Pick Your Price Art Sale to Benefit JP Nonprofit City Life/Vida Urbana

You can pick your price for original art and support housing justice at the same time at this year's Art For All 4 on June 11. This year's event will provide 100% of proceeds to Jamaica Plain nonprofit City Life/Vida Urbana – a local organization fighting for affordable housing and racial, social and economic justice. This all volunteer collaboration between local artists and grassroots activists offers art lovers a huge selection of pieces to choose from while knowing that they're supporting an important cause. Each year, Art For All benefits an organization working to promote inclusion and further the movement for justice. Previous Art For All beneficiaries include the Boston Immigration Justice Accompaniment Network (BIJAN) and La Collaborativa.


Armenian Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Welcomes New Executive Director

Residents, families and staff members recently gathered together to meet Ren de Leon, the new executive director of the Jamaica Plain nonprofit Armenian Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. “A drive and passion for senior care has propelled me to keep reaching for excellence,” said de Leon.” I can’t think of a better organization than ANRC to continue my career. I am looking forward to getting to know each and every one of our families and residents.”


Fixit Clinic at Jamaica Plain Library on Dec. 10

The Fixit Clinic is coming back to the Jamaica Plain Library. The clinic will be on Dec. 10 from 10 am to 1 pm. Celebrating repair by conveying basic troubleshooting skills, Fixit Clinics are do-it-together hands-on STEM-oriented fix-n-learn community-based exploration and discovery workshops staffed by volunteer Fixit Coaches who generously share their time, tools and expertise to consult with you on the disassembly, troubleshooting, and repair of your item. So bring your broken, non-functioning things — electronics, appliances, computers, toys, sewing machines, bicycles, fabric items, etc.– for assessment, disassembly, and possible repair.


Kord Jablonski to Lead Boston Building Resources

Kord Jablonski has been named the next leader of Boston Building Resources (BBR). BBR is a Roxbury-based consumer cooperative and nonprofit reuse center selling materials for home improvement and offering its more than 1,500 members knowledge and resources for maintaining, repairing, and improving one’s home. He is taking over for Matthew St. Onge, who will be retiring in the coming months. Most recently, Jablonski was Business Director for the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, where he provided leadership for overall museum operations, including all aspects of the visitor experience.


Tenants Celebrate Finalizing 5-Year Agreement with Capped Rent

The sale of buildings commonly triggers an endless torrent of rent increases and housing instability, significantly now as we recover from the pandemic. But on Nov. 6th, a celebration was held after the Torrington Tenant Association’s finalized a 5-year agreement with capped rent for their home in Jamaica Plain. “I've been here for over 30 years and I'm grateful for my community,” said Wanda Turner, a Torrington Properties TA leader, “I was raised here I raised my kids here, and I’d like to stay here.¨

The Torrington Properties TA of Hyde Park Avenue in Jamaica Plain consists of two buildings with 52 units down the street from the public transit artery, the Forest Hills Orange Line train station, and public bus hub. Many tenants in The Torrington Properties TA are Black and Hispanic Latinos from the Caribbean and Central America and some have been there for decades.


Photo: Rare Fisher Cat Sighting in Arnold Arboretum!

Ben Achtenberg was able to snap a rare photograph of a fisher cat in Bussey Brook Meadow in the Arnold Arboretum on Halloween. Fishers are solitary hunters and not commonly seen. They primarily prey on snowshoe hares and porcupines, according to wikipedia. They also eat insects, nuts, berries, and mushrooms.

Scientists have found evidence of birds, small mammals and even deer, which would indicate they're also scavengers and will eat carrion. While not common, fishers have also been known to kill wild turkeys.


Halloween Festival in Latin Quarter

Looking for family-friendly fun on Halloween? Join Hyde Square Task Force for our annual Latin Quarter Halloween Festival on October 31. Come by for games and activities, prizes, arts and crafts, a photo booth, treats, and more on the Blessed Sacrament Plaza (361 Centre St.) from 4-6 pm. In the case of inclement weather, the event will be canceled.


The Food Project Welcomes Jamaica Plain’s Jeff Wojtowicz to Board of Trustees

The Food Project welcomed Jamaica Plain resident Jeff Wojtowicz, a retired biopharma senior executive, to its Board of Trustees. The Food Project is a nationally recognized youth development model that employs teens to work alongside adults and strengthen local food systems.

Growing up outside of Chicago, Wojtowicz remembers consuming many canned vegetables. After he met his wife, whose family owns a farm in southern Illinois, he was exposed to more fresh vegetables with their enhanced flavor and nutrition. He first joined The Food Project as a member of the nonprofit’s development committee in 2018, helping to promote and execute the organization’s annual gala. This provided his first taste for how The Food Project works to build the next generation of leaders who will transform local food systems.

Bringing more than three decades of leadership, strategy, and project management experience to the Board, Wojtowicz looks forward to generating awareness about the power of disease prevention through greater access to nutrition.


JP’s Michele Courton Brown Appointed Chair of YouthBuild USA Board of Directors

Jamaica Plain resident Michele Courton Brown has been named chair of the YouthBuild USA Board of Directors, making her the third person in the global nonprofit’s history to take the role, as well as the first woman and the first Black woman to lead the body. This appointment creates a diverse, majority-female Board leadership — a first in its history — and advances the organization’s commitment to its mission by better reflecting the diverse population it serves.


Jamaica Plain’s Kordenbrock Named New Executive Director of Rehearsal for Life

Rehearsal for Life, a nonprofit in Boston-area’s creative youth development sector, recently hired Jamaica Plain resident Robert Kordenbrock as its new executive director. Kordenbrock joins Rehearsal for Life, as it begins its 30th anniversary, having most recently been the executive director of the Fenway Community Center, which serves over 45,000 residents of the Fenway neighborhood. His career spans nearly two decades of experience in the education and non-profit sectors with a focus on youth development and corporate social responsibility. He has served as a teacher in the Chicago Public Schools; an AmeriCorps National Teaching Fellow with Citizen Schools in Malden where he worked with 8th graders to support their social-emotional and academic development; Director of the Red Oak After School and Summer Programs at the Josiah Quincy Elementary School for the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center; and interim Executive Director and a member of the Board of Directors at JP KidsArts. He then shifted his focus to nonprofit capacity building and volunteer engagement with a director role at Building Impact and a leadership role Common Impact.