JP Residents Awarded Boston Arts and Culture Grants

The Boston Cultural Council announced the second round of Opportunity Funds, and two Jamaica Plain residents are receiving grants up to $1,000. In total, the city awarded $33,500 to 34 grantees across Boston's neighborhoods. “This second round of the Opportunity Fund truly exemplifies the diverse and talented array of artists whose work touches every neighborhood of our city,” said Mayor Marty Walsh via press release. “I look forward to seeing these individuals excel in their art and enhance their communities with these grants.”

Nancy Marks will use the grant to bring The Opioid Project to several Boston neighborhoods. The Opioid Project is a series of community-based workshops and art exhibitions highlighting "the complex social narrative of addiction while giving space and ‘voice’ to all those connected to the opioid epidemic."

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4 JP Public Schools to Benefit from $450K in Arts Expansion Grants

The Hennigan K-8 School, English High School, JFK Elementary School and Community Academy are four of dozens of schools that are receiving more than $450,000 in grants to provide arts instruction. The grants are part of the Boston Public Schools (BPS) Arts Expansion initiative, which has schools working with more than 30 arts partners to provide long-term direct arts instruction for the 2018-2019 school year. These grants are supported by BPS Arts Expansion funders including the Barr Foundation, the Boston Foundation, Katie and Paul Buttenweiser Foundation, Klarman Family Foundation and Linde Family Foundation. Boston officials, BPS and EdVestors announced the latest round of grants as part of this week’s BPS Citywide Arts Festival on June 14. “We believe that all Boston residents should have the ability to engage in creativity and be part of Boston’s rich arts and culture scene, so it is so exciting to have so many of our BPS students showcasing their talents throughout the Citywide Arts Festival this week,” said Mayor Martin Walsh via press release.

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A happy crowd at the reopening of the JP Branch Library on Saturday, May 20, 2017.

Summer Solstice Potluck to Celebrate 1st Anniversary of JP Branch Library Renovations

Celebrate the one-year anniversary of the renovated Jamaica Plain Branch Library with Mayor Marty Walsh with a potluck on Saturday. The Friends of the Jamaica Plain Branch Library (30 South St.) are hosting the potluck on Saturday, June 16 from 12:30 to 2 pm. But come early at 11 am to hear a musical performance by Cardamom Quartet in the library's community room. Please bring a food item to share with your fellow library lovers. No word on what Mayor Walsh plans on bringing to the potluck.

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Community Servings Breaks Ground on $21M Food Campus in JP with Mayor Walsh

Community Servings, a nonprofit provider of medically tailored meals and nutrition services to individuals and families living with critical and chronic illnesses, broke ground on May 30 on an expansion project in Jamaica Plain that will broaden its caring mission and its leadership role in furthering the power of food as medicine. The $21 million “Food Campus,” now under construction on the site of Community Servings’ headquarters in Jamaica Plain, consists of a three-story addition and kitchen expansion in the existing space. The 31,000-square-foot project will enable the organization to triple the production of medically tailored meals to meet increasing demand, double the capacity for daily volunteers, and double the number of food service job training graduates. “We are extremely excited about our project, especially with how the new building’s design will open up our organization to the community like never before,” said David B. Waters, CEO of Community Servings. “Tall windows will afford views of the dynamic work of our daily volunteers, while new classrooms will provide ample space for nutrition education and job training for our neighbors.

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JP Resident Named Massachusetts Elementary Principal of the Year

Jamaica Plain's Craig Martin has been named the Thomas C. Passios Elementary Principal of the Year from the Massachusetts School Administrators’ Association. Martin has been the principal of the Michael J. Perkins School in South Boston since the 2013-14 school year, will also represent the Commonwealth in the National Distinguished Principal Program, sponsored by the National Association of Elementary School Principals, in Washington, D.C., in October. “I am greatly honored and humbled to be named Massachusetts Elementary Principal of the Year,” said Martin via a press release. “The students at the Perkins School have made tremendous strides, and it could not have happened without the growth of positive relationships and teamwork between the students, teachers, families, and administration.”

Leadership reflects attitude and Martin's attitude has filtered into Perkins' students, as they have demonstrated steady gains in performance during Martin’s leadership. One example is that Latino students and English Learners at the school surpassed the state average for these groups in English language arts and mathematics in this year MCAS.

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