News & Updates

BPDA delivers more than $350k in community benefits to local nonprofits from Dot Block project

Feb 16, 2024

Awardees celebrated at event at Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester

BOSTON - February 16, 2024 - The Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) celebrated the disbursement of $352,500 to 16 community organizations that serve the Dorchester community at an event Friday at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester. The work the organizations do runs the gamut from youth track and field programming, to workshops promoting civic engagement, to support for victims of violence in the City. This funding comes from the Dot Block project community benefits fund. The Dot Block project was originally approved in May of 2016, and is planned to include 488 units of housing, artist live/work space, and restaurant and retail space.

“I’m glad we were able to help deliver this funding to support the important work these organizations do for Dorchester,” said Chief of Planning Arthur Jemison. “I want to thank the Dot Block development team for their partnership, and the organizations for ensuring these funds will have a significant impact on the community.”

“The many community organizations that serve Dorchester are a key part of keeping the community vibrant and welcoming,” said Executive Vice President of Development at Samuels & Associates Abe Menzin. “We are proud that so many impactful organizations will benefit from our donation and appreciate the BPDA’s continued focus on connecting major business and property owners in the neighborhood with important community partners.”

The awardees are as follows: Youth Enrichment Services, White Snake Projects, Teen Center at St. Peters, Catholic Charities, Speak for the Trees, Somali Development Center, Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, Irish Pastoral Centre, Fresh Food Generation, Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation, Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester, Boston Little Saigon, Boston Food Forest Coalition, Artists for Humanity, Action for Boston Community Development, All Dorchester Sports League, and Boston Collegiate Charter School Foundation.

Boston Little Saigon received the largest amount of funding, with $59,264. The organization will use this funding to install a permanent ‘Lantern Alley’, support the Boston Little Saigon Community Partners Program, and fund the Boston Little Saigon Night Market. The Lantern Alley was a temporary installation in the summer and fall of 2022, which helped to revitalize the area, encourage more art in Fields Corner, and invite residents to use the space more frequently.

"It's truly heartening to witness emerging developments earnestly seeking out and supporting the organizations that have long been dedicated to improving our communities. The funding ensures we can establish a permanent Lantern Alley, enhancing beautification and safety initiatives,” said Boston Little Saigon Board Members Sam Potrykus and Annie Le. “It also bolsters the Boston Little Saigon Community Partners Program for local organizations and businesses, while contributing to the Boston Little Saigon Night Market in July. This support enables us to keep the event free for the public and accessible for vendors." 

Fresh Food Generation received $36,000, the next largest amount of funding. This organization will use their funding to collaborate with CommonWealth Kitchen to feed low-income Dorchester residents and neighborhood organizations. Neighborhood businesses will receive funding, guidance, and coordination support to provide food services to Dorchester based community organizations that directly serve low-income residents (adults and youth) in the area. Food service will include drop-off food distribution, food truck event service and community cooking classes.

"As a Dorchester restaurant, Fresh Food Generation is thrilled to collaborate with CommonWealth Kitchen, Inc, a shared kitchen for start-ups, in creating meaningful food experiences for our neighbors. We believe connecting local food makers, food trucks, culinary artisans, and bakers to Dorchester residents builds long term community and strengthens our neighborhood economy,” said Fresh Food Generation Co-Owner and Founder Cassandria Campbell. “We look forward to providing hands-on cooking classes, food provisions to those in need, and pop-up culinary events. Thank you BPDA and DotBlock for giving our network of culinary creatives the opportunity to make Dorchester an even more delicious and enticing place to live."

The event host, Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester, received $35,000 in community benefits funding from the project. This funding will support their arts programming for youth, known as Arts Triple Play. The program focuses on Fine Art, Music, and Film, and is offered throughout the year, five days a week. The intention of the program is to ensure full access to arts education for Dorchester youth and bridge any gaps in their current curriculum.

“Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester is excited to be a recipient of a BPDA Dot Block grant to support our Arts programming,” said President & CEO Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester Bob Scannell. “Thanks to this grant opportunity we will continue to offer a variety of Fine Arts and Music enrichment programming for members of all ages.”

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