In partnership with Emerson College and ArtsEmerson, I Dream: Boston has piloted all four pillars of the I Dream model. Beginning in 2013, Boston area thought leaders were interviewed on their perspectives of the city’s current race and class landscape. Those interviews were distilled into an Executive Summary of Key Findings and an ‘INSPIRING MOMENTS’ video utilized to convene community members in conversation and draft social justice action plans. Simultaneously, Boston engaged 15 community organizations across the city in a pilot phase of the I Dream curriculum. Approximately 595 individuals, ages 7-80+, participated in a workshop series that utilized an ArtsEmerson production as the catalyst activity; most participants saw MR. JOY by Daniel Beaty, and all engaged in one of the core I Dream curricular exercises. The year culminated in a public event that invited both I Dream: Boston participants to share created work and local theatre companies AND STILL WE RISE… and ON WITH LIVING AND LEARNING on to the Emerson/Cutler Majestic Stage.


In 2016/2017, I Dream: Boston is hosting two year long residencies in Boston Public Schools at Snowden International High School and Boston Arts Academy. I Dream: Boston is piloting the full curriculum, which includes the Young Dreamers curriculum, facilitated by experienced, local teaching artists with the support of therapeutic professionals. Young people will be empowered to create an ensemble driven performance based in social justice issues that important to them. These performances will be shared in a public showcase on Wednesday, May 24, 2017, 6:30 pm in the Robert J. Orchard Theatre, Emerson/Paramount Center, 559 Washington Street, Boston.



Emerson College, located in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts, is the nation’s premier institution in higher education devoted to communication and the arts in a liberal arts context.

Emerson is internationally recognized in its fields of specialization, which are communication studies; marketing communication; journalism; communication sciences and disorders; visual and media arts; the performing arts; and writing, literature and publishing


ArtsEmerson is the professional presenting and producing organization of the Office of the Arts at Emerson College. Through our international programming and local community partnerships, we serve the City of Boston, the Emerson community (students, faculty and staff) and the global field of performance practice. Founded in 2010, the same year that the US Census confirmed Boston as a majority-minority city, we are building a cultural institution that embraces and reflects the changing demographics of our city. We operate from the core belief that the arts are for everyone.


To foster civic transformation through the shared experience of art and public dialogue.



Executive Summary: Key Findings from the Investigation Phase

(Click to Download) 

I Dream: Boston Inspiration/Integration Phase Booklet

(Click to Download)


Interviews from I Dream: Boston Investigation Phase

2016 I Dream: Boston Culminating Event Photo credit: Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo, Boston

Show More


 Participants showed self-awareness, with 87.5% indicating that I Dream gave them a space to openly discuss their thoughts about race and class. 

The staff of ArtsEmerson has implemented a new community-engagement practice known as the Curation of Listening, based on the staff’s experience in participating in parts of I Dream.

Participants indicated that the program was valuable, with 82% of stating that given the opportunity, they would participate in I Dream again.

I Dream is made possible through the generous support of the Ford Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, The Barr Foundation & The Sherwood Foundation.

Website by Mojo Visual

get updates