a Virtual Experience
Thursday, November 19, 2020
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
MPDC welcomes you to a festive virtual gala that you can attend from the comfort of your home! Don your favorite black gala attire and enjoy celebrating arts & culture, learning about current Hibernian Hall & MPDC programs, dancing to the tunes of DJ Dex, and enjoying exciting performances by Roxbury artists.


Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley
2020 Community Catalyst Award presented by Abrigal Forrester

Darlene Smart
2020 Community Catalyst Award presented by Fulani Haynes

Lisa Hall
Inaugural Edna V. Bynoe Community Champion Award presented by Valerie Shelley

Sparks for Arts: Dinner in Black is a virtual experience that celebrates & honors
Black-Owned Businesses
Black Artists
Black Community Leaders

Support Sparks and enjoy benefits for yourself and your company as a major sponsor.
General Admission - $100
Includes Zoom link to virtual gala, optional 1:1 Zoom Consultation, and a curated gift package filled with items from local Black-Owned businesses, a $25 gift card to a Roxbury/Black-Owned restaurant, & festive gala accessories

Seniors & Students - $25
Same perks as general admission!

FREE Admission
Includes Zoom link to virtual gala & optional 1:1 Zoom Consultation to ready your technology for the most enjoyable virtual gala experience
This year has been such a challenge for all of us - families, neighborhoods, communities – and we’re proud to say that MPDC has continued its vital community-building work, adding programs that make sense for the neighborhood in these COVID times, helping build Roxbury resilience.

MPDC has allocated a portion of the 2020 Sparks for Arts: Dinner in Black budget to support our local businesses so that, this year, instead of requesting in-kind donations from Black and POC owned small businesses, we have purchased items from them to support them during these difficult times.

Please consider making a financial donation to MPDC today by bidding in our online auction! It’s easy to do and your support will go a very long way touching all our programs.

Now more than ever your support of MPDC programs will help Roxbury continue to foster a vibrant and healthy Roxbury community.
Sparks for Arts Family Friendly Livestream
During this year's Sparks for Arts, there will be a simultaneous live stream called
geared towards for children & youth on Facebook & YouTube. Youth Sparks will feature story time with Patricia Elam Walker, a reading of "My Hair is Magic" by local author M. L. Marroquin (in partnership with Boston Book Festival), and performances by Boston's Inaugural Youth Poet Laureate Alondra Bobadilla & youth lyricist Exxoshaheen.

Join us for the gala while the younger members of your family enjoy this
FREE youth focused & driven virtual event from 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm on Thursday, November 19th!
October 2020 @ MPDC
A reminder to get out and
This is your reminder to get out and vote!
Early voting is over. Make a plan to cast your vote in one of the 17 ballot drop boxes across Boston or vote in person today.

All mail-in ballots must be returned to a Ballot Dropbox by TODAY - November 3, 2020.

If you are voting in person TODAY you can
find your closest Dropbox and/or polling place here.
Get out and vote this election season safely at The Dewitt Center! 
The Dewitt Center is thrilled to be a General Election Polling Location today, November 3, 2020. Is The Dewitt Center your polling location? Find out here!
Last chance to phone bank!
There is ONE more opportunity to help GET OUT THE VOTE in Roxbury before polls close tonight at 8 pm. Sign up to join MPDC's Community Action Team to make calls and help #GOTV today!
Comprehensive Community Development & Racial Equity
with NeighborWorks America
We are happy to announce that MPDC is a recipient of a grant from NeighborWorks America’s “Comprehensive Community Development and Racial Equity” funding program, supporting responses to racial disparities that have been further highlighted and exacerbated the COVID-19 crisis. MPDC was awarded $50,000 to work in partnership with the Boston Black COVID-19 Coalition as it strives to address neighborhood racial equity issues, including access to COVID-19 resources, development of more in-depth pandemic data as it applies to Roxbury, participation in the Boston Police Reform Task Force, and countering the social isolation that households are experiencing due to the pandemic. MPDC is proud to be part of a 200+ coalition committed to protecting its community!
MPDC Staff participate in
SpeakEasy University Panels
In October, Hibernian Hall Director Olawumi Akinwumi participated on a panel for SpeakEasy (SE) University called 'Building Community & Putting Equity and Anti-Racism into Action.' SE's Artistic Director Paul Daigneault spoke about SpeakEasy's Equity & Anti-Racism plan and their current community initiatives followed by an engagement and outreach forum with leaders from the theatre community. 

MPDC's Director of Communications and Events Kelly Ransom also participated in a panel for SpeakEasy University called "How to Speak to Audiences - All About Marketing." SE's Marketing Director Jim Torres started with a crash course about marketing at a theatre company followed by a forum with Marketing experts in Boston. 'It's All About Arts' magazine also recently featured a cover story & interview with Kelly.
MPDC partners with
Massachusetts General Hospital
MPDC is proud to announce its selection by Massachusetts General Hospital to receive a three-year grant award for MPDC's construction workforce development initiatives. This grant award is part of MGH's recent Determination of Need funding process. Led by Workforce Development Manager Katrina Conrad, this award will support the growth and expansion of MPDC's suite of construction training opportunities, including the Madison Train 2 Trade program, as well as its innovative MWBE Contractor Fund, which has provided nearly $30,000 in COVID-19 relief grants to Boston Minority and Women-Owned contractors since June.

Thank you, Massachusetts General Hospital, for this transformative investment!
MPDC Youth fall into action!
MPDC's youth interns have begun to fall right into action with the Workforce Academy Month that kicked off on October 5th. Throughout the month, over 40 youth have participated in workforce development sessions, civic engagement trainings, remote meetings with Boston Public Health Commissions’ Youth Rise Campaign, and creative wellness activities with MPDC's Clinical Manager Arianna Guiseppone.
The youth also formed a Get Out The Vote Committee to call inactive voters in the Commonwealth.
Pictured here are two first time voters, MPDC Youth Nathaniel Barlatier and Leonnardo Fernandez!
This November, MPDC's Youth Development Program will have interns serve at several organizations and businesses with administrative support, special projects, marketing & outreach, and more!
If you would like to host a remote intern to support your organization or business, contact Yhinny Matos.
Roxbury VIP in the community
In October, in collaboration with Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 125 residents from Orchard Gardens, Madison Park Village, and Whittier Street received COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment kits, which contained face masks, sanitizer, soap, and safety information distributed by Roxbury Village in Progress (VIP).
Farewell, Lavell Fulks!
MPDC bid farewell and extended congratulations to former Community Support Coordinator Lavell Fulks. Lavell will begin his new role as the Violence Intervention & Prevention Associate Director at the Boston Public Health Commission. In this new role, Lavell's knowledge, experience, and talent will be fully utilized. Congratulations, and best wishes to him on his new journey!
MPDC residents love to EatWell
MPDC is excited to continue our partnership with EatWell Meal Kits. EatWell Meal Kits include all the ingredients needed to cook a tasty dinner in 30 minutes using only one pot! Everything needed comes in the box, including easy, picture-based instructions. One hundred MPDC families have been receiving EatWell Kits this year. Residents especially enjoyed a Chicken Enchilada & Rice recipe the first week of the distribution. We are very thankful for this exciting partnership! Learn more about EatWell Meal Kits here.
CITC Tax Credits are still available
Community Investment Tax Credits are still available for individuals, nonprofits, and businesses of all sizes. You can make your CITC-eligible donation to MPDC through sponsorship of the upcoming Sparks for Arts: Dinner in Black Virtual Gala! You can become a Sparks sponsor here and earn a 50% state tax rebate for 2020 on your donation. Now more than ever, MPDC relies on its friends and supporters to ensure its programs effectively reach our community’s families, workers, and youth.
Madison's Train 2 Trade students are wired for learning!
Cruz Electric, an IBEW Local 103 contractor, taught a hands-on workshop for students in Session 1 of MPDC’s MT2T Pre-Apprenticeship Construction Training Program. Cruz Electric’s senior staff provided students with an overview and demonstration of how a load center works and distributes power to an entire home. Students also constructed a light and outlet two-way switch, using tools gifted to them by Cruz Electric. “This class is really important to me because I am trying to become an electrician,” stated Victoria Kazachenko. 
Katrina Conrad, MPDC’s Workforce Development Manager, says, “Many thanks to NEI General Contracting for connecting MT2T students to contractors who are willing to give back and inspire. Because of partnerships like this, MPDC is creating the pool of qualified Boston residents, for both union and merit shop opportunities!”
MPDC Staff Spotlight:
5 Questions with Bob Pezzini
 As a way for our community to learn more about our staff members, we have started the '5 Questions' series. These monthly interviews in our newsletters feature five random questions with an MPDC staff member. 
This month we are chatting with Director of Real Estate Bob Pezzini!

1. What is your role as the Vice President of Real Estates at MPDC?
B: As Vice President of Real Estate, I oversee MPDC’s development activities. This includes the honor of being the Real Estate team leader and working with Ben Baldwin and Meg Reagon, our Project Managers, and Katrina Conrad, our Workforce Development Program Manager. I also work with our development partners outside MPDC including, Preservation of Affordable Housing and Trinity Financial. The Real Estate team is responsible for seeking new development opportunities primarily in Lower Roxbury that align with MPDC’s community development mission of providing affordable rental housing and homeownership. Projects are both new construction and rehab, including some of MPDC's existing properties. Activities include property acquisition through the City’s competitive RFP process and conventional property sales; seeking community feedback and support for our development programs; securing financing from sources including City, State, Tax Credits, conventional loans, etc.; design and construction oversight; lease-up or sale of units; and the millions of tasks and details required for successful real estate development. 
2. What are some MPDC initiatives or programs you are excited about?

B: I am currently most excited about achieving substantial completion and 100% lease-up of Haynes House by the Tax Credit Investor’s deadline of 10/31/2020. I am also excited about the near completion of 2451 Washington and starting the process of selling these beautiful homes to the buyers.  

3. Where is your favorite place to visit in Roxbury?
B: Since I started at MPDC during COVID, I, unfortunately, have had little opportunity to enjoy all that Roxbury has to offer. But, I have enjoyed some delicious lunches and coffee from Dudley Café

4. What do you like to do in your spare time?
B: For exercise, I am a runner. I also enjoy working with my hands doing woodwork inside and yardwork outside. My wife and I have a son that is a freshman at Ithaca College, so I now find myself with a bit more free time after 19 years of parenting a very active child. I am also a member of the First Congregational Church of Milton and the Advisory Council of The Bridge Over Troubled Waters
5. What do you hope for the future of Roxbury?
B: I hope Roxbury will continue on the trajectory MPDC has spearheaded for 55 years of gaining vibrancy, activity, safety, wealth, etc. for its tremendously and wonderfully diverse residents.   
Black Love: A Castle of Our Skins Residency
Celebrate Black Love with Castle of Our Skins and
Hibernian Hall!

WHEN: Friday, November 13th to Sunday, November15th, 2020
7:00 pm


Through Music + Poetry + Movement performances, we'll be celebrating Black Love, exploring themes of self-affirmation, self-care, healing, and love.

Featuring performances by:
VLA Dance
Tabitha Hanay-Reaves
Victoria Awkward
Tawanda Chabikwa
Castle of our Skins Shirley Graham DuBoise Creative-in-residence Tanyaradzwa Tawengwa
Mina Lavcheva
Matthew Vera
Ashleigh Gordon
Lev Mamuya
Spoken word artist U-Meleni Mhlaba-Adebo
Music by Monthati Masebe, Dorothy Rudd Moore, Jessie Montgomery,
William Grant Still, and Tanyaradzwa Tawengwa.
With Special Lighting Design by Aja Jackson

Immediately following the November 13th 7:00 pm premiere, The Wellness Collaborative, Inc. will host a gathering healing space for self-identifying Black, Brown and Indigenous peoples.
Hibernian Hall presents
Poetry Experiential Theatre Series
Join us online for four days of poetry!

WHEN: Monday, November 23 to Thursday, November 26
7:00 pm


A four-day poetry event showcasing four local artists who inspire, educate, and entertain through spoken word.
Hibernian Hall presents
Celebrate the King
Kick-off the holiday season with Hibernian Hall's holiday musical production!

WHEN: December 10 - December 13
Various Times


TICKETS:  $5 - 50

Join Hibernian Hall for 'Celebrate the King,' a modern-day musical version of the Birth of Christ arranged & produced by Melvin Murphy and starring the talented cast of The Higher Praise Gospel Choir The Stajez Cultural Arts Dance Group.