Dorchester artist Cliff Notez is one of several Boston-area cultural trailblazers being featured in the Red Sox’ latest media campaign accompanying the rollout of their new yellow and powder blue “City Connect” jerseys inspired by the Patriots Day holiday and the Boston Marathon.
In a video Q&A filmed at the Strand Theatre and posted to the organization’s social media earlier this week, Notez donned one of the new jerseys and spoke to what it means to be an artist of color from Boston.
“We’re very proud of where we’re from, and we believe in where we’re from, and we stand strong together as a community, as a creative community, and I think that’s a big part of why we’re so resilient and so strong to this day,” said Notez. “We believe in us being what we are, despite what the rest of the world is.”
The new alternate uniforms, notably lacking the Sox’ storied red color scheme, mark a departure from tradition. In an interview with ESPN, Red Sox chief marketing officer Adam Grossman explained that the move was calculated to “push the envelope” and “be bold” in bringing in new supporters to the fanbase.
“This is not meant to replace our crisp whites,” said Grosman. “That’s not what this is about; it’s about connecting and having other people look at us differently, especially younger more diverse crowds. We embrace that, and it’s important to acknowledge and celebrate that, and that’s what this represents.”
In his interview, Notez made a connection between the Sox’ new look and the risk taking that is a core element of his artistic process.
“I think it’s important within that creative process to push boundaries because especially when we’re thinking about the resilience and pride of being a Bostonian, and especially being a person of color – a lot of people who aren’t from Boston don’t know that Black people exist here. It’s like, not only are we from Boston, you guys are gonna see exactly what we do and you’re gonna be shocked, because we’ve been doing this for a while...the fact that we’ve been able to make it this far in this tough city only makes us want to make it that much more successful.”
The team will wear the yellow and blue uniforms for the first time on April 17 and 18 against the White Sox.