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Black Cotton Club
Black Cotton Club is a pop-up music community started in Boston by Priscilla Azaglo. It provides Afro American artists with a chance to be their authentic selves performing for their own people. The organization’s name is a homage to Afro American artists and writers of the Harlem Renaissance (Tahisha, 2018). It is not a simple open mic where everyone can show their skills or tell their own story. Instead, Azaglo’s idea was to organize regular jam sessions that require a joint effort of artists accompanied by a live band.
The latter creates an atmosphere where artists enjoy themselves, complement the talent and story of each other. Singers are not fighting for the audience; they rather interact and collaborate. Impromptu jam sessions are usually themed around different critical social issues and events. For instance, in January 2021, the session was dedicated to Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler. I like this organization because it promotes Afro-American culture and supports Boston residents in times of pandemic.
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
This art gallery, situated in Fenway Longwood, is named before its founder Isabella Stewart Gardner, a famous philanthropist and art collector. Its collection includes decorative arts, sculptures, paintings, and even music of American, European, and Asian art. For instance, the museum houses the famous The Rape of Europa by Titian and Rafael’s the Colonna Altarpiece. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s architecture was influenced by the Italian palazzo style. Thus, it also boasts of a beautiful courtyard blooming every season of the year.
Multi-ethnic diversity and the constant interplay of art is what I like the most about this place. It currently provides and hosts multi-disciplinary cultural experiences both to neighborhood and artistic communities all around the world. For instance, the Artist-in-Residence program offers residence, studio space, and access to the collection supporting contemporary poetry, dance, music, and artworks (Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, n.d.). The museum embraces so many art disciplines and supports gifted people according to Isabella’s wishes.
BalletRox is a Boston organization that offers dance programs for students of public schools and the overall community. Classes take place at Spontaneous Celebrations Community Center (Jamaica Plain) from September to May. The BalletRox team consists of professional dancers, while programs are affordable and there is no pre-requisite and additional payment for recital costumes. I like that programs for all levels cover ballet and a plethora of modern dance styles, including hip hop and jazz. Boston Public School Program offers an individualized dance curriculum for a particular education site working with more than 600 students a year. It is excellent that in-school and after-school programs also include teaching Latin and North American dance history.
Here-in Our Motives Evolve (HOME) is a Boston non-profit organization that provides workshops for students and educators teaching them how to analyze and produce media. I like this place because its media programs encourage young people to enhance their creativity, teamwork, and thinking skills. HOME believes that it can alter youth lives, stimulating lifelong learning and improvement (HOME, Inc. & Scholastic Media Association, n.d.). The organization also hires talented artists to work as media lab coordinators, interns, and mentors at Boston Public School sites. What is more, HOME, Inc. offers an Artist-in-Residence program that gives access to the organization’s editing system, software, office space, and other facilities. The resident artists, in their turn, are expected to exhibit their works at events.
BalletRox. (n.d.). School Programs. Web.
HOME, Inc. & Scholastic Media Association. (n.d). Projects. Web.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. (n.d). Artists-in-residence. Web.
Tahisha. (2018). Interview with Priscilla Azaglo of the Black Cotton Club. Boston Hassle. Web.