On March 31, 2017, Celebrity Series of Boston was honored to receive the Boys & Girls Club of Boston’s Community Impact Award, presented by President & CEO Josh Kraft in a ceremony at the Yawkey Club of Roxbury.
While we were thrilled to receive this recognition, the true reward of our partnership lies in the many young people whose lives have been touched through our collaborations. It all began with our first Neighborhood Arts workshops at the Sumner Boys & Girls Club in 2013, in the inaugural year of that program, and has since grown to touch all of our Arts for All! community engagement programs. We are so grateful to Leah Reich of Boys & Girls Club of Boston and Nina Vansuch of the Sumner Club for reaching out to begin this partnership, to Devin Ferreira of the Mattapan Teen Center for serving on our Community Engagement Committee alongside Nina and other community partners, and to all of our colleagues across the Boys & Girls Clubs organization.
A look back over the past five years shines a spotlight on the artists and young people at the center of our partnership. Neighborhood Arts workshops, artist residencies, and community concerts at the Mattapan Teen Center and the Yawkey, Sumner, and Charlestown Clubs have featured such dynamic and varied artists as composer Ryan Edwards and his Afrobeat band Federator No. 1, Sandeep Das (tabla), the Guy Mendilow Ensemble (Ladino music), Quartet of Happiness (jazz), the John Hanifin Band (rock), Sol y Canto (pan-Latin), Eve Costarelli and Antonio Tiriti (flamenco), Mila Thigpen (dance), the Boston Public Quartet (classical), and Alastair Moock (singer-songwriter). The Blue Hill and Sumner Clubs have hosted master classes with great artists from our main stage, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Pilobolus, and the Soweto Gospel Choir. Boys & Girls Club youth painted Street Pianos in 2013 (Charlestown) and 2016 (Sumner). And young people from across the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston – and beyond to Lawrence – have benefited from complimentary tickets to performances by such varied artists as Sweet Honey in the Rock, James Galway, Circa with Quatour Debussy, Malpaso Dance, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and many more.
“Celebrity Series is doing amazing things for Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston and should be recognized for it,” says Mr. Ferreira, Director of Performing Arts at the Mattapan Teen Center. “We are looking forward to the next Neighborhood Arts show in Mattapan coming soon. I’m hoping to strengthen the partnership in the coming months and years!”
Thank you again to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston for this wonderful honor. We can’t wait to find out what the next five years will hold.
On stage and off, Celebrity Series Arts for All! programs engage people of all ages and backgrounds in community programs that harness the creative energy of the performing arts to build thriving communities and cultivate the next generation of artists and audiences. Programs include Artist Connections (master classes by the world’s great artists for students from the elementary through conservatory levels), Neighborhood Arts (Boston area artists lead hands-on workshops for youth and free community concerts in Dorchester, Hyde Park, Mattapan, Roslindale, Roxbury, and the South End), Take Your Seat (free and discounted tickets to performances in the main stage season), and Public Performance Projects (free, participatory projects for the whole city, such as Street Pianos and Let’s Dance Boston). To learn more, visit celebrityseries.org/community.
Alvin Ailey dancer Solomon Dumas improvises to music composed by Sumner Boys & Girls Club members at a workshop with Neighborhood Arts artist Ryan Edwards, 2017.
Alvin Ailey dancer Jeroboam Bozeman with members of Sumner Boys & Girls Club following a workshop with Neighborhood Arts artist Ryan Edwards, 2017.
Street Pianos Boston 2016, piano painted by Sumner Boys & Girls Club, Adams Park, Roslindale
Outdoor concert with Quartet of Happiness for Fair Verona Festival at Yawkey Club of Roxbury, 2015
Soweto Gospel Choir Artist Connections Master Class with Boston City Singers at the Blue Hill Boys & Girls Club, 2015
“Among the many programs I work with, Neighborhood Arts is the only program that consistently reaches out to our community and creatively offers the answer to ‘How will we bridge the cultural divide.'” – Nina Vansuch, Director of the Sumner Boys & Girls Club, pictured with James Galway and students at Symphony Hall, 2013