Be The Change

Justice Themed Public Art Inspiring City-Wide Activism
A National Public Art Project 2022
Created by the Jewish Arts Collaborative

Monday, August 1st, 2022


Free to public

401 Park Drive
Boston, MA 02215

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Be the Change is a 2022-2023 art and activism initiative that is inspired by the Jewish tenet of justice and drawing from the ritualistic Jewish Tzedakah box. Taking place in Boston, Cincinnati, LA… and online, Be the Change will help viewers connect to issues of injustice and empower them to become agents of change.

3 cities.
18 pieces (chai = life) of public art by local emergent artists.
30+ community partnerships.
1 big year of change.

A Rendering of Be The Change at TimeOut Market, Fenway

The tzedakah box (tzedakah is Hebrew for justice) is a small box in which Jews traditionally collect loose
change on Shabbat and other occasions to be donated to the needy. Beyond just giving money, the root of the
word “tzedakah” (tzedek) means justice.

Through the intersection of art and action, Be the Change aims to rally the community at-large towards justice
and to lower barriers to enable us all to be agents of change in tangible ways around real local issues.

When asked what her dream art piece would be, social justice warrior and American Jewish World Service Former Executive Director Ruth Messinger said, “a tzedakah box that says, ‘Be the Change’ in front of the Met.” 

Be the Change is about just this – public art to drive social change. A grouping of six kiosk sized “justice vessels,” based on the Jewish concept of a tzedakah box, that invite us all to learn about specific ways we can engage with justice and use the art to provide a vehicle for us all to participate and become agents of change.  


Each justice vessel will be created around a specific theme of justice – and invite viewers to take an action towards justice. Similar to the essence of the “Little Free Library,” these boxes will make space for the “giving and taking of justice.”

In Boston,  Jewish Arts Collaborative  alongside the artist, Caron Tabb, is the  lead producer of Be The Change launching a national project with the Spring 2022 launch at Time Out Market. From there, the  Ish  takes the lead in Cincinnati, in collaboration with Cinynice, in Fall 2022. 

Tzedek Box will be a lead online partner, co-hosting events and conversation via their Tzedek Box app throughout the duration of the project. 

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