|BOSTON - Friday, August 25, 2017 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor's Office for Immigrant Advancement unveiled a mural yesterday completed in collaboration with the Mayor's Mural Crew as part of the "To Immigrants With Love" public art campaign. The event was held during the Summer Block Party at the Boston Centers for Youth and Families Paris Street Community Center. The mural pays tribute to the generations of immigrants who have not only made Boston their home, but the thriving city it is today.
"Boston is a city that embraces its rich immigrant history and the immigrant residents who continue to contribute to our neighborhoods," said Mayor Walsh. "East Boston is a neighborhood that has served as a gateway for immigrants who have come to our city from across the globe. This mural celebrates two of the many people who have added to the immigrant legacy in this neighborhood and Boston as a whole."
The mural subjects were in attendance and presented with certificates of recognition from Mayor Walsh. Veronica Robles, originally from Mexico, was recognized for her commitment and cultural influence to the city of Boston.
"Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that embracing my immigrant story would bring me this great honor," said Veronica Robles. "But my story is everyone's story, and this mural represents a whole community."
The Scire Family was also recognized in honor of mural subject, Carmello Scire, for their continued service to East Boston for over 75 years. Carmello is originally from Sicily and moved to Boston in the early 1930's. Carmello's grandson, Stephen Scire, continues to run the family business Sammy Carlo's Delicatessen and Catering on Bennington Street, an establishment that has been in East Boston for over 75 years.
"Carmello had the opportunity to work in the midst of his community where many had the same struggles as he did," said Stephen Scire. "So when you see his portrait on that wall, don't just see Carmello; see neighbors and friends, past and present, and realize that we are part of something much bigger."
The mural features a quote by Mayor Walsh from when he participated in the original "To Immigrants With Love" letter writing campaign by Define American and I Am An Immigrant that reads "You will always be welcome in the City of Boston." The quote is also translated into Spanish and Italian to pay tribute to the mural subjects' heritage, as well as East Boston's immigrant history. Attendees joined the campaign by writing their own message of support on "To Immigrants With Love" postcards.
The mural in East Boston is one of two that were implemented in the "To Immigrants With Love" public art campaign. Another mural was recently completed at Atlas Wine and Liquors in Roslindale. Atlas was first established as White's Super Market by Russian immigrant, Louis White, when he arrived in Boston. Following Prohibition, the store transformed into Atlas Liquors which is still run by Louis' family. A mural unveiling for Roslindale as well as a "Love Your Block" Community Clean Up is planned for September 30th, 2017.
About the Mayor's Mural Crew
The Mayor's Mural Crew, a youth employment program that transforms overlooked areas in the city into vibrant cultural landmarks, is painting the murals. Led by artist Heidi Schork for the past 26 years, the Mayor's Mural Crew has long served as a way for youth to engage with their own community, as well as develop professional skills.
About the Mayor's Office for Immigrant Advancement (MOIA)
The Mayor's Office for Immigrant Advancement works to ensure the full participation of immigrants within the civic, economic, social and cultural life of Boston. Every year, MOIA assists over 2,000 residents by connecting them to English language classes, helping them obtain citizenship application assistance, facilitating access to city services, and providing accurate information about immigration laws, which helps immigrants contribute socially and economically to the city. For more information go to: www.boston.gov/immigrants or call 617-635-2980.