Uphams Corner steps out for a ‘Radical Welcoming’

Uphams Corner Health had a huge presence at the “Radical Welcoming.” Seth Daniel photos

The Uphams Corner Main Streets and a host of other partners held an artistic extravaganza in Uphams Corner last Saturday afternoon that celebrated the area’s Arts and Innovation District designation. The event included live music, ballet performances on the sidewalk, live graffiti art, tours of upcoming amenities– and a lot of hope that the area can take a big step this year toward becoming the hub of Dorchester’s arts sector.

“We wanted to bring together organizations and businesses and highlight the arts and creativity here due to this being the arts and cultural district,” said Val Daley of Uphams Corner Main Streets. “We’ve called it the ‘Radical Welcoming’ to highlight that and also because since Covid-19, people have been inside a lot, and we hope to get them out and see Uphams Corner and its future.”

The “Welcoming” highlighted several of the buildings and development projects in the works, including the former Bank of America building at 559 Columbia Rd., the existing Strand Theatre in the heart of the district, and the former Citizens Bank building at 572 Columbia Rd.

These locations included live music, artist shows and even ballet showcases on the sidewalk by Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre, with its studio on Cushing Avenue. In addition, the forthcoming Comfort Kitchen restaurant was on site providing delicious samples of its notable cuisine.

Sponsors included Uphams Corner Main Streets, Fairmount Innovation Lab, Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI), the Fairmount Cultural Corridor and UNI by Boston Ballet.

Kathleen Nelson, of Ashmont Hill, got a feel for the artistic vibe being promoted in Uphams Corner.

Letta Neely (left) and Ayako Maruyama take a close look at a project being worked on at the new DSNI Design Gym, in the old Citizens Bank building.

The long-awaited Comfort Kitchen Restaurant handed out delicious samples with flavors from around the world. The team – from left, Kwasi Kwaa, Shelley Nason, Rita Ferreira, and Biplaw Rai – hopes to open in Uphams Corner in mid-October in Uphams Corner.

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