Busy Saturday for outdoors art in Uphams Corner and Four Corners

Barbara Verneus danced during the I Am Kreyol bazaar held at the Erick Jean Center for the Arts on May 25. The facility at 157 Washington Street will host its grand opening this Saturday. Photo by ExFailures Photography

This Saturday, the day after summer officially arrives, two local events will kick off the outdoor arts season: a temporary museum in Uphams Corner and an official opening ceremony at a new arts venue in Four Corners.

On Saturday from 1-2 p.m. at the corner of Dudley Street and Columbia Rd, look for a pop-up multi-media museum of Italian-American culture. It’s the brainchild of Jeanne Dasaro, who for the past 8 years has resided in the Edward Everett Square area, but her family has lived in the North End for 120 years.

Unlike your average museum, this exhibition will be of an hour-long interactive flash mob, made up of North End residents and supporters who are sharing stories, explaining photographs, and showing short documentaries about the North End. Her online digital museum is at northendstories.com.

Dasaro used a grant from the Boston Foundation to blow up and mount historic North End photos, make videos of her interviews about the good old days on Hanover Street available on tablets and iPods, and even bring folks like her father Alfonso Dasano and actor Frank Imbergamo to share memories through old-fashioned, low-tech storytelling.

The Uphams Corner pop-up and one later the same day in the North End are funded by “Expressing Boston,” the Boston Foundation’s pilot civic and cultural vibrancy initiative that seeks to celebrate the diverse cultural identities of Boston’s over 140 ethnic communities. 

“With the belief that local, culturally-relevant artistic expressions can create vibrant communities,” the Boston Foundation says it seeks “to elevate public cultural expression through small grants or contracts for cultural flash mobs of any form – performances, random acts of culture, installations, exhibitions and beyond.”

Once she sees how this event goes, Dasaro says she’s toying with the idea of developing another memory preservation website such as Savin Hill Stories, noting “ the last time the community did something like that was in the VHS, pre-DVD era.”

Erick Jean Center for the Arts Ribbon-Cutting

Also this Saturday, the Dorchester Arts Collaborative (DAC) welcomes the public beginning at 11 a.m. to the daylong grand opening of the Erick Jean Center for the Arts. The EJCA is a 1200 sq. ft multifunctional art facility across the street from the new Four Corners/Geneva train station, in the heart of Four Corners. DAC held a “soft” preview opening of the space in mid-February.

In addition to the Grand Opening Party there will be a ribbon cutting for 157 Washington (a new mixed use apartment complex in the Four Corners area) with festivities on the plaza including music, art, performances, and talks by Bill Walczak and Ayanna Pressley. The EJCA will be exhibiting works by Dot artist Howie Green along with a photo exhibit on loan from the Great Hall in Codman Square, documenting changes the community has undergone in the last few years.

According to DAC president J Gustavo, the afternoon will also include a steel band and Dot performers including indie-rock singer/songwriter Brendan Little, spoken word artists Marquita Niles and Kennesha Ellis, and DPR Dance Crew. Adding more than a dash of color will be youth yarn-storming (a form of urban graffiti or street art that involves temporary displays of knitted or crocheted yarn rather than paint).

A march will leave 157 Washington St. to Mother’s Rest Park where further youth activities and entertainment are scheduled.


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