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Women’s History Month Partner Spotlight: Anna Dugan 

As we recognize Women’s History Month, 360 is featuring several women-owned businesses and female leaders who partner with Delaware North. Company-owned-and-operated TD Garden in Boston recently announced Anna Dugan as the inaugural TD Garden House Artist through a new program in partnership with TD Bank that commissions New England artists from underrepresented communities to create transformative art in and around the arena.

Dugan recently debuted her mural, “Celebration of Belonging,” an ode to the concept of home, transcending geographical boundaries to evoke a sense of unity and camaraderie at TD Garden. In this Q&A, Dugan discusses her journey in public art and how she aims to break boundaries through her work.

Tell us about what inspired you to pursue art as your profession and passion?
I was always doodling and drawing to help me think. I ended up pursuing a BFA in college and was lucky enough to learn about things I am passionate about. When I discovered public art, many years after graduating, I knew I had found my purpose. I am so passionate about public art because it makes art accessible to people. It is such a powerful tool in creating spaces of inclusion, representation, safety and joy. Public art has the power to positively affect people and that is what I most love about it.

What is your mission in working with TD Garden to display your mural art?
My mission is to capture the soul and energy of being at the arena. I want to accurately reflect the celebration, joy, excitement and diversity of the TD community and pay homage to both legendary icons and everyday heroes alike that make the TD Garden experience what it is. These elements come together to make TD Garden a piece of home for us all. I would love for anyone who steps through the front entrance and sees the mural to feel the excitement of “coming home.”

Why do you think it’s important to recognize Women’s History Month in the arts community? 
Public art is a heavily male-dominated industry, so recognizing Women’s History Month is pivotal in lifting up underrepresented artists. We should celebrate women who break through barriers and pave the way for more to follow. It is no easy task. And there are so many talented women out there. We deserve to be seen, heard and celebrated.  

How do you or your art serve as a catalyst for equality and inclusion?
I didn’t grow up seeing myself reflected in many spaces. At some point, I knew I could not wait for the representation to be made for me, I would need to make it myself. By pushing to create work that embodies pieces of my identity, I inherently create work that helps others see themselves as well, and always try to stay mindful of other communities I can include. I think about what I would have thought as a kid seeing the work I do now and the ways I get to celebrate my identity and culture on a large scale. And that little girl I used to be is giddy with joy. I believe the more welcoming and inclusive we can make public art, the more kids will see themselves in it.

Caption: Anna Dugan, inaugural TD Garden House Artist, alongside her mural, “Celebration of Belonging,” that debuted at the arena in March. Photo by David Le.