The Freedom Trail on Trial

Neil Horsky

Neil Horsky  is a community artist and educator based in Boston.

Neil Horsky is a community artist and educator based in Boston.

15 teens from neighborhoods all over Boston worked in Urbano’s studio with performance and installation artist Neil Horsky, creating a series of art and performance interventions sited along Boston’s iconic Freedom Trail.

Horsky and his teen partners created projects ranging from temporary visual art installations to interactive performances that draw attention to forgotten details of the city’s history, untold stories of Boston’s past, and local history not included in official tours. Urbano’s teen artists partnered with professional artists, educators, librarians, and historians to plan and execute a critical, artists’ investigation of the Freedom Trail.

During the investigative process teen artists questioned the assumptions, accuracy, comprehensiveness, and impartiality of public presentations of the city’s history. They considered alternative perspectives and drew parallels between historical and current events, reinvigorating stories of the American Revolution by making them relevant to their own lives. Teen artists created temporary public art installations and performances along the Freedom Trail expressing critical insights and facilitating dialogue around the presentation of history in public spaces and the Trail’s potential as a site for artistic, social, and political engagement.