Boston Artists Honor Texas Shooting Victims at Copley Square Event


The Artists for Revolution Initiative, also known as AIR Boston, created a ring of backpacks filled with flowers brought in by the local community.

Members of the public bring flowers to put in backpacks representing every life lost in the Texas elementary school shooting. Gwen Egan/

2,123 miles from the tragic elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, a group of Boston artists and activists created a space for “healing and commemoration, but also a celebration of life,” according to organizers.

The Artists for Revolution Initiative, also known as Air Boston, took to social media to host an event honoring the 19 children and two adults who lost their lives at Robb Elementary School this week.

The group took to social media to rally support for the event, posting images of flyers, TikTok videos, and an image containing 19 backpacks drawn along with the words, “Who can grow up in America?”

The event took place in Copley Square on Thursday and started around 5:00 pm, and people quickly gathered in the area. Standing outside the historic Trinity Rectory was a semicircle of open backpacks, a microphone and speakers for local bands, and a box of chalk.

“We are creating a space for healing, as well as for commemoration, but also for the celebration of life. And to hopefully build a piece of art and more community in Boston around social justice and social change,” said organizer and artist, Ameya Okamoto.

Two people leaning against Trinity Rectory. Gwen Egan/

As people crowded around the backpacks, some offered flowers, some wrote in chalk on the ground, and others simply stood silent.

Groups of people interact with the event organized by the Artist Initiative for Revolution. Gwen Egan/

“We are here for humanity,” said organizer Danny Rivera Jr. “If we can mobilize our humanity, I think we can see change across the country.”

Danny Rivera speaking to the crowd at the Copley Square memorial event on May 26, 2022. Gwen Egan/

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