Jamaica Plain resident Alexandra Kahveci recently won the Mrs. Massachusetts United States 2020 contest. This year's contest had an interesting wrinkle -- due to the Coronavirus there were no in person contest, it was all Zoom meetings. Kahveci answered questions from Jamaica Plain News about why she wanted to be Mrs. Massachusetts, competing in the future for Mrs. United States, and more. Q: You were recently crowned Mrs. Massachusetts United States 2020. When did it happen and what was the process like?
The Recording Academy's national board of trustees now includes a Jamaica Plain resident. Terri Lyne Carrington, founder and artistic director of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, was reelected to the board for her second consecutive term. Chelsey Green, an associate professor in the String Department and a resident of Jamaica Plain, will join the board for the first time. The board also now includes two Berklee faculty members and a Berklee Online student. Andrew Joslyn, acclaimed composer, violinist, and current Berklee Online student, was also elected to the board.
Morris Norvin's beloved sculpture of two silver bears is actually called The Discarded. It's been seen around Jamaica Plain through the years, and this summer it migrated to Connecticut to participate in a public art exhibition. The Discarded is one of seven Norvin sculptures participating in the Art Collective in Stamford Downtown through August. There are 34 sculptures in the rolling exhibition on streets and parks in Stamford. Being named The Discarded is apropos to Norvin's style of art.
Several Jamaica Plain residents and a local nonprofit received public arts grants from the city focused on addressing public connectedness during these insecure times. A total of $35,000 in grants were given through the city's Transformative Public Art Program. The city announced a call to artists in April with particular interest in temporary and new media art projects that respond to COVID-19. Grants were provided in two categories: Now and Later. Now projects will take place in a virtual or public setting through September 30 of this year, and are $5,000, $2,500, or $1,000 grants.
With triple Boston’s rate of COVID-19 infection and six times the rate of Massachusetts as a whole, Chelsea’s 40,000 residents have experienced far more than their fair share of the pandemic. Chelsea is a close-knit community, so everyone knows someone who has gotten sick, and many know someone who has died. I'm a Jamaica Plain resident Stefanie Shull, and I run the CONNECT economic mobility partnership based at The Neighborhood Developers. CONNECT serves 3,500 people/year, most of whom live in Chelsea, Revere, Everett, Malden, and East Boston. Before the pandemic hit, I was focused on building more robust training and job placement services in the area, to take advantage of the strong economy. As the U.S. outbreak took hold in early March, it was clear that would need to be set aside. Having worked on post-Katrina recovery in Louisiana for three years, I felt like I had some idea of what was coming.