Ballet, Hollywood Dance, Soca and More: BalletRox Offers Dance Programs for Anyone of Any Age

One of the sweetest things to see in Jamaica Plain, is the smiles on the children dancing in BalletRox classes at Spontaneous Celebrations. Wanting to know more about BalletRox, Jamaica Plain News asked Program Manager Lisa Kelleher about what ballet classes, tap lessons, special events, vacation programming, and more. Q: What is your role at BalletRox, and why did you want to get involved with BalletRox? Kelleher: I am Program Manager, managing both of our studios: In JP, at Spontaneous Celebrations, and in Roxbury at the Vine Street Community Center. In addition, as partner liaison I manage our partnerships with the Boston Public schools, a few private schools and after school programs.

With these programs we are able to fulfill our mission of giving everyone A Chance to Dance.

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Spontaneous Celebrations Receives $25,500 Grant for Solar Panels; Friday Fundraiser to Help Match Grant

Spontaneous Celebrations received a $25,500 grant to install solar panels on the roof of its Danforth Street community center, and needs help from the community to match the grant. The $25,500 is coming from a TernSOLAR challenge grant from the Tern Foundation. The Tern Foundation’s TernSOLAR challenge grant program's purpose is to expand renewable energy use in Massachusetts communities, and make solar technology more accessible to nonprofit organizations like Spontaneous Celebrations. Spontaneous Celebrations must match the grant, and is holding a Sol Fest fundraiser on Friday to help raise funds (please see flyer below for more info). The remaining cost of the project will utilize the Direct Pay 30% reimbursement provision of the newly implemented federal Inflation Reduction Act, according to a press release.

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Spontaneous Celebrations, Jamaica Plain residents and other community members created lanterns out of plastic soda bottles and tissue paper for the Jamaica Pond Lantern Parade held on Oct. 18 and 19, 2014. Lanterns were sold for $5 to $20 each.

The Lantern Parade is Coming Soon… Here’s How to Get Involved

Spontaneous Celebrations' Lantern Parade is on October 22 and 23 and there are many ways you can get involved leading up to one of Jamaica Plain's greatest traditions. You can make lanterns. Albeit this year, Spontaneous Celebrations is in need of 3-liter bottles. Members of Spontaneous Celebrations' Programming Circle have been exploring how to make lanterns in other ways, such as strings of LED lights and even cellphone lights. There are upcoming afternoons and evenings for community drop-ins to help make lanterns for everyone to use.

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Spontaneous Celebrations Benefit Golf Tourney Returns Sept. 22

The second annual golf tournament to benefit Jamaica Plain nonprofit Spontaneous Celebrations will tee off on Sept. 22. This year’s tournament will be held at Franklin Park's William J. Devine Golf Course, and will be followed by a BBQ dinner, complete with prizes, and a raffle. The raffle includes four of the Red Sox tickets. Details on how to purchase raffle tickets are online.

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Spontaneous Celebrations, Jamaica Plain residents and other community members created lanterns out of plastic soda bottles and tissue paper for the Jamaica Pond Lantern Parade held on Oct. 18 and 19, 2014. Lanterns were sold for $5 to $20 each.

Spontaneous Celebrations Needs Help Your Help Solving the Case of the Missing Lanterns

Every year around Halloween, Spontaneous Celebrations leads one of the best neighborhood events -- lantern nights around Jamaica Pond. During the preceding weeks residents big and small create lanterns using three liter bottles. But unfortunately, the generous bottle donor that's provided the bottles is no longer making three liter bottles. "Have you seen any 3-liter bottles in a store near you? We’d love to find another supplier.

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A scene from Wake Up The Earth 2015.

Wake Up The Earth Festival is May 7 — Still Time To Get Involved!

This year's Wake Up The Earth Festival is May 7 -- and there are numerous ways to still get involved with Spontaneous Celebrations' annual beloved tradition. The first WUTE festival took place in 1979 on land that was going to be a large highway that is now the Southwest Corridor with a community garden, and a playground. The tradition continues every year (except for the lousy pandemic interruption) by the Stony Brook T station. There are numerous ways to get involved with this year's festival. This year's theme is Power of the People, and there will be banners on the fence between the Stony Brook and Jackson Square T stations, celebrating the nonprofits, community groups and local businesses that helped stop the highway.

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Update: Spontaneous Golf Tournament Moved to Oct. 14 + More Spontaneous News

If you’re new to Jamaica Plain, you might not have experienced the Wake Up The Earth Parade and Festival that blossoms on the first Saturday in May each year in the Southwest Corridor Park, brought to life by Spontaneous Celebrations. There's music galore on three stages, food trucks, artists and clothing vendors, non-profit organizations tabling, face painting, mini golf, stilt walking, and toddler drumming.  In just a few weeks, you’ll have a chance to experience the annual Lantern Parade at Jamaica Pond (Oct. 23 and 24 this year), also orchestrated by Spontaneous Celebrations. On those nights hundreds of homemade lanterns bob along the path around the pond, carried by children in Halloween costumes with their parents, and others who enjoy the spectacle each year.

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Spontaneous Celebrations Block Party to Celebrate Reopening of Building on Sept. 11

Community cultural organization Spontaneous Celebrations is holding a block party on Sept. 11 to celebrate the reopening of its building. The renovations are continuing and the organization is inviting the community to come together for a potluck party (bring something to share with your neighbors), and free music. The ongoing renovations include a new front door design by local artist Connie Barbour, all new hardwood floor on the second floor, rebuilding of the stage infrastructure, and removal of the chimney. Kitchen and bar renovations are underway, including a new exhaust, plus new back stairs to the basement.

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Coronavirus Collateral Damage: Funerals, Animal Vets, Art Schools, Wake Up The Earth Festival, All Affected

The damage wrought by COVID-19 is permeating all aspects of society. Our funerals are being affected, our woodworking classes are being cancelled, and our beloved Wake Up The Earth Festival is not happening May 2. The Forest Hills Cemetery was consecrated in 1848, and it's not clear if there's ever been restrictions placed on the number of attendees allowed at funerals. But now there are -- in accordance with Governor Charlie Baker's executive order, burials are now limited to 25 people, according to Forest Hills Cemetery's website. Along with the 25 person limit, there are other new protocols:
We are requesting that all family members remain in their cars until the casket has been placed at the gravesite and the Cemetery personnel have left the area.

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The Jamaica Pond Lantern Parade, a tradition hosted by community group Spontaneous Celebrations since 1984, attracts thousands of local residents and visitors from outside the neighborhood every year for a weekend of beautiful lights. The festivities begin at 6 p.m. on Oct. 18 and 19 at the Jamaica Pond Boat House.

36th Annual Jamaica Pond Lantern Parades on Oct. 19 & 20

If you're new to Jamaica Plain you're going to want to check out this weekend's Jamaica Pond Lantern Parades. Hundreds of people of all ages (and dogs), some costumed and some not, will gather for pre-Halloween fun in the annual presented by Spontaneous Celebrations and the Friends of Jamaica Pond. This year marks the 36th year of the Jamaica Pond Lantern Parades that happen on both Saturday and Sunday. Before the parade, people gather by the Jamaica Pond Boat House, and hang their lanterns to display for all to enjoy the varied designs. The parades start at dusk on both Saturday and Sunday, as people walk around the pond holding their lanterns.

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