The Esplanade Association Celebrates 20TH Anniversary with Multi-Sensory Winter Illumination Experience at the Iconic DCR Hatch Shell

Boston-based creative studio MF Dynamics to debut “Hatched: Breaking through the Silence,” a projection-mapping and sonic public art work during 300+ outdoor showings on the Esplanade Jan. 22 to Feb. 21, 2021  

January 4, 2021 – Boston, MA – To mark the 20th Anniversary of the Esplanade Association’s successful public-private partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), the Esplanade Association (EA) will present “Hatched: Breaking through the Silence,” a four week illumination and sound experience to provide a family-friendly and physically-distant celebration at the famed Hatch Memorial Shell. “Hatched” will cut through the darkness of the winter months, offering a public space for joy and optimism in the New Year. The work is an original 15-minute visual and sound performance led by Boston-based creative Maria Finkelmeier of MF Dynamics and is shaped specifically for the 80-year-old amphitheater itself.


Hatched is free and open to the public, taking place nightly from January 22 – February 21, 2021. Viewers will be able to tune in to the original synchronized soundtrack on their personal devices while watching the illuminations. The work, made possible by collaborations with LuminArtz and projector sponsor Epson, will begin nightly at 5pm and re-start every 20 minutes until 9pm ET, offering over 300 opportunities to enjoy the work in the open-air landscape of the historic Hatch Shell Oval Lawn.

Hatched is the fifth and most ambitious offering in the Esplanade Association’s public art program, which includes four art murals currently on view in locations throughout the 3.2-mile linear park. Public art has become a core element of the Esplanade Association’s mission to support the ongoing health and vitality of the 64-acre Charles River Esplanade through capital restoration work, park improvement projects, horticultural care, public programming, concessions enhancements, volunteer engagement, and much more. In total, the Esplanade Association has raised $16 million towards this work, which is accomplished through a public-private partnership with DCR. The partnership will mark twenty years of successful stewardship and collaboration on the second-to-last night of Hatched on February 20, 2021.

“This year the Esplanade was as essential as ever before to the physical health and mental well-being of our visitors,” said Michael Nichols, Executive Director of the Esplanade Association. “Hatched will provide a safe, open-air destination for people and their families to experience art while enjoying the tranquil beauty of the Esplanade in winter. This spectacular illumination experience is the perfect way to mark the Esplanade Association’s first 20 years of lighting the way forward for Boston’s riverfront park.”

The projection-mapped visuals for Hatched will celebrate the many sounds that Hatch Shell performers have expressed over the facility’s impressive musical history. Finkelmeier and her team will feature geometric shapes of musical instruments as kaleidoscope pieces, human hands magically tapping, scratching, and creating beats on the surface itself, and colorful animations accentuating the Shell’s Art Deco form – all set to new music composed by Finkelmeier and recorded by local musicians. Featuring a team of predominantly female-identifying artists and directors, Hatched will bring to light a balanced pedestal, an opportunity for underrepresented communities to “break through” and share their skills, vision, and voice.

Artistic Director and Composer of Hatched, Maria Finkelmeier, says, “Creating Hatched for one of my favorite pieces of architecture in the city has been a huge honor. When I think of the Hatch Shell, I envision gorgeous music, community, and a love for my city. Memories of concerts, walks, and bike rides along the Esplanade come to mind. With Hatched, my team and I are elated to create a new type of expression that brings original music, visuals, and new technology to the iconic structure, encouraging viewers to form a new memory of the space – a memory that will carry us into the New Year and beyond, celebrating creativity, resilience, and joy.”

“The Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Charles River Esplanade serves as an incredible natural resource offering countless recreational opportunities for visitors to enjoy year round,” said DCR Commissioner Jim Montgomery. “Engaging visitors in unique ways like public art displays ensures the park remains timeless, and the Baker-Polito Administration is pleased to continue its public-private partnership with the Esplanade Association.”

Powered by Epson laser projectors, “Hatched” will bring vibrant color and form to the inner surface of the Hatch Shell. With custom-built weather housing for the projectors, the experience presents a rare opportunity to experience projection mapping in the winter months and will bring joy no matter the New England winter weather.

More information:

WHEN: January 22, 2021 – February 21, 2021

TIMES: 5pm – 9pm ET, starting every 20 minutes at :00, :20, and :40

WHERE: Hatch Memorial Shell, Boston, MA 02108 (best reached on foot from the Arthur Fiedler Footbridge)

HOW TO ENJOY: On foot, along the Esplanade, while wearing a mask and maintaining physical distance from spectators outside your household. The DCR Hatch Shell cannot be accessed by car. There is no site parking or rideshare drop off on site.

Hatched: Breaking Through the Silence” is Commissioned and Presented by: 

The Esplanade Association is a nonprofit organization that works to revitalize and enhance the Charles River Esplanade, sustain its natural green space, and build community in the park by providing educational, cultural, and recreational programs for everyone. Working in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Esplanade Association is dedicated to improving the experiences of the millions of annual visitors who enjoy Boston’s iconic riverside park.

About the Artist Team:

MF Dynamics creates large-scale performative art works in public spaces and multimedia experiences at art and concert venues. The experimental studio is guided by Founder Maria Finkelmeier’s principles in creating new and meticulously crafted works that are narrative driven and socially responsive. MF Dynamics is dedicated to encouraging conversation and connection through visceral, ephemeral, yet unforgettable moments.

Project Partners:

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation manages state parks and oversees more than 450,000 acres throughout Massachusetts. It protects, promotes, and enhances the state’s natural, cultural, and recreational resources.

LuminArtz‘s mission is to educate, inspire and connect diverse audiences through iconic public art events. In collaboration with, and in support of local artists, they honor art, history and culture by engaging audiences in unique and immersive ways.

Projector Sponsor:

Epson’s large-venue laser projector solutions mean extensive creative possibilities and unparalleled audience experiences. Setting the standard is Epson’s Pro L-Series laser projector line that uses proprietary technology to deliver exceptional color output and durability. Combine that with the available mounts, frames and lenses and you have everything you need to bring your live events to life.   

The Project Funders (as of 12/28/2020):

Major Sponsor

Algorand Inc. built the world’s first open source, permissionless, pure proof-of-stake blockchain protocol for the next generation of financial products. This blockchain, the Algorand protocol, is the brainchild of Turing Award-winning cryptographer Silvio Micali. A technology company dedicated to removing friction from financial exchange, Algorand Inc. is powering the DeFi evolution by enabling the creation and exchange of value, building new financial tools and services, bringing assets on-chain and providing responsible privacy models.


MFS Investment Management


With Support From


Donors to the Esplanade Association’s Public Art Program

The Project Site:

The Edward A. Hatch Memorial Shellis an outdoor concert venue on the Charles River Esplanade in Boston, Massachusetts. Built from 1939-1940, it is one of the city’s prominent examples of Art Deco architecture. The Hatch Shell is best known for hosting the Boston Pops July 4th Fireworks Spectacular, but is also a beloved venue for free concerts and movie nights throughout the summer months.

The Project Site:

Commissioning Body:  Esplanade Association

Project Site: The Hatch Memorial Shell, Boston

Artist Studio: MF Dynamics

Project Partners: Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, LuminArtz

Projector Sponsor: Epson America, Inc.

Artistic Director & Composer: Maria Finkelmeier

Technical Director: Pamela Hersch

Project Manager: Jane Long

Fabrication Specialist: Karim Badwan

Green Screen Videography: Raber Umphenour and Zy Baer of Cinematics Film Studio

Musicians: Maria Finkelmeier, Steph Davis, Ashleigh Gordon, Francesca McNeeley, Rachel Panitch, and Brittany Karlson

Studio Intern: Katie Medrano-Escobar 

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