The Roxbury Electric Illumination Collaborative and the Hawthorne Youth and Community Center are pleased to invite you to the inaugural lighting of REIC’s redesigned public art light installation, Winterlights: A Circle of Peace. The inaugural event and lighting will take place at the Hawthorne Youth and Community Center (9 Fulda St, Roxbury) on Sunday, December 4, at 4 pm. Thereafter, the lights will be on from dusk to dawn until February 2023. 

Winterlights: A Circle of Peace is a circle of seven trees in the field at 184 Highland Street (next to HYCC) whose trunks, wrapped in lights, slowly “breathe” light in and out, from dusk to dawn during the longest nights of the year. 


At the height of the pandemic In 2020, the Hawthorne Youth and Community Center invited Mark Schafer to create a light installation in the field next door to create a community space of light during the darkest part of a very dark and scary year. Yvon Augustin joined him as they decided on the idea of a circle of trees that breathed light in and out, with the goal of creating a space of peace & light during the darkest months of the year, where people could gather, rest, and reflect. The first version of this installation debuted in February 2021.


In Fall 2021, Mark and Yvon in collaboration with the Hawthorne Youth and Community Center hosted a coding workshop with five local teenagers, taught by the Learn 2 Teach, Teach to Learn program at the Mel King Fab Lab at Madison Park. The project to redesign the installation to improve it and make it far more energy efficient was supported by two grants from the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture. Due to technical issues, the installation and inauguration of the redesigned public art work was delayed until this winter 2022.

Development and design

 Mark Schafer and Yvon Augustin, along with some of the teens who helped them develop and design and work on the code the light installation. 

Taught by L2TT2L instructors, participants in the Lights, Coding, Action! workshop learned together to program microcontrollers with Arduino (a coding language similar to C++) in order to control programmable LED light strips, with the goal of helping REIC to create the tree based, public art light installation.

Lighting Installation

Winterlights: A Circle of Peace was supported and made possible by The Transformative Public Art program
and the Opportunity Fund 2.0 of the City of Boston Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture and by friends in the community.

  • Marchelle Raynor (HYCC invitation)
  • Kalamu Kieta (original design concept assistance)
  • Tom Gilly (1st gen circuit board designer-producer)
  • Susan Klimczak (Teach 2 Learn, Learn 2 Teach coding workshop teacher)
  • Camarah Oates (teen coding workshop participant)
  • Saje Cosby (teen coding workshop participant and installation assistant)
  • Daniel Idemudia  (teen coding workshop participant and installation assistant)
  • Darvin Luna Rodriguez  (teen coding workshop participant and installation assistant)
  • Angel Grant German  (teen coding workshop participant)
  • Ashley Augustin (teen coding workshop participant)
  • Alan Killian (2nd gen microcontroller-voltage controller designer-producer)
  • Jehanne Marie Gavarini (technicalresources)
  • Julian Loida (video music)
  • Carmel Schafer (videography)

We'd love to hear from you!

If you’ve visited the “Winterlights: A Circle of Peace” public art light installation at 184 Highland Street in Roxbury, we’d love to hear from you.
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