Al Wilson is the Founder and Executive Director of Beyond Walls. He has extensive management, marketing, sales, and operation experience with technology and media entities. He has specific knowledge centered in facets of online, marketplace models, as well as digital, print, and broadcast media operations.
In 2016, Al and a robust volunteer committee launched a grass-roots effort to implement four inaugural large scale public art installations in downtown Lynn, a post-industrial city located just 10 miles north of Boston. Inspired by projects in Brooklyn, New York; Philadelphia, PA; Kings Cross, London; and Wynwood, Miami, Al recognized Lynn's rich history, distinctive architecture, and burgeoning arts and cultural district as the perfect landscape in which to test the creative economy. In response to community input, which highlighted the need for increased walkability and more public art, Beyond Walls facilitated a Mural Festival with internationally renowned artists, implemented dynamic LED Lighting under three dark underpasses, installed 12 vintage neon artworks on dimly lit street corners, and created a sculpture paying homage to the city’s industrial past. Inaugural projects attracted significant media attention. The 2017 Mural Festival alone garnered in excess of 75 positive news stories celebrating both Beyond Walls and the city, made 4.5 million impressions on social media, and boasted 5,000 visitors. A post festival study and survey found local business owners citing increased foot traffic in their establishments and residents returning to the downtown area, deeming it a safer environment to buy a coffee, go on a date, and generally work, shop, and play. Al now leads a team of four who have backgrounds in city planning, arts administration, and fundraising. Building on the Beyond Walls model, Al and his team will continue to better the public realm and increase safety and economic vitality through the implementation of major art installations and programming that reflect the interests and cultural make up of communities served.
A Lynn, MA native and resident, Pedro Soto earned his Master of Regional Planning at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His thesis project explored the development of alternative methodologies used to assess the health of rural food systems. Pedro also attended Salem State University where he received a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts, with a focus on Political Science. Pedro is passionate about engaging a diverse citizenry through participatory planning, building grassroot networks of creative professionals, and spearheading placemaking projects that strengthen the fabric of urban communities. Additionally, he is a Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) Adjunct Fellow with MassDevelopment focused on supporting economic development initiatives in downtown Lynn.
In his spare time, he enjoys printmaking, photography and consults with a faith-based economic development non-profit in Amherst, MA and the Dominican Republic.
Julia graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, with a Bachelor's Degree majoring in english and creative writing and minoring in studio art. Her interest in the arts and passion for connecting with people brought her to fundraising and external relations for museums and cultural institutions. Before coming to Beyond Walls, she has gathered a plethora of experiences in marketing, communications, and development at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, TX, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, MA, and the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, MA. Most recently she worked at the Museum of Science, Boston where she focused on strategic initiatives in individual giving and fundraising events.
She is also currently pursuing a Masters in Arts Administration from Boston University and resides on the North Shore.
Doneeca received a Master of Arts in Public History from Northeastern University and also holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Bucknell University through the Posse Foundation. A Lynn, MA native, Doneeca is passionate about engaging the diverse Lynn community and collaborating with the city's creatives, thought leaders, and change makers to activate the downtown area. As the former Programs Coordinator for the Downtown Lynn Cultural District and Programs Assistant for the Lynn Museum, Doneeca is excited to get back to her roots and continue to support the downtown community and help the local creative economy thrive.
Outside of Beyond Walls, Doneeca is a Creative Engagement Producer at the Peabody Essex Museum. She enjoys mentoring, traveling, cooking, and is captain of an adult kickball team (The Ball Stars).
Creative Collective LLC connects creativity, community, and commerce across the North Shore. As a collective of creative professionals, small businesses, organizations, and individuals we coordinate a series of events, traditional and non-traditional marketing initiatives, resources, and best practices to define why creativity matters in all aspects of life.
Koeun is a filmmaker and photographer. He graduated from MassArt in 2013 with a BFA in film/video production. From there on, he worked at a production company making work all over the east coast. Currently, he is a Producer at Lynn Community Television.
An artist inspired to capture the stories before him and document the emotional and physical journey of his subjects. Letting film serve the purpose of a voice that can only be spoken through the language that is visual arts.