizzy T.O.K.Y.O” Pough
T.O.K.Y.O photography

Mel Isidor
(more content coming soon)