Jamaica Plain Porchfest's co-founders Mindy Fried and Marie Ghitman, are thrilled that one of JP's favorite annual event is being handed over, with love and gratitude, to the artists and art-managers from Dunamis, a Boston-based nonprofit organization.
JP Porchfest is a vibrant music and arts festival that takes place on porches, patios, stoops, driveways, church and community center yards, and all over the neighborhood.
The mission of the daylong event is to bridge the divides of race, class, culture and immigrant status through the power of the arts. There are performers of all kinds: music, dance, theater, spoken word, storytelling, circus arts, and comedy.
JP Porchfest has had a long-standing collaboration with Dunamis, originating with the organization’s Executive Director, J. Cottle, serving as Porchfest’s Volunteer Coordinator for two years before curating a Dunamis Porch for an additional two years.
"I have always been struck by Mindy and Marie’s intentionality towards celebrating the rich and diverse JP and artistic communities via a refreshingly genuine and authentic servant leadership model. Part of our work at Dunamis is to transform Boston to fully recognize its potential as an arts-hub and this is work that JP Porchfest has been doing to much success with equity at its core. We could not be more excited to carry on this legacy," said Cottle.
Dunamis, founded in 2017, serves as a nexus for professional development, community-building, consultation, production, advocacy and developing equitable pipelines for access and leadership in creative spaces- particularly for emerging artists and arts managers of color.
Ghitman and Fried said they're very excited that Neo Gcabo, the Director of Marketing and Community Development at Dunamis, will be the new JP Porchfest lead producer. Gcabo is a Boston-based arts-manager as well as an R&B, Jazz, Neo-Soul singer. Originally from Pretoria, South Africa, Gcabo graduated from Berklee College of Music with a Music Business degree. She has performed at events such as the Boston Book Festival, the Regatta Bar, and Emerson College, and toured internationally with the University of Pretoria Youth Choir.
Gcabo reflected on a reimagined approach to JP Porchfest, building on the fundamental work that the JP Porchfest co-founders have created.
"In this time of uncertainty, the arts have been forced to pivot as we navigate the challenges of COVID. At Dunamis, our focus is to steer the work of Porchfest to highlight BIPOC-run organizations and communities, elevate the collaboration of community partners, and create long-lasting relationships between artists and community members through a robust, safe and engaging festival. With the fundamental work Marie and Mindy have done, we are excited to launch a reimagined Porchfest to the world," said Gcabo.
Fried expressed how much she and Ghitman have loved creating the festival, and the importance of passing it on to the artists/arts managers at Dunamis.
"We have loved producing JP Porchfest for the past six years, but we feel that it is time for a transition," said Fried. "We know that JP Porchfest will thrive under Dunamis’s leadership. Dunamis will bring to this project their brilliance, creativity and commitment to artists and arts-managers of color."
Ghitman said she and Fried welcome what Dunamis will bring JP Porchfest.
"Dunamis’ mission -- to ignite agency and transformative growth for emerging artist and arts-managers of color -- aligns really well with the JP Porchfest’s mission of celebrating the creative talent and diversity of JP and beyond, using the arts as a vehicle to weave together the community across the divides of race, class, culture and immigrant status," said Ghitman