Urban Agriculture Re-zoning: City-wide Kick-off

The Citywide Urban Agriculture Rezoning Kickoff and Visioning Meeting has been scheduled for Monday, January 30, 2012 at 6:00PM. Come hear about urban agriculture from keynote speakeR Will Allen of Growing Power (recently listed in top 50 most influential food folks!) and give your thoughts about ideas for urban agriculture in Boston. Participants will have the opportunity to take part in a visioning exercise to talk about their hopes and aspirations for urban agriculture in the city of Boston.  

Meeting location: Suffolk University, 73 Tremont Street, between Park Street and Government Center T Stations. There will be a variety of food and farming advocacy organizations' informational tables at the meeting. Check out the flyers below for more information in English, Spanish, Chinese and Haitian Creole. Find out more about the urban agriculture project's pilot in Dorchester on two city-owned vacant parcels here.  Questions? Please contact:
Tad Read, Senior Planner
Boston Redevelopment Authority
One City Hall Square, 9th Floor
Boston, MA 02201
Phone: (617) 918-4264

MLK Day of Service Jan 16

NEFA's Public Art Discussion Series: Strategies in Community Engagement

What does it take for public artists to engage with a community in a meaningful and successful way? New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) is actively involved in supporting Public Art and New England's Creative Economy and is presenting a session on January 23d that will bring together artists, creative economy practitioners, and community participants. The result will be a discussion on strategies in community engagement at the Roxbury Center for the Arts at Hibernian Hall, 184 Dudley Street in Roxbury, MA 02119. Hear from a panel of public artists as they speak about community engagement, there will be plenty of time for networking. The event is from 6 - 9 p.m. Check out the event's website here.

Red Cross Holds Community Blood Drives in January

The American Red Cross will be holding several community blood drives during the month of January in Dorchester.  All eligible and new blood donors are encouraged to give blood! Donors are needed everyday to ensure an adequate supply for patients in need. All blood donors who participate in January will receive a free pound of Dunkin' Donuts coffee! To make an appointment, please call 1.800.RED.CROSS or visit the Red Cross website.

Community Blood Drives Will Take Place:
Jan 7 - Kelly Training Center, 40 Enterprise Street, DorchesterMA
Jan 16 - Saint Katherine Drexel Church, 517 Blue Hill Ave, Dorchester , MA
Jan 18 - St. Brendan Church, 595 Gallivan Blvd., Dorchester , MA


Try Out a Free Class with Boston City Singers Jan. 11

Do you have or know a child that loves to sing? Try out a class with Boston City Singers for Free! On Wednesday, January 11, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. the organization will be offering just that. For children ages 4 to 7, there is the Kodály Singing Class, and a Training Chorus Program for children in grades 2 - 6. The class will be held at All Saints Ashmont at 209 Ashmont Street in Dorchester. For more information, check out Boston City Singers' website. You can also email or call 617.825.0674 for more information. Attached is a 4 x 6 announcement for the event.

First Night Boston: New Year's 2012!

First Night is an annual festival celebrating art and community in Boston and the coming of the new year! The event is the oldest and largest of its kind in North America, typically attracting about one million people! The day long celebration is from 1 pm to midnight on December 31st. First Night activities include a Family Festival at the Hynes Convention Center, a Grand Procession down Boylston Street, colossal ice sculptures and a fireworks display at midnight. The event showcases the work of 1,000 artists in 200 performances and exhibits at 35 venues both indoor and outdoor throughout downtown Boston on New Year's Eve - admission to these and to museums and other fun activities is free to those who buy and wear a First Night pin (cost: $15) - buy one by clicking here. Check the schedule here. All proceeds benefit First Night, Inc. a private non-profit organization.

Nou Pap Janm Bliye/We Will Not Forget: 2nd Annual Haiti Earthquake Memorial Jan. 14

Nou Pap Janm Bliye/We Will Not Forget is an event for Boston and Massachusetts’ Haitian community and friends of Haiti to come together to memorialize the victims of the earthquake, and to reflect and agree on collective action. The memorial will feature the poetry of Patrick Sylvain, spiritual reflection by Pastor Zephir, a musical performance by Mendy Toussaint, and more.

The organizing committee, comprised of Haitian-led organizations in Boston, will discuss what has occurred in the past year and how issues of water security and immigration––noted as points of concern by hundreds of 2011 event attendees--have evolved. Physicians for Haiti will deliver a presentation specifically focused on the cholera epidemic.
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Girls' LEAP Workshop Jan. 21

Girls' LEAP (Lifetime Empowerment & Awareness Program) Self-Defense workshop offers a safe and supportive environment for participants to develop the necessary skills to champion their own safety and well-being. This is a mother/daughter workshop for girls ages 8-14 and their mother or a significant woman in their life (aunt, teacher, mentor, etc.)
The workshop will be an introduction to basic self-defense and personal safety through verbal de-escalation and personal boundary setting skills, and will help families communicate more effectively around issues related to personal safety and self-confidence.

To register, please call 617.514.4285. The registration deadline for this workshop is Friday, January 13th. The workshop will be on Saturday, January 21st from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Girls' LEAP, located at 197a Centre Street (formerly St. Mark's School) in Dorchester, MA 02124 the closest MBTA stop is Shawmut, and the cost of this workshop is FREE! Participants are asked to bring a non-perishable food item that will be donated to a local food pantry. For more information, contact Tracey Westgate at 617.514.4285.

Check out the Girls' LEAP website at:

1st Annual Leahy Holloran Polar Bear Plunge, Jan. 1


In memory of Brian Leahy, the Leahy Holloran Community Center will be hosting their 1st Annual Polar Bear Plunge! Startoff the New Year with a very chilly swim at the beach. On Sunday, January 1, 2012 (New Year's Day) the plunge will happen at 4:00pm at Tenean Beach, Neponset. $25 admission will include a pancake breakfast, and the first 50 people registered will receive a Polar Bear Plunge Hooded Sweatshirt! For more information see flyer attachment below or contact Craig Galvin at 617.947.6424.

The event will be sponsored by: Phillips Candy House, Ramada Inn, Carney Hospital, Team Sully Mac, Freeport Tavern, Boston Bowl, Deadwood Cafe, Comfort Inn and Local 103. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Leahy Holloran Community Center.

Franklin Park Winter Festival Feb. 4

The Franklin Park Coalition will be hosting a Winter Snow Festival on Saturday, February 4th! The festival will be held from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. Sign in at the Franklin Park Golf Clubhouse, 1 Circuit Drive, Dorchester, MA and spend the afternoon sledding, snowshoeing, building snowpeople, and tracking animal prints in the snow! Do you have cross country skis? A guided tour via skis will begin at 1:30. When the snow gets to be chilly, warm up with hot chocolate and games in the clubhouse! There will be sleds available for those without. Wear warm clothes and mittens! To RSVP, email the Franklin Park Coalition here. For questions, you can also call 617.442.4141.

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