News & Updates

BRA awards $120,000 to five organizations in second round of Fenway Community Benefits Funding

Jun 17, 2016

Five organizations will receive funding from the Boston Redevelopment Authority to support parks, create public art, and foster mentoring opportunities in Fenway through the second round of the Fenway Community Benefits program. Each organization is being awarded a $24,000 grant, for a total of $120,000, to aide in the beautification of the Fenway.

In October 2015 the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) announced that after piloting a successful standardized application process for community benefit funds in South Boston, a similar approach would be taken for releasing funds for other neighborhoods, starting with the Fenway neighborhood. The first five organizations to be funded through the Fenway Community Benefits program were announced in February 2016.

Below is a summary of the latest awardees and each organization’s proposed project for the Fenway area:

The Friends of Ramler Park, Inc. will use funding to create an endowed trust fund dedicated to ensuring the ongoing and permanent care of Ramler Park, to keep the park at its current high standard of beauty and accessibility, and to maintain the park’s living assets, its mature arbors, flowering trees and shrubs, and colorful perennial gardens. The funds will also be used to preserve the park’s unique built structures such as its sculptured art fence, classic centerpiece fountain, engraved brick walkway, stone dust paths, universal design park furniture, and generous use of Vermont granite.
Medicine Wheel Productions (MWP) is a community based arts organization dedicated to art as a public service. MWP develops and implements sustainable public art projects that speak to the needs of individuals, specific communities, and to the public at large. With funding from the Fenway Community Benefit Fund, MWP plans to install “Tir Na Nog” which is a temporary public art and public engagement piece that will be located in the Fens through the summer and fall of 2016. Designed by Irish artist Caoimhghin O Fraithile and local artist Michael Dowling, the work will pay homage to the centennial of the 1916 Easter Rising and the ongoing struggle for Irish independence.
Massachusetts College of Art and Design Foundation (MassArt) is the foundation for the nation’s oldest, and only public, art and design college. MassArt was founded in 1873 out of the belief that art and design are a powerful tool for intellectual, social and economic growth, and that people of all backgrounds should have access to an art education. MassArt will use this funding for the restoration of its public plaza, part of a planned renovation of the Bakalar & Paine Galleries. The Bakalar & Paine Galleries are the largest free contemporary art space in New England, and a fundamental part of MassArt's education of artists, designers and art educators.
The Fenway Alliance, Inc. is the umbrella organization for 21 cultural and academic institutions in the Fenway whose collective mission is to enhance the entire area of the Fenway: aesthetically, environmentally, economically, and culturally; and to provide greater public access to this resource-rich area of Boston. With the Community Benefit Funding, The Fenway Alliance, Inc. will work with a design firm, as well as local artists, to design and create interactive, visually pleasing informational kiosks that will help both residents and tourists navigate the Fens and surrounding Fenway neighborhood.
Community Work Services (CWS) is an organization that provides job training, placement, and support services that lead to greater economic self-sufficiency and advancement for their graduates. With the Community Benefit Funding, CWS will provide beautification and cleaning services in the Fenway neighborhood. These services will be used as a training program for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The trainees will be part of a mentorship program where he or she will be matched up with a mentor, an adult with an intellectual or developmental disability, who has successfully completed a CWS training program. The program will allow trainees to earn a wage while learning valuable workforce skills.

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