Friday Night Fun for Free (in the ‘bury and on the T)

The ‘bury (Roxbury)
Instead of crashing or cuddling in last  Friday night (3/9), I decided to head out.  I’m so glad I did because I ended up having a great time – the kind of time that happens in the city so frequently if goes for it.

The first fun of the evening featured Art & Jazz at the auditorium of the Dudley Library. sparc! the ArtMobile, a project of the Center for Art and Community Partnerships at Massachusetts College of Art and Design featured  live jazz by The Makanda Project combined with art-making.  Picture it: 

  • The front of the auditorium featured the musicians – playing jazz.

  • The left and right sides of the auditorium featured professional artists with their easels set up as they created a work of art inspired by the music.

  • The back of the auditorium (the entry point) featured long tables with art supplies and people of all ages and ethnicities making art.

  • The middle of the auditorium was filled with people listening and responding to the music – some getting up from time-to-time to get a closer look at the art that was being made to the left, right, back and in the middle of us. 

A stack of what looked like pizza boxes but were really art supplies was quickly distributed among the drop-in artists.  The supplies included paint, pencils, brushes, small stretched canvases.

A couple of artists had sketch pads and sat in the audience making art.  One gentleman spread his materials on the floor and painted.  Everyone was comfortable.

The professional/trained artists had easels – each creating a different image.  One artist drew one of the musicians who were performing.  Another young artist, Destiny Palme( a graduate of Mass Art) used tape and paint to create a grid on her canvas.  Radiant Jasmin and Larry Pierce each made strong pieces that couldn’t have been more different.

That’s the thing about art – it speaks to each person’s unique response to the same stimuli.

The invitation to the event asked – Can you hear in colors?  And it was clear that the artists could.  It was also clear that the colors of the rainbow were drawn to this event with the crowd being very diverse – almost evenly between the diverse white people and the diverse brown people.

The Makanda Project musicians reflected the diversity of the crowd.  The band is large and has 13 musicians – including saxophonists, trumpeters, trombonists, a pianist, a drummer and bass player.  Formed in 2005, it is dedicated to performing the huge body of work composed by the late musician Makanda Ken McIntyre.  They will be performing at Bunker Hill College on April 12 and at the Dudley Library again on April 13.

What a special evening the crowd of more than 100 of us enjoyed. Without a doubt sparc! achieved its mission to “ignite art and design in the neighborhood.  I look forward to another such experience.

Park Street T Station
When I left the library, I thought my evening’s entertainment had ended but it hadn’t.  I caught the Silver Line downtown – a slower ride than expected because of crowds streaming out of the Opera House.  The bright neon lights of the Paramount Theater and Opera House made me feel like I was in Times Square or Vegas for a minute.  There were tons of people downtown walking around and going into various  restaurants and clubs.  The CVS was hopping.

I made my way into Park Street Station and got my second entertainment for the evening – a group of young musicians playing on the middle Red Line Platform.  They are called Midnight Snack and they were so good that I walked through the Braintree train that came before my Ashmont train, so I could be on the same platform and contribute to them.  They had people dancing.  They perform at Park Street regularly and have a video on YouTube.

A peaceful, artful, musical, joyful Friday night in the city. 

I apologize for the different in font sizes in this post.  I keep trying to fix it and it’s not working, so I’m going to let it go as is.

About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.

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