Jamaica Plain neighborhood notes

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The Arnold Arboretum is always a wonderful place to walk, relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Northeastern STEMout Workshop: Morse Code    

The Boston Public Library will host Northeastern STEMout Workshops from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Saturdays for kids in grades 4 through 8.

On May 15, students will learn how to communicate with Morse code in this fun STEM workshop.

Visit bpl.org/events for more information and Zoom registration.

Roll, Stretch, Release

This workshop with Kristina Clemons/JP Centre Yoga from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 15

combines the tactile and sensory work of self-massage with a ball, with the ease and relaxation of restorative yoga.

Most of the time will be spent massaging and stretching the feet, calves, thighs and hips as a spring release from winter boots, winter sports and general cold weather stiffness.

Participants will take a journey from the obvious (physical sensation) to the subtle (sensing stillness), allow space to relax, and release both mental and physical tension.

Visit www.jpcentreyoga.com for more information and Zoom registration (tiered pricing).

‘25 for 25’

The Footlight Club will present 25 for 25 - streamed from 8 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, May 15.

Synopsis: On the eve of her 25th birthday, Izzy Mitchell decides enough is enough: she is going to get rid of her virginity. With the help of several dating apps, Izzy attempts to find connection, love, and the meaning of adulthood as she navigates 25 blind dates for her 25 years.

Visit https://www.footlight.org/blog/2021/25-for-25 for more information and tickets (Members - Free | Non-Members - $10).

‘The Window Show:’ SIM Silent Showcase                                  

"The Window Show" is an ever-changing art exhibition in the Boston Cyberarts Gallery (141 Green St.) windows in Jamaica Plain.

The Studio for Interrelated Media Majors at the Massachusetts College of Art & Design have responded to the unprecedented challenge of a global pandemic by launching SIMtv - a concept, a context, a website and an episodic venue for sharing SIM student and alumni art.

For this exhibit on view through Sunday, May 16, people will see a silent installation of SIMtv displaying the work by SIM students and alumni responding to these challenging times.  

A special pop-up exhibition, Light Spring by Betsy Connors, will be on view from Friday, May 14 through Friday, May 21.

The Window Show will feature Here and Back Again, a solo show of work by Dennis H. Miller, from Saturday, May 29 through Sunday, June 27.

Visit https://www.bostoncyberarts.org for more information.

Get Movin’ on the Lawn Exercise Series

Loring-Greenough House, 12 South St. will host the Get Movin’ on the Lawn Exercise Series from 6 to 7 p.m. on select Wednesdays as follows:

– May 19: Yoga in the Garden

This monthly yoga series is suitable for all levels and welcomes community members to gather and enjoy a gentle and restorative yoga practice outdoors. Participants should expect to move through both standing, seated and supine yoga postures that may involve occasional balancing on hands and knees while on their yoga mat.


POUND® is an exhilarating full-body workout combines cardio, conditioning, and strength training with yoga and Pilates-inspired movements. Using Ripstix®, lightly weighted drumsticks made specifically for exercising, POUND® transforms drumming into an incredibly effective way of working out. Designed for all fitness levels, POUND® is perfect for letting loose, getting energized, toning up and rockin’ out! The workout is easily modifiable and the alternative vibe and welcoming philosophy appeals to men and women of all ages and abilities.

Visit https://loring-greenough.org/house-events for more information and registration (Each session: Non-members $5 | Members free).

‘Wild Collection and Propagation of Rare and Endangered Plants’

In Massachusetts alone, plants make up more than half of the total native species that are officially considered endangered, threatened and rare.

In this talk at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 20, the Arnold Arboretum will focus on how ex-situ plant conservation, coordinated plant collection efforts and plant propagation play vital roles in preserving biodiversity and slowing the deleterious effects of climate change. They will discuss how collection trips are planned – and how citizen science now plays a role in these efforts – while providing a behind-the-scenes look at the planning process.

A large focus will be plant propagation techniques such as seeds, cuttings, and grafting, and how these fit into various strategies for plant conservation.

Visit https://arboretum.harvard.edu/events for more information and Zoom registration.

Spring sippers garden mixology class                                

Learn to mix unique cocktails featuring locally grown and foraged produce and herbs from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 20.

Registrants will pick up a bundle of fresh ingredients from JP or Medford and return home for a Zoom mixology class with your own spirits. The Trustees will work with fresh spring herbs like nettles and edible flowers to make well-balanced, complex cocktails.

All proceeds directly support the network of 56 Boston Community Gardens.

Register at https://thetrustees.org/event/60615 to receive the Zoom link and shopping list (Member: $28 | Nonmember: $35).

Spring bird walk

Join three experienced birders at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 22 for a 90-minute walk suitable for beginners and experienced birders alike.

Meet at the Peters Hill Gate for this walk in the landscape to see Arboretum birds. COVID guidelines of masks and social distancing will be required. Bring binoculars if you have them.

Visit https://arboretum.harvard.edu/events for more information and registration.

Forest bathing

Join Tam Willey of Toadstool Walks to slow down and awaken your senses on a guided therapeutic experience in the Arnold Arboretum from 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 22.

Forest bathing is inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku, a restorative sensory exploration that supports health and healing for all beings.

Meet at the Bussey Street Gate. Participants must follow COVID guidelines including wearing a mask and social distancing will be required.

Visit https://arboretum.harvard.edu/events for more information and registration.

‘Four Hundred Souls’ book discussion

In the new collaborative book, Four Hundred Souls, which is a unique one-volume “community” history of African Americans, the editors, Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain, have assembled 90 writers, each of whom takes on a five-year period of that 400-year span. The writers explore their periods through a variety of techniques: historical essays, short stories, personal vignettes and fiery polemics. They approach history from various perspectives: through the eyes of towering historical icons or the untold stories of ordinary people; through places, laws and objects.

The Roslindale and Jamaica Plain branch libraries will co-sponsor two three-part book discussions on Saturday, May 22 with 20 people in each group.

Morning sessions: 9:15 to 11 a.m. – Afternoon sessions: 2 to 3:45 p.m.

The groups will also discuss the current debate around including antiracist education in schools led by local educator Josh Frank. 

To register, email JP Branch librarian Laura Pattison at jamaicaplain@bpl.org. Write "400 Souls Book Discussion" in the subject line when you RSVP.

Walking tour of Monument Square                                                                      

Join the Jamaica Plain Historical Society at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 22 to tour a residential area that includes a National Historic District. View architecture that spans three centuries; the oldest community theater company in the United States; and an elegant 18th-century mansion that once served as the country’s first military hospital.

Learn about the monument that commemorates fallen Civil War soldiers from West Roxbury and about Pauline Agassiz Shaw who established the class that became the model for free, public kindergarten education. Visit a house dating to 1716 that once served as a tavern, the Eliot School dating back to 1689, the home of the first woman to graduate from MIT and the First Church Burial Ground.

The group will meet at Loring-Greenough House, 12 South St. Remember to wear a mask. 

Visit www.jphs.org for other information and optional registration.

Yoga for dizziness relief

A six-week program designed to strengthen balance systems and support the relief of dizziness, vertigo, and related symptoms will be held at Instrumental Yoga, 3611 Washington St. The 18-session program will be offered from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and from 2 to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays from May 22 through June 30.

This will be done through vestibular and neurological rehabilitation exercises focused on habituation, adaptation, substitution, and development of compensatory strategies in the context of Yoga and guided by an evaluating/treating physician and physical therapist.

Whether you are hoping to continue your Yoga practice or start something new, this program has a place for you.

Visit https://www.instrumentalyoga.com/thehealthcollaborator for more information and registration (Fee - $360).

‘Create, Connect, Catalyze’                                                            

Curated by Urbano scholar-in-residence Raquel Jimenez, “Create, Connect, Catalyze” is a series of community discussions that aims to create space to understand, reflect on, and chart new courses for civic change through the arts.

Sessions will be hosted by a selection of trailblazing, transdisciplinary artist-educators from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 25 via Zoom.

Visit http://urbanoproject.org/events for more information and registration.

Courageous Sailing has begun                                                                    

Courageous Sailing has begun – lots of laughing – lots of fun!

This nonprofit community sailing and youth development organization is committed to providing people of all ages and backgrounds with opportunities to learn, sail and enjoy Boston Harbor from May through October.

The Courageous Sailing Centers are located at Pier 4, Charlestown Navy Yard; UMass Boston Dorchester Campus; and at the Jamaica Pond Boat House, 507 Jamaicaway in Jamaica Plain.

To learn more about the Adult Programming; Youth Programming Components (Summer Youth programs, STEM Resources and After School Sailing); and the Courageous at Home and Courageous Together activities and events, visit www.courageoussailing.org and/or follow them on their social media platforms.

Registration Open for Boston Parks Summer Sports Centers  

Registration is open for summer Sports Centers at White Stadium in Franklin Park, Almont Park in Mattapan, East Boston Memorial Stadium, Garvey Park in Dorchester and M Street Park in South Boston.

Each location offers instruction in several popular sports. All Sports Centers are offered free of charge to Boston residents and open to boys and girls, ages 7 to 14. The summer programs will be held from Tuesday, July 6 through Friday, Aug. 20 – register for one or more weeks. Lunch will be provided, transportation will not.

Visit https://www.boston.gov/news/registration-now-open-boston-parks-summer-sports-centers for more information and registration. 

BPL’s New Parent Group                                                                           

The Boston Public Library’s New Parent group will meet from 1 to 2 p.m. on (most) Tuesdays for an informal – and informative – program for families with infants, birth to 12 months.

It’s a great way to meet other new parents and learn from guest speakers.

Visit bpl.org/events for more information, including a weekly speaker/topic and Zoom registration.

Somatic Musicians' Lab

A Somatic Musicians’ Lab will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesdays via Zoom hosted by the Feldenkrais in Jamaica Plain.

These ongoing weekly sessions are an online space for musicians. Each session consists of a 20-minute Feldenkrais® movement lesson, an hour of individual musical practice time, and 10 minutes of reflection. Less isolation, stress, and pain; more enjoyment, ease, curiosity, community and learning.

Visit feldenkraisjamaicaplain.com/somatic-musicians-lab for more information and registration ($20/month | $5 session).

Jamaica Plain New Parents Group

The Jamaica Plain new parents group hosted by Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JF&CS) will be held from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays. Parents with a baby under the age of one are invited to attend.

The parent groups provide safe and nurturing spaces for parents and their babies to give and receive support.

Visit jfcsboston.org for more information and required Zoom registration.

Community vigil                                                                                         

A community vigil in Support of Black Lives Matter (BLM) will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month on the lawn of the First Baptist Church, 633 Centre St.

The purpose of the vigils is to stand out and speak up for racial justice and human rights while speaking out against white supremacy and will include speakers amidst moments of silence. Everyone welcome.

These Black Lives Matter vigils have been ongoing since December 2015.

For further information, contact Mary Lenihan at maryfranlenny@gmail.com or Penny Wells at pwells222@gmail.com.

JP Jubilee                                                                 

The next session of the JP Jubilee Chorus will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon through Friday, June 4 via Zoom (until they can return to the Jamaica Plain Branch Library). This singing class is open to all people (50+) from all communities – no auditions or membership fees required.

This session will be more for outreach so there will be songs that everyone can sing together for an hour. In lieu of concerts, they hope to reach new folks who are at home or in residential or day centers.  

Visit http://jpjubilee.com for more information and registration.

Game Time!                                                                                      

Children and teens of all ages are invited to play games and make friends in a Zoom room from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Fridays through June 25, hosted by the Boston Public Library. 

Visit bpl.org/events for more information and registration to access the Zoom room.

Online ESL conversation groups                                       

Practice speaking English with other adult learners in an informal and friendly group setting from 3 to 4:15 p.m. on most Mondays, from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. on most Tuesdays, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on most Wednesdays, and from 1 to 2:15 p.m. on most Fridays through Aug. 31. The group is led by a native speaker and will take place online.

Online elementary, intermediate and advanced ESL classes are also offered at select times.

Visit bpl.org/events for more information and registration.

Jóvenes en Acción/Youth in Action

Where arts, education and community collide.

Want to explore acting, learn dance or play music? Learn Afro-Latin arts, participate in mentoring and get involved in your community?

Jóvenes en Acción/Youth in Action (JEA) is a free, year-round program for youth in grades 8 through 12 that combines Afro-Latin arts, education and mentoring support, and civic engagement and youth organizing training. Participants also benefit from social-emotional support both 1:1 and in small groups.

The Spring Session runs through Friday, June 11.

Visit www.hydesquare.org for more information. Links will be available for youth in high school and for 8th grade youth.

Ethos Live                                                                             

Ethos hosts an online Wellness on the Web program. Health and wellness presentations, conversations with elected officials, exercise classes and other activities will be streamed regularly on their website and social media platforms.

Visit ethocare.org for more information and quick links to the programs.

FBCJP Meals/Groceries delivered

Due to the COVID-19 virus, First Baptist Church in Jamaica Plain are delivering meals on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and groceries on Fridays and Saturdays.

If you need food, please call 617-971-8840 or email food@firstbaptistjp.org. 

Free ‘grab-and-go’ meals/food resource information                              

Boston Eats provides free nutritious breakfast and lunch to city kids and youth – 18 years of age and under. No ID or registration required.

Visit www.boston.gov/departments/food-access/boston-eats or phone 1-800-645-8333 for a list of meal locations. A list of food pantries and soup kitchens, along with other information is also included.

Visit foodpantries.org for a list of current food pantries, food closets, food banks, soup kitchens, congregate meal locations, food boxes, vouchers, etc.

If you need additional food resources, contact Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline at 800-645-8333.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston onsite/online

Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston provides in-person day-time learning support during school hours and in-person and virtual interactive after-school programs such as academics, arts and music, character & leadership and healthy lifestyles on their Facebook and YouTube platforms.

Go to bgcb.org for more information and registration.

#ZooToYou/Kids’ Corner and onsite fun      

Tune in on Facebook at 1:30 p.m. for #ZooToYou: a daily dose of animal cuteness, chats with the care staff, crafts and activities to do at home, and lots more. Visit the Kids’ Corner online for more fun.

Franklin Park and Stone zoos are open for a roarin’ good time following COVID guidelines and online reservations. Virtual tours and other activities will continue.

Visit zoonewengland.org to learn more about the re-opening procedures before you visit.

Urbano Works

Urbano is a nonprofit that brings together practicing visual artists, local youth and community members to learn and experiment through place-based projects. They foster public and participatory art as a vehicle for personal transformation, community cohesion and social change. Their projects consist of Artists in Residence, youth projects, apprentices and workshops all of which intersect around an annual curatorial theme.

Visit urbanoproject.org for more information, including art exhibitions and links to purchase their works.

JP Centre Yoga online/onsite

JP Centre Yoga (670 Centre St.) offers a variety of Yoga classes onsite and live streamed on the Mindbody platform at various time of each day. They also offer workshops.

JP Centre Yoga has implemented tiered pricing to keep increased accessibility and equity measures in place, yet be able to sustain as a business.

Visit jpcentreyoga.com for more information, including class schedule and a link to register.

Kadampa Meditation Center Boston online                                          

The Kadampa Meditation Center Boston (360C Centre St.) – in conjunction with their sister-center, Serlingpa Meditation Center in New Bedford and Meditation in Maine (a branch of KMC) – offers a multitude of varied and inspiring classes that allow people to learn meditation, bring real meaning to life and access the timeless wisdom of Buddha’s teachings.

Whether you have practiced meditation before or are brand new, you will find a range of classes and courses to choose from.

All programs are posted weekly. Prices vary; free for members.

Kadampa Meditation Center Boston is a non-profit entity; donations are welcome.

Visit meditationinboston.org for more information.

Thrift shop open

Check out the thrift shop at Christ the King Jamaica Plain + Roxbury, 39 Germania St. from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays for a great selection of clothing, books, music, furniture, and other hidden gems!

Go to www.ctkjproxbury.org for more information.

Jamaica Plain Garden Tour (Virtual)                                                       

The Jamaica Plain Garden Tour is a key fundraiser for The Trustees’ network of 56 community gardens in Boston. Generally, a self-guided walking tour that winds through a section of JP, highlighting beautiful gardens, this virtual tour features a sampling of exceptional gardens throughout the neighborhood as well as interviews with their owners. The sites range from a productive urban homestead complete with chickens to professionally designed formal gardens.

Experience the tour and be delighted and inspired by a diverse array of gardens from the comfort of your own home.

The video of the tour is available at thetrustees.org/jpgt (Member: $15; Nonmember: $20).

The funds raised by the JP Garden Tour directly support operations and educational programming in the community gardens.

Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Boston   

Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Boston provides a comprehensive array of services for people in need.

Please consider donating food, gift cards or toiletries to keep their food pantries and basic needs operations open and fully stocked.

Phone their administrative offices at 617-464-8500 for donation guidelines.

Visit www.ccab.org for more information, including a list of places that they service.

Mutual Aid Jamaica Plain & Roxbury Network                                                  

The Neighborhood Aid Network, coordinated by The Human Network Institute at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, provides a central place where neighborhood digital platforms can aggregate and standardize and where volunteers receive information and training.

For information and to get involved in the Mutual Aid Jamaica Plain & Roxbury Network, visit bit.ly/jpmutualaid to find, among other information, links to resources.

Email mutualaidjamaicaplain@gmail.com with questions about the Network and/or ways to participate.