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Celebrating 20 years of service in Boston!

Celebrating 20 years of service in Boston!

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Placemaking Network

  • COST

    Free and open to the public

  • TYPE

    Knowledge Community



Jamaica Plain Porchfest: A place-based celebration of community

The activation of place is a central concern of placemaking. Jamaica Plain Porchfest, an annual summer weekend festival, celebrates music and the arts in the Boston neighborhood of Jamaica Plain. Co-organizer Mindy Fried will discuss this arts-based initiative from the perspective of a sociologist. One of about 50 similar community-based events around the country, JP Porchfest has a unique mission: to bring people together across the divides of race, class, culture, and immigrant status, through the power of the arts. In 2016, JP Porchfest featured 400-500 performers of all arts and performance disciplines on over 80 porches.

The presentation offers an insider’s perspective on the evolution of this place-based festival over the past three years including the following aspects: use of non-traditional venues as stages and gallery spaces; the festival’s expansion beyond music to include theatre, dance, storytelling, spoken word, comedy, a politician’s porch and more; increased engagement and endorsement from diverse community leaders; residents as performers, porch hosts, “porch fun managers”, and audience; and the active pursuit of diversity among those who participate in a variety of roles to make the festival a success.

Further, Mindy’s presentation and ensuing discussion will hone in on establishing this community-building arts initiative as a new “tradition”, the need for community connection, and the desire of residents for opportunities in participatory arts engagement.

Mindy Fried, Ph.D. is a sociologist and Principal of Arbor Consulting Partners (,
where she designs and implements evaluation research initiatives and conducts strategic planning
efforts for nonprofit organizations and foundations. She also produces music/arts festivals in Boston,
aimed at bringing people together across race, culture and class.

Mindy is the author of Caring for Red: A Daughter’s Memoir (Vanderbilt University Press, 2016),
and Taking Time: Parental Leave Policy and Corporate Culture (Temple University Press, 1998).

To download a PDF of this meeting's flier, click here.

For those who qualify, 1.5 LUs are available.

To learn more about the Placemaking Network, visit

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