Beyond Walls has added some color to downtown Lynn. (Spenser Hasak)
Entertainment, Lifestyle, News

Beyond Walls is gearing up for a second summer festival

LYNN — Beyond Walls is gearing up for its second summer mural festival, but the focus will shift at its conclusion to creating a temporary park on the waterfront for future events.

Al Wilson, founder and executive director of Beyond Walls, said the Beyond Walls Mural Festival will be Aug. 6-19 and will feature international, regional and local artists.

Wilson said the festival will feature more artists than last year. There will be 18 international artists, along with other local and regional artists.

Last summer, the festival brought 23 artists from Lynn and around the world to create murals on downtown buildings. It created an economic boom when more than 5,000 visitors came to Lynn and spent money in local restaurants and businesses.

This summer, Wilson said plans call for large scale pieces of art throughout the city, as well as smaller pieces and the restoration of some painted-on brick advertisements that date back to as early as the 1930s.

Wilson said the festival will also feature a more robust series of events and programming, with about 50 events during the two-week period.

"A big part of this is to increase the economic impact of artwork, and really that's focused on improving economic conditions for mom and pop shops and local restaurants here in Lynn," he said.

Wilson said the focus right after the mural festival is to create a temporary park on the waterfront on a three-acre site that abuts the Lynn ferry terminal, which will help increase walkability access from the downtown to the waterfront and vice versa.

Wilson credited the Economic Development & Industrial Corporation of Lynn (EDIC/Lynn) for helping Beyond Walls acquire the parcel for a three-year engagement.

Programming is planned for the park. There will be a multi-use stage for music, as well as a theater on the water. Shipping containers will be used as canvasses for street art. There will be futsal courts, a jungle gym for kids, and body weight exercise equipment for adults, Wilson said.

The final cost of the park will be funding dependent, but is expected to come from grants and in-kind donations from several partners on the project.

Wilson said Beyond Walls will begin to work toward implementation through May of next year, with programming announced after.

He is slated to give a presentation to the City Council at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday about planned events for Beyond Walls.

Artist and event lineups for the mural festival will be announced on social media, BeyondWallsLynn on Facebook and Instagram, or people can visit for more information.

More Stories From Lynn