Moment of Clarity
On Rathskeller Day: Who Remembers What?
By Chris Hughes & Dan Shea
The First in a series of Reports on The Rathskeller by the Boston Compass/ Boston Hassle
November 16th was recently marked for commemoration by Mayor Marty Walsh as Rathskeller Day in Boston. It’s hard not to read this as an ominous declaration for the future of Boston Art. What I see as another tone deaf move by The Mayor (as counter cultural & marginalized voices in Boston are gradually erased), must also be a sign of the social values of those who run this city. As DIY artists, musicians and organizers struggle to live in this city, the administration checks the art community off of their “to do” list for another calendar year with a ceremony celebrating the death of (perhaps) Boston’s most famous music venue and the dubious hotel room/shrine to said venue, housed deeply within the upscale hotel that usurped its place in Kenmore Square. The thought process on display here ought to be a wake-up call about the state of emerging arts in Boston.
We urge the promotion of community art spaces, affordable housing and greater opportunity for those who find themselves increasingly on the fringes of our society but nevertheless demand to be heard.
The state of Boston music and art is perpetually insecure. Families, whole communities, and an endless flow of talented artists and musicians are being priced out of this city. The Rat Suite is now our metaphor for the disconnect between those who run Boston and the lives of working people and artists. Marginalized voices and artists of all backgrounds are struggling while the city showcases pieces of The Rat’s history to wealthy world travelers who come and go from our beautiful city.
We need to ask ourselves: Is this what we want our city’s narrative to be? Are these our values? Who are the people who own and live in all of these condos sprouting up like weeds in every corner of Boston and surrounding cities?