Tuesday, April 30, 2019

ICA announces 2019 schedule for its East Boston Watershed

The ICA announces 2019 season schedule for the Watershed, the museum’s new seasonal space for art in East Boston

(Boston, MA—April 30, 2019) The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA) opens the second season of the Watershed, with the U.S. premiere of Purple, an immersive six-channel video installation by acclaimed artist and filmmaker John Akomfrah (b. 1957, Accra, Ghana). East Boston residents and ICA members are invited to preview days at the Watershed on Thursday, May 23–Saturday, May 25. The Watershed opens to the general public on Sunday, May 26 (see detailed schedule below).

Accompanying the presentation of Purple will be large-scale maps of Boston Harbor in 2030, 2050, and 2070 that demonstrate rising sea levels using research and data from the City of Boston’s Environment Department and Greenovate Boston.

An installation of photographs by teens from the ICA’s digital photography programs will be on view in the Watershed’s Harbor Room highlighting their perspectives on East Boston.

The 2019 season features a wide range of programming, including a free talk with Watershed artist John Akomfrah; Aquí y allá: juntos a la mesa, a series of programs and activities on food, home, and community co-hosted by artist Evelyn Rydz and Eastie Farm’s Kannan Thiruvengadam; a Watershed family day held in conjunction with Eastie Week; and more.

Ticket reservations for the ICA Water Shuttle start May 7 for ICA Members and May 14 for the general public. Admission to the Watershed is always free, and Water Shuttle transportation between the Watershed and the ICA is included with the price of ICA admission, first come first served. Visit icaboston.org for schedule and to reserve tickets.


John Akomfrah: Purple
May 26–Sep 2, 2019
Co-commissioned by the ICA and making its U.S. premiere at the ICA Watershed, Purple is an immersive six-channel video installation by the acclaimed artist and filmmaker John Akomfrah (b. 1957, Accra, Ghana). Akomfrah draws from hundreds of hours of archival footage, combining it with newly shot film and a hypnotic sound score to address themes related to the implications of climate change across the planet and its effects on human communities, biodiversity, and the wilderness. Sited in the Watershed’s industrial building, Purple resonates deeply with the Watershed’s harbor location and its proximity to the current and historical maritime industries of the East Boston Shipyard and Marina. Symphonic in scale and divided into five interwoven movements, the film features various disappearing ecological landscapes, from the hinterlands of Alaska and the desolate environments of Greenland to the Tahitian Peninsula and the volcanic Marquesas Islands in the South Pacific. Purple conveys the complex and fragile interrelation of human and non-human life with a sense of poetic gravity that registers the vulnerability of living in precarious environments.

Artist Projects

Aquí y allá: juntos a la mesa
(Here and There: Together at the Table)
May 26–Sep 2, 2019
Artist Evelyn Rydz highlights the important role the common table can serve as a site for gathering and for nourishment. Since 2016, Rydz has invited over 250 women to partake in communal meals made of diverse stories through an ongoing multigenerational community project, Comida Casera—Spanish for homemade food or food from home. Participants in Comida Casera events share stories and a dish inspired by a person who had a meaningful impact on their connection to home. Through these simple and welcoming gestures, notions of home and community expand through food and storytelling.

Throughout the summer season, visitors will hear recorded stories collected at past Comida Casera events at Rydz’s lively table. A series of programs and activities on cultivating food, home, and community will be co-hosted by Kannan Thiruvengadam of Eastie Farm and the artist. Visitors will surround themselves with a collection of plants comprising a range of local edible species grown by Thiruvengadam, and reflect on our past, present, and future relationship with food sources. During non-event days/times, visitors are invited to share their stories on cards provided for others to read and reflect on.

Summer 2019 activations of Aquí y allá*

Transplant Tales
Sat, Jun 15, 2:30 PM
Stories of transplantation experiences; hosted by Eastie Farm.

Solstice Stories
Sat, Jun 22, 2:30 PM
Inspired by the summer sun, farmers share their stories; hosted by Eastie Farm.

Recetas de casa
Sat, Jul 20, 2:30 PM
Visitors share recipes in this community event with artist Evelyn Rydz.

Green Walk/Camino Verde
Sat, July 27, 2:30 PM
A walking tour of community gardens; hosted by Eastie Farm.

Cosecha Comida (Harvest Food)
Sat, Aug 3, 2:30 PM
Exploring harvesting stories; hosted by Eastie Farm.

Sat, Aug 17, 2:30 PM
Meet at the ICA’s Seaport location and tour the Greenway with conversation about climate and community; hosted by Eastie Farm.

Garden Taste
Sat, Aug 24, 2:30 PM
Local chefs discuss their use of local food sources. 

*Dates/times subject to change

Teen Perspectives: A Community in Focus
May 26–Sep 2, 2019
This installation of photographs created by teens from the ICA’s digital photography programs highlights their perspectives on East Boston—home for many of them. This initiative was an opportunity to highlight their daily observations and discover new neighborhood sights. Individuals associated with East Boston’s Atlantic Works Gallery, Eastie Farm, and Zumix guided the photographers to favorite sights, introduced them to community members, and shared stories about themselves and the neighborhood. The ICA provided teens with digital cameras to document the people and places, which helped them to gain a better understanding of placemaking and of East Boston’s past and present, and to imagine the neighborhood’s future and their own place within it. Many of the teens continued this exploration on their own time, with cameras in hand. Says ICA Teaching Artist Marlon Orozco, “>From exploring the waterline art installations to public gardens, our teens went beyond the lens.”

The ICA offers a variety of programs for teens in schools and neighborhoods throughout the city, including East Boston. Please visit icateens.org to learn more about these programs and to view additional artwork in a range of media.

Public Programs

The Artist’s Voice: John Akomfrah
Thu, May 23, 7 PM
At the ICA’s Seaport location
Artist John Akomfrah joins Eva Respini—the ICA’s Barbara Lee Chief Curator—in a public conversation on the making of Purple, a monumental, multi-screen film installation at the ICA Watershed. Purple seamlessly pairs archival footage with original material shot in 10 different countries. The end result is a timely and poetic response to the state of the world we share. Join Akomfrah and Respini as they provide additional context to this ambitious installation and its undeniable relevance situated within Boston’s active harbor. Event is free, but tickets are required. Please note: this talk will be held at the ICA’s Seaport location in the Barbara Lee Family Foundation Theater.

Gallery Talk: Marlon Orozco and Betsy Gibbons
Sun, Jun 9, 2 PM
The ICA Teens spent time in East Boston, exploring the area and interacting with community members. The result of this endeavor is A Community in Focus: East Boston, an exhibition that features twelve captivating photographs by nine youth artists. Join Marlon Orozco, ICA’s teaching artist, and Betsy Gibbons, Director of Teen Programs, as they discuss the process of working on the exhibition with young people, and learn more about the show from the artists themselves.

Watershed Family Day
Sat, Jul 13, 12–4 PM
Join us as we celebrate Eastie Week with a special family day event at the Watershed featuring art making activities, pop-up dance performance by Veronica Robles Culture Center, tours in English and Spanish, food, music, and fun! Community partner Maverick Landing Community Services will be on hand, as well as our Shipyard neighbors Windy Films and Downeast Cider. Add a boat ride in the mix with the purchase of an ICA admission ticket for round-trip Water Shuttle service between East Boston and the Seaport. Admissions tickets can be purchased online starting July 5—purchase ahead to reserve your time slot for the Water Shuttle.


ICA Watershed en español
Jun 8, Jun 22, Jul 13, Jul 27, Aug 10, Aug 24 1 PM 
Acompañe a un educador bilingüe del ICA el segundo y cuarto sábado de cada mes para realizar una visita guiada gratuita en español en el Watershed del ICA. Estas visitas guiadas dialogadas incluirán una introducción a la historia del Boston Harbor Shipyard and Marina y John Akomfrah: Purple. No se requiere inscripción previa.

Join an ICA educator on the second and fourth Saturday of the month for a free tour in Spanish at the ICA Watershed. These conversational tours will include an introduction to the history of the Boston Harbor Shipyard and Marina and John Akomfrah: Purple. No pre-registration is required.

ICA Watershed Public Tours
Saturdays, June–Aug, 1:30 PM
Learn more about the ICA Watershed and John Akomfrah: Purple during these free, conversational tours led by volunteer tour guides at the ICA. No pre-registration is required.

About the Watershed

On July 4, 2018 the ICA opened to the public its new ICA Watershed expanding artistic and educational programming on both sides of Boston Harbor—the Seaport and East Boston. Located in the Boston Harbor Shipyard and Marina, the ICA Watershed transformed a 15,000-square-foot, formerly condemned space into a vast and welcoming space to see and experience large-scale art. The Watershed builds upon the extraordinary momentum achieved by the museum since opening its visionary waterfront building, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, in 2006. Admission to the Watershed—central to the museum’s vision for art and civic life—is free for all.

Watershed hours

Tuesday + Wednesday, Saturday + Sunday: 11 AM–5 PM
Thursday + Friday: 11 AM–9 PM
Closed on Mondays, but will be open for special community days on Memorial Day and Labor Day.

About the ICA

Since its founding in 1936, the ICA has shared the pleasures of reflection, inspiration, imagination, and provocation that contemporary art offers with its audiences. A museum at the intersection of contemporary art and civic life, the ICA has advanced a bold vision for amplifying the artist’s voice and augmenting art’s role as educator, incubator, and convener for social engagement. Its innovative exhibitions, performances, and educational programs provide access to contemporary art, artists, and the creative process, inviting audiences of all ages and backgrounds to participate in the excitement of new art and ideas. Spanning two locations across Boston Harbor, the ICA offers year-round programming at its iconic building in Boston’s Seaport and seasonal programming (May-September) at the Watershed in an East Boston shipyard.

The ICA is located at 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston, MA, 02210. The Watershed is located at 256 Marginal Street, East Boston, MA 02128. For more information, call 617-478-3100 or visit our website at icaboston.org. Follow the ICA at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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25 Harbor Shore Drive
Boston MA 02210

Sunday, April 28, 2019

May 11: Boston Ward 1 (East Boston) Committee to Elect Delegates to Democratic State Convention

(EAST BOSTON, April 26, 2019) Registered Democrats in Boston Ward 1 will hold a caucus on Saturday, May 11th at 10:00am at the Salesian Boys and Girls Club, 150 Byron Street,  to elect delegates and alternates to the 2019 Massachusetts Democratic State Convention.

This year’s state convention will be held September 14th at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, where thousands of Democrats from across the state will come together to discuss Party business and celebrate our successes as we prepare for upcoming elections.

The caucus is open to all registered and pre-registered Democrats in Boston Ward 1. Pre-registered Democrats who will be 16 by May 11, 2019 will be allowed to participate and run as a delegate or alternate. Boston Ward 1 can elect 20 delegates and 4 alternates to the Convention.

Youth, minorities, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ individuals who are not elected as a delegate or alternate may apply to be an add-on delegate at the caucus or at www.massdems.org.

Those interested in getting involved with the Boston Ward 1 Democratic Committee should contact Michael Sulprizio at 617-438-0952 or you can also follow the Ward Committee on Twitter @ward1demsEB or “Like” us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ward1dems/

Friday, April 26, 2019

Mayor Walsh issues 1,000 new Section 8 vouchers for Boston families and residents

Vouchers will provide housing assistance to Boston chronically homeless individuals and families

BOSTON - Friday, April 26, 2019 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh together with the Boston Housing Authority and local shelter providers yesterday gathered in Roxbury to announce the release of 1,000 new rental housing vouchers for chronically homeless residents and families in Boston. The vouchers are funded through the federal Housing Choice Voucher Program through the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, and will increase the BHA's portfolio of vouchers to 13,500.

"I am incredibly proud that through these 1,000 rental housing vouchers we'll be able to provide more residents and families with a home," said Mayor Walsh. "These vouchers are more than a rent subsidy -- they represent a foundation for stability, support and self-sufficiency. We will continue working together to create these homes for our residents and be a city where every single person matters and every single person is cared for."

Through partnerships with DHD and DHCD and the network of shelter providers and service providers, voucher holders will receive housing search assistance, funds for relocation, and stabilization services for at least six months.

"These vouchers not only help homeless residents and families find permanent affordable housing, they offer them the stability they need to pursue new opportunities and better their lives," said BHA Administrator Bill McGonagle.

The BHA will issue the 1,000 new vouchers through the Coordinated Access System referral program, the Rapid Rehousing program, the Moving On program, and the Leading the Way Home Program.

Rapid Rehousing is a form of supported housing designed to rehouse families who have recently become homeless. Moving On is a program that will assist formerly chronically homeless tenants who currently occupy traditional housing that has supportive services, and are no longer in need of those services, transition to independent housing. The  Coordinated Access System was developed under the Mayor's Action Plan to End Veteran and Chronic Homelessness and prioritizes matching the most vulnerable homeless individuals, including veterans, youth and young adults and long-term chronically homelessness individuals to housing opportunities. Leading the Way Home is a form of supported housing designed to help families transition out of emergency shelters by offering 18 months of supportive services focused on stabilization and self-sufficiency, along with Section 8 rental assistance.

In addition to the tenant-based Housing Choice Vouchers, the BHA will offer up to 150 project-based vouchers to preserve affordability in developments subsidized through the expiring Mass Housing 13A mortgage program. 13A developments may use these vouchers to help tenants remain in their homes and prevent any risk of homelessness.

BHA was able to secure approximately $28 million in additional funding for vouchers this year after they initiated a rent survey and appealed HUD estimates for Fair Market Rent (FMR) in the Boston area last fall. The survey demonstrated the need for a higher FMR, which sets the payment standard housing authorities can set for voucher-subsidized rents, and determines subsidy levels for voucher holders. The previous HUD FMR rate lagged significantly behind the Boston region's rising rental market. The new rate and additional funding will allow BHA to issue at least 1000 new housing vouchers. The BHA last issued new vouchers in late 2017.

"The Section 8 voucher provided me with the ability to find a place for my children and I to call home. With this new stability, I have been able to maintain a decently paying job along with childcare for my children." said Paulina Morillo, a voucher holder from Dorchester. "These vouchers will do the same for many families like mine."

In addition to today's announcement, Mayor Walsh last week announced his FY20 recommended budget, which includes $4 million to support the creation of approximately 50 new units of permanent supportive housing each year. Creating new permanent supportive housing is a critical component of Boston's Way Home, the City's action plan to end veteran and chronic homelessness in Boston.

In addition, the FY20 recommended budget includes $1 million to provide connections to employment, rental assistance and supportive services for youth, building on the City's action plan to support young Bostonians experiencing homelessness. These funds will help support early identification and outreach, increase access to effective supports, and develop a collaborative system to create pathways to opportunity for those experiencing homelessness. This investment is in addition to a $4.9 million Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The FY20 budget proposal also includes a $300,000 investment that will fund four formerly homeless individuals to work as peer navigators across Boston shelters to connect individuals currently experiencing chronic homelessness with permanent housing pathways. Peer housing navigators will help clients with their housing applications, gathering documentation needed for housing, and mentoring others as they transition from homelessness to housing.

Earlier this week, Mayor Walsh celebrated a $30 million capital investment to revitalize Boston Housing Authority's Bunker Hill Housing development in Charlestown, the first time in the City's history that City bond dollars have been invested directly into a BHA project.

Photo credits: EastBoston.com

Sumner Tunnel: Overnight full closure on the evenings of April 30 and May 1

Department of Transportation - East Boston notice
BOSTON - The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has announced that the Sumner Tunnel in Boston will be closed to all vehicular traffic during the overnight hours of 11 p.m., through 5 a.m., on the evening of Tuesday, April 30, as well as the evening of Wednesday, May 1.

These off-peak overnight closures are necessary to allow crews to safely and effectively conduct routine sign installation and roadway repairs. During these overnight hours, all vehicular traffic seeking to access the Sumner Tunnel wi

ll be detoured to the Ted Williams Tunnel.

Drivers traveling through the affected areas should expect delays, reduce speed, and use caution. All scheduled work is weather dependent and/or may be impacted due to an emergency situation.

For more information on traffic conditions travelers are encouraged to:

  • Dial 511 and select a route to hear real-time conditions.
  • Visit www.mass511.com, a website which provides real-time traffic and incident advisory information, and allows users to subscribe to text and email alerts for traffic conditions.
  • Follow MassDOT on Twitter @MassDOT to receive regular updates on road and traffic conditions.
  • Download MassDOT’s GoTime mobile app and view real-time traffic conditions before setting out on the road.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Good Friday (April 19, 2019) The Way of the Cross for Life

On Good Friday, Christians from East Boston and elsewhere will participate in a procession along the Stations of the Cross through several local churches. The event begins at 9 a.m. at the Most Holy Redeemer and concludes at the Madonna Shrine at Don Orione up the Heights. For more information email rmenditto@millmans.com and saintsandangels@comcast.net

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Councilor Lydia Edwards Proposes Fair Housing Amendment to Boston Zoning Code

Change Would Advance Civil Rights In Housing & Planning

(Boston, MA, APRIL 11, 2019) - Today, on the eve of the 51st anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, Councilor Lydia Edwards introduced a zoning amendment at the city council to advance fair housing through planning and zoning in the City of Boston.

“Planning and zoning can be tools of equity or tools of exclusion,” said Councilor Edwards. “As we move into the next 50 years of the Fair Housing Act, Boston can advance civil rights by adopting fair housing into our zoning code and ensuring we plan community development for all residents.”

The Fair Housing Act, signed into law on April 11, 1968, outlawed discrimination in sale, rental, and financing of housing. The Act does more, however, than just ban discrimination: it calls for processes that actively promote equity. The zoning change will require the city to engage in a thorough analysis of displacement and access to housing for protected classes, such as people of color, families with children, persons with disabilities, the elderly and other protected classes when reviewing new large-scale development projects.

Under the zoning change, large-scale developments would be subject to a fair housing analysis, ensuring that city plans include protected classes of residents, such as people of color, the elderly or persons with disabilities. The amendment focuses particularly on multi-acre “planned development areas” (PDAs). In reviewing PDAs, the city would be required to use data on barriers to housing, and local demographic information, in its decision about whether or not to approve the development, and just as importantly, in how it negotiates public benefits. 

Fair housing is already a commitment of the City of Boston and there are several laudable efforts underway. The Office of Fair Housing and Equity conducts fair housing trainings and, with the Fair Housing Commission, supports residents in addressing discrimination complaints. The Department of Neighborhood Development runs an Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing Program to promote equal access to government-assisted housing.The Boston Housing Authority operates a Fair Housing and Employment Unit to enforce fair housing standards. However, there are not currently procedures in planning and zoning, which fundamentally shape community development, to affirmatively further fair housing or monitor how zoning and planning impact fair housing. The proposed zoning amendment would address that gap.

Summary of key changes:
  • Adds definition of "affirmatively furthering fair housing" and "analysis of impediments" to zoning code 
  • Adds definition of “exclusionary displacement” to zoning code
  • Changes "Article 80" (the zoning procedure for reviewing large development) to address fair housing and displacement concerns
  • Changes standards for approvals for future review, amendment or updates to massive “planned development areas” like Suffolk Downs or Seaport Square, to incorporate fair housing and displacement concerns
  • Raises the standards for public benefits in planned development areas affecting East Boston specifically. 
Source: Councilor Edwards office 4/10/2019

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

EBNHC Welcomes US Secretary of Health & Human Services Alex Azar

The East Boston Neighborhood Health Center welcomed United States Secretary of Health & Human Services Alex Azar II today to discuss the national HIV epidemic and EBNHC’s experience as a leading-edge provider of HIV prevention, screening, and treatment.

In 1995, EBNHC launched Project SHINE, a clinical and supportive services department that provides a range of services including community-based prevention, screenings for HIV/STIs/HCV, PrEP, HIV care, behavioral health, medical case management, linkage and retention, and psychosocial support.

"We’re grateful for Secretary Azar for visiting us to see how community health centers play a vital role in the fight to end the spread of HIV and how we are leaders in providing value-based care,” said EBNHC President and CEO Manny Lopes.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Mayor Marty Walsh and Pipefitters Local 537 Unveil Free, State-of-the-Art Training Center for East Boston Residents

Job-seekers Urged to Avoid Tuition Debt – Visit Pipefitters537.org to Learn More About Free Training, Industry-Leading Wages & Benefits; Hundreds of Union Construction Jobs Available

Welding instructor Pete Elwood demonstrates at Pipefitters Local 537's open house.

DORCHESTER, MA – Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Pipefitters Local 537 urged East Boston residents to take advantage of the union's new FREE state-of-the-art training facility to jump start their careers in construction without going into debt on Saturday.  

They were joined at the facility's unveiling by hundreds of job-seekers, community members, union contractors, Local 537 members and families. 

“This facility is more than a training center,” said Mayor Walsh. “This is about getting trained for world-class jobs and a changing industry and being able to adapt and change in the industry. That’s what this facility represents.” 

Hundreds of event attendees toured the facilities, met with instructors and current apprentices, and learned about life-changing job opportunities in the region. 

Brian Kelly, Business Manager for Pipefitters Local 537, noted that training at the union’s facility provides debt-free, world-class instruction.

"With this new campus, we've more than tripled our hands-on training spaces, improving our ability to support members in every way possible," said Business Manager Brian Kelly. "This project is a true testament to our training program, curriculum, and world-class instructional staff. We're thrilled to be creating opportunities instead of forcing people to go into thousands of dollars of debt at a technical college

For more information about career opportunities with Pipefitters Local 537, visit Pipefitters537.org or call (617) 787-5370. 

About Pipefitters Local 537 

Pipefitters of Local 537 represents over 2,800 members across Massachusetts and is affiliated with the United Association. From medical campuses to area universities, Local 537 is proud to have worked on projects of all shapes and sizes throughout the region for over 100 years. Local 537 continues to provide career opportunities to apprentices and journeypersons in the industry and is determined to ensure the best wages and benefits for Pipefitters, Welders and HVAC- Refrigeration Technicians.

Source: Celeste Aguzino, 617-455-1498, celeste@617mediagroup.com

Local 537 Business Manager Brian Kelly addresses crowd

Local 537's new training facility in Dorchester

Mayor Walsh in pipe-cutting ceremony