Cookie Gamble , raised in Dorchester and also known as The Prophetic Lyricist, is an artist, vocalist, songwriter, poet, Educational and Creative Director, youth advocate, empowerment coach, and orator. As a songwriter, Cookie contributed to the soundtrack of The Seat Filler , for which she co-wrote two songs, " Follow Your Destiny " and " I Need A Love ," performed by Kelly Rowland in the movie. As a singer, Cookie has toured with both Jessica Simpson and BabyFace and has appeared on The Ellen Show with Christina Aguilera, in guest appearances on BET, CBS and, FOX, and in the 2006 film DreamGirls . Cookie’s vocals can be heard on Christina Aguilera's #1 album Back To Basics , on Patti Labelle’s Classic Moments, and featured on Micheal Bublé's "That's Life" under the direction of David Foster and Mervyn Warren . Cookie also studied acting under the great Ivana Chubbuck in California.
Building Community and Engaging Young People

After years of professional success, Cookie returned home to Boston to focus her efforts on her primary mission: “to utilize the gifts, skills, talents, knowledge and abilities that God has blessed her with to inspire the youth, strengthen communities and share the Gospel of Salvation.” Cookie’s passion for building and uplifting community in Boston, especially through engaging the city’s youth, led her to her current role as the Teen Director at the YMCA of Greater Boston , a Fenway Alliance member institution located on The Avenue of the Arts (Huntington Avenue). In this role, Cookie helps to develop and facilitate programs that support teens with building healthy relationships, creative expression, life skills, civic engagement, social justice work, and career readiness.

Cookie has a long history of invaluable contributions to the work of The Fenway Alliance . In 2015 for the Alliance’s first NEA -funded intergenerational creators initiative, teens from Cookie’s YMCA programs traveled to the Susan Bailis Assisted Living Community for artistic projects. After seeing first-hand the bright, curious, and respectful attitudes of the teens under Cookie’s direction, the Alliance collaborated with the YMCA youth programs on various projects. In celebration of the completion of Phase 1 of MMOC's Muddy River Restoration Project in 2018, Cookie collaborated with our team to set up a day-long tour of the Muddy River and a cupcake-making project for YMCA youth program participants. In 2019, Cookie, along with youth poets and singers she enlisted, performed at Opening Our Doors on the Huntington Theatre Stage. “I love Cookie’s spirit, talent, can-do attitude, and grace in mentoring young people,” says Fenway Alliance Executive Director Kelly Brilliant.

In addition to her YMCA role, Cookie maintains her work across multiple industries, many of which also help engage Boston’s youth with creative expression. Since 2017, she has occupied one of the judges’ seats for the Poetry Out Loud competition and has also acted as a judge for the Louder Than A Bomb Poetry Competition . In her roles as an empowerment speaker and poet, Cookie has shared the stage with Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Mayor Thomas Menino, Mayor Marty Walsh, and Bishop William Dickerson, Pastor of Greater Love Tabernacle Church in Dorchester. At The Greater Love Tabernacle, Cookie has participated in and helped to facilitate various youth and community programs. You can follow future programming on their Facebook page or on their website.
What's Next?
Cookie is working on a number of exciting upcoming projects. Cookie will be releasing new poetry and music soon, both of which will primarily focus on her faith, empowerment, and positivity. Cookie and her husband Nathaniel will soon be launching a clothing brand focusing on uplifting messages promoting healthy lifestyles, healthy relationships, healthy communities, and self-care through visual imagery. Cookie is also in the production stages of The Plaitform, a new podcast venture launching soon on YouTube as ThePlaitformPodcast. You can also listen to Cookie’s song “Most High” on the compilation album Project Sidiooo here.
Boston in Film
On July 9th, Massachusetts Historical Society collaborated with The Brattle Theater and Emerson College for the first installment of the Boston in Film Series. The discussion tracked Boston Films from The Friends of Eddie Coyle, considered to be the first to depict Boston as a working class and violent city, to Academy award winning films including The Departed , Mystic River , Goodwill Hunting , and Manchester by the Sea to understand the "gritty Boston" genre in film and how it translates to a broader understanding of the city. The next installment of the series, Beyond the Oscars, will continue the discussion of the "gritty Boston" genre and will take place on July 23rd at 5:30. Register for Boston in Film: Beyond the Oscars here.
These Fevered Days: Ten Pivotal Moments in the Making of Emily Dickinson
On July 15, Author Martha Ackmann will discuss her creation of a map of Emily Dickinson's inner life utilizing thousands of archival letters and poems. The ten-day series will provide new insights into her wildly original poetry and render a concise and vivid portrait of American literature’s most enigmatic figure.  Register for the event here.
Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator Joe McCarthy
Former  Boston Globe reporter and best-selling New York Times author Larry Tye discusses his new biography  Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator Joe McCarthy , and the lessons that McCarthy's reign offer for our times. Tye had first-ever access to McCarthy's personal and professional papers, along with his military and medical records. The author shows how the Wisconsin senator became the most influential and controversial man in America.  Register for the July 20th event here.
Celebrating Anita Walker's 13 Years of Leadership
On June 18, the governing Council of the Mass Cultural Council closed its business meeting in a very special way: honoring Executive Director Anita Walker with a surprise, virtual celebration of her 13 years at the Agency’s helm. Anita  announced  her plans to retire on March 5. Once official business had concluded and the meeting was adjourned by Chair Nina Fialkow, Council members were joined by Mass Cultural Council staff to reflect and congratulate Anita on her years of service to the cultural sector in Massachusetts. Read Anita Walker's Farewell Message here.
Voices of Northeastern University: Ted Landsmark
Voices of Northeastern is a new series of short audio recordings from members of the Northeastern University community. Click on the link in the photo to hear Ted Landsmark , Distinguished professor of public policy and urban affairs and Director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy , discuss his hope for Americans to come together to speak truth to power and finally, after centuries of oppression and disparity stemming from the founding of the nation, enact change.
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Boston's Phase 3 Reopening allowed for the cautious reopening of, amongst other things, museums and cultural institutions. We are excited to annouce that The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum will be reopening on Wednesday July 15th.   Tickets are available here.
Gardner at Home will remain available for those in high-risk categories and anyone unable to attend the museum.

Mary Baker Eddy Library
The Mary Baker Eddy Library presents its 15th annual One World program—a series of free art and cultural events targeted for children ages 4–12. This year’s program is designed for everyone to explore online and will happen weekly over six Tuesday mornings. Programming will include cultural activities from Italy, Mali, Peru, Lebanon, Haiti, and Wampanoag Nation, as well as live performances, sing-alongs, arts and crafts, and story-times. For a complete schedule of events and to register, click here.
MAAM From Home Conversations: Tammy Denease with Curatorial Fellow Michaela Blanc
Any time, any time while I was a slave, if one minute’s freedom had been offered to me, and I had been told I must die at the end of that minute, I would have taken it, just to stand one minute on God’s earth a free woman, I would.
 – Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman

MassArt Art Museum invited  Tammy Denease  – performing artist, storyteller, actor, and playwright – and Curatorial Fellow Michaela Blanc to examine the life and legacy of Elizabeth "Mumbet" Freeman. In this conversation, Denease and Blanc discuss the importance of knowing our history, understanding systems of oppression, and recognizing the power of storytelling to give a voice to those who have been excluded from the historical record.
The Boston Resiliency Fund Boston's fundraising and philanthropic fund to provide essential services to Boston residents and to assist first responders and critical care providers.
The Boston Artist Relief Fund . The fund will award grants of $500 and $1,000 to individual artists who live in Boston whose creative practices & incomes are being adversely impacted.
The Boston Music Makers Relief Fund provides financial relief to Boston area music makers experiencing lost income as the result of performance cancellations related to COVID-19. Small grants of up to $200 will be paid rapidly on a first come, first served basis.
Boston Dance Alliance's Dance Relief Fund distributes stipends of $250 to assist with immediate basic needs. The fund will disburse grants on a first-come, first-served basis until April 15, 2020 or until all donations are exhausted.
Dorchester Art Project , run by Brain Arts Org , helps facilitate creative independence in systematically undervalued communities by providing affordable studio space to Dorchester- area artists.
Black and Pink Boston is a prison abolition group lead by and fighting alongside incarcerated queer and HIV+ people in Massachusetts.
Families for Justice as Healing leads advocacy to decarcerate women and girls in Massachusetts by organizing in the most incarcerated communities in the Commonwealth to transform the way communities respond to harm and develop alternatives to police, courts, and incarceration. 
Mass Action Against Police Brutality is a campaign to prosecute the police and jail those who are guilty; open all past cases of police brutality; end the harassment of victims and witnesses.
Follow the Fenway Alliance on Instagram and Facebook for timely updates from city of Boston, our community partners, and member institutions.