Updated: Mar 25, 2019
"Boston’s podcast scene, just like its art scene, is varied and vast. There’s always something to discover here, with new projects popping up faster than you can keep track. These are the podcasts on my radar right now, but I’d like to hear your favorites, too! I’d like this list to grow, to be democratic, and to serve as a platform for anyone looking to share their opinions — just as a podcast does."
Written by Emily Bass is an artist, curator, and the Art Section Editor for the Boston Hassle, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who: “Hoodgrown Aesthetic” is produced by Amber Torres and Daughter of Contrast (Althea Bennett), two local artists who met in high school as Visual Arts majors at the Boston Arts Academy. Torres, an illustrator, poet and Roxbury native, received her BA in Communication from Hamilton College in 2016 and is now the Program Manager of the Center for Arts in Education doing outreach for the Boston Arts Academy and teaches art workshops part time at the Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester. Daughter of Contrast holds a BFA from Parsons The New School of Design and a BA in Sociology from Eugene Lang College the New School for Liberal Arts– she is currently a Masters in Art Education candidate at Massachusetts College of Art and Design Class of 2019. Daughter of Contrast is a sculptor, illustrator, printmaker, and teacher from Mission Hill. She teaches art at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston as a Lead Educator in Education department, the Brookline Recreation Center, and youth programs at Mass Art.
What: “Hoodgrown Aesthetic” promotes contemporary black and brown artists and organizers, usually creators living in Boston. The podcast covers so many topics: local artist interviews, organizations to follow, analyses of pop culture and current events, and stories about culturally significant events and historical figures in Boston. Amber and Daughter of Contrast put out an episode every single week, an unbelievably impressive feat, with a current total of 62 episodes. Listening to “Hoodgrown Aesthetic” is one of the best (and most entertaining) ways to keep up to date with contemporary artists, organizers, and creators living and working in the city.
Where to listen: SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Music
A good episode to start with: “Episode 56: Whitest Cube Collaboration”
I’m not just recommending this particular episode because I like “The Whitest Cube” (it’s obvious I do), rather because this conversation is a must-hear for any artist in the city; the four discuss core issues within our arts scene in Boston while highlighting local projects to keep an eye out for, like the Boston Ujima Project. This episode really gets at the goal of “Hoodgrown Aesthetic”: to invest in a network of POC artists and advocate for collective growth. The podcasters draw attention to countless examples of the city disproportionately directing resources to a select few mediums, artists, and, thus, neighborhoods. In the episode, Daughter of Contrast, Torres, Lee, and Shaw highlight projects in the city that feature POC creators like the Illuminus festival, which takes place downtown every November. Every artist in Boston should listen to this podcast to better understand the power structures at play in our city, how they involve us as artists, and how we can better support all the POC artists making amazing work in Boston.