JP Porchfest is July 7th: Get Ready for 170 Performances on 90 Porches!

The 5th Annual Jamaica Plain Porchfest this Saturday will be more awesome than the previous four as it will include music, theater, dance, spoken word, storytelling, comedy, circus arts and a politicians' porch. "We have 90 generous porch hosts this year – that is, folks who offer their porches to performers. In some cases, people perform on their own porches, but they often welcome others," said Mindy Fried, co-organizer with Marie Ghitman and Eli Pabon. "And in many cases, porch hosts simply offer their porches to whomever we assign to their porches, of course taking into consideration their available space, and if they have any special requests." Click on the map of porches to see a description of all of the performances (courtesy JP Porchfest).

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Diane Ivey, right, and Jessica Bucci "yarn-bombed" the sign at the Eliot School on Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014.

Open House to Discuss Possible Renovations at Eliot School on March 28th

The Eliot School is holding an open house focused on users of the school to determine what they want to see for the school's possible expansion and renovation. Architects from designLAB architects and G2 Collaborative Landscape Architecture will be present to talk with faculty, staff and students about what they'd like in a renovation and expansion of the school on Eliot Street. Those who are not current or active users of the Eliot School are also welcome to attend the open house. This event will be on Wednesday, March 28th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Farnsworth House (90 South St.). Refreshments will be served, but it is unknown what type of refreshments.

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Update: BYOB Easter Egg Hunt at Loring-Greenough House Postponed

Update: The Easter Egg Hunt has been postponed to March 31st at 1 pm. The annual Easter Egg Hunt on Loring-Greenough's Lawn this coming Sunday is BYOB -- Bring Your Own Basket. The annual egg hunt is free for all to attend and starts at 1 pm and you'll want to get there on time because the toy- and candy-filled eggs go quickly!  Also, bring a blanket and a picnic lunch to enjoy on the law after the egg hunt. Update: The egg decorating took place on March 25 and will not occur on March 31.

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BYOB Easter Egg Hunt at Loring-Greenough House, Preceded by Egg Decorating

The annual Easter Egg Hunt on Loring-Greenough's Lawn this coming Sunday is BYOB -- Bring Your Own Basket. The annual egg hunt is free for all to attend and starts at 1 pm and you'll want to get there on time because the toy- and candy-filled eggs go quickly!  Also, bring a blanket and a picnic lunch to enjoy on the law after the egg hunt. Before the egg hunt, kids of all ages are welcome to stop by the Eliot School of Fine & Applied Arts (24 Eliot St.) to decorate real eggs from 10 am to 12:30 pm, and then head over to the egg hunt on South Street. This is a BYOE event -- as in Bring Your Own Eggs, and hard boiled eggs work best. This is also a free event with a suggested donation of $5, and registration is requested by clicking here.

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Eliot School Announces New Annual Artist in Residence Program, Issues Call for Proposals

The Eliot School of Fine & Applied Arts, the 341-year-old Boston-based art center, is launching its new annual Artist in Residence program with a call for artists’ proposals by January 31, 2018 for residencies in 2019 and 2020. Artists in Residence will partner with the Eliot School’s Teen Bridge program, which brings a small group of passionate teens from Boston schools to its Jamaica Plain schoolhouse, where they participate in a rigorous arts program that combines skill building, mentorship, employment and intensive art enrichment opportunities. Application details can be found here: https://eliotschool.org /artists-residencies/proposals. Sculptor Nora Valdez will kick off the first residency in 2018 on the theme of home. Through this project, Nora and Teen Bridge youth will initiate a public dialogue by exploring the questions: What makes a place home?

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Diane Ivey, right, and Jessica Bucci "yarn-bombed" the sign at the Eliot School on Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014.

Eliot School Exploring Possible Expansion and Renovation; Community Input Wanted

I’m pleased to let you know that a panel of trustees has selected designLAB architects to create a feasibility study to explore the possibility of renovating and expanding the Eliot School. A panel of trustees chose designLAB from a pool of nearly 30 interested firms. Selection criteria included experience creating spaces for making and learning, additions to historic structures, innovation, thoughtful landscape design, environmental sustainability and an inclusive visioning process. The firm will develop a range of scenarios for the Eliot Street site and possible alternative locations. Each option will include cost estimates and plans for phasing construction to accommodate ongoing programming. This is the first step in what will be an extensive process that we hope will lead to more adequate space for the school, including access for the disabled.

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Diane Ivey, right, and Jessica Bucci "yarn-bombed" the sign at the Eliot School on Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014.

Eliot School of Fine & Applied Arts, Other JP Arts Orgs Awarded Mass Cultural Council Grants

Jamaica Plain's Eliot School of Fine & Applied Arts has been awarded two grants from the Mass Cultural Council. The first, an operating grant of $10,900, allows the organization to continue its work inspiring lifelong learning in craft and creativity for people of all ages and from all walks of life. This grant supports the Eliot School’s work bringing art and woodworking classes to over 2,000 children this year in public schools and community centers across Boston, and offering craft classes for adults and children at its schoolhouse on Eliot Street. The second grant, of $30,000, will help pay for a feasibility study to determine how the Eliot School might renovate and expand space at its schoolhouse or within alternate space elsewhere. The Mass Cultural Council, which is a state agency, provides funds to every community in the Commonwealth.

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Thread Ensemble Performs INTERACTION

Thread Ensemble performs a day of interactive, free, public performances throughout Jamaica Plain, featuring a moving musical feast of pieces improvised by vibraphone and violins. Thread Ensemble will give five performances in public spaces throughout Jamaica Plain in the course of one afternoon, culminating in an early evening concert on the lawn of the Eliot School. In each performance spot, Thread Ensemble will draw in passersby by inviting them to participate in the creation of new music. In between performances, Thread will roll the vibraphone from place to place and travel with the two violins, filling outdoor spaces with music. Venues: Arnold Arboretum (1pm), Curtis Hall steps (2pm), Belle's Park on Centre Street near JP Licks (3pm), Jamaica Pond pathway (4pm), Eliot School lawn (5pm and 6pm). *times of first five performances are approximate*

Woodworker Heather Dawnson lets the chips fly at JP Open Studios 2016

Watch JP Open Studios in Action

This year's JP Open Studios had perfect weather for strolling and taking in all the art. Here's a quick video of woodworker Heather Dawson turning a block of wood into art. Dawson, who is on the faculty at The Eliot School, had her booth just outside the entrance of the historic school. For more on her work, check out her web site. Other Jamaica Plain News coverage of Open Studios:

Photos: Jamaica Plain Open Studios 2016

Scenes from JP Open Studios 2015

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Car Lights, Hyde Square

A long exposure shows car light trails at the Hyde Square rotary. This photo was taken for a street photography class at Jamaica Plain's Eliot School. Each weekday we post a “Photo of the Day” from around the neighborhood. If you have a photo that screams (or even whispers) "Jamaica Plain," here are four ways to nominate it:

Email me at chris@jamaicaplainnews
Tag a picture on Twitter with @02130News
Put your photo in the Jamaica Plain News photo pool on Flickr
Tag a picture on Instagram with #02130News

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