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.

Allegra Fletcher
Victoria Awkward - VLA Dance
LMerchie Frazier

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

Become a Sparks for Arts Sponsor
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 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
September 2020 @ MPDC
Family Movie Night at The Nubian
Drive-In a blockbuster!
On Saturday, September 19th, MPDC partnered with the Black Boston COVID-19 Coalition (BBCC) to present a family movie night at The Nubian Drive-In just three minutes away from MPDC’s newest property, 2451 Washington Street. The Drive-In welcomed 75 cars for a screening of a short promotional video highlighting MPDC programs followed by ‘The Great Debaters’ starring Denzel Washington. The evening was an excellent opportunity for MPDC residents and the Roxbury community to get out of the house and safely participate in an outdoor activity. Families have continuously expressed their gratitude for the first-ever drive-in movie theater in Roxbury. MPDC is a proud member of the BBCC and appreciates their efforts to provide information, resources, and accountability for the response and recovery for Black Bostonians during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
A reminder to get out and VOTE!
This is your reminder to get out and vote! If you plan to vote by mail, return your ballot as soon as possible by mail, dropbox, or local elections department. All ballots must be returned or postmarked by November 3. Early voting will take place on October 17-23.
Find your early voting location here.
For voting in person on Election Day, November 3, you can
find your polling place here.
The last day to register to vote is October 24.
You can register to vote here.
Get out and vote this election season safely at The Dewitt Center! 
The Dewitt Center is thrilled to be an Early Voting Site for the State Election on October 17th & 18th. To vote early, you must be a registered Boston voter. Any registered Boston voter can vote at The Dewitt Center Early Voting location on October 17th & 18th between 11 am - 7 pm. 
Progress at The Smith House
Wellness Room!
MPDC and our partner, WinnCompanies, are working to improve the quality of life for older adults at the Smith House & Madison Park Village by offering on-site resources that strengthen physical fitness and nurture overall well-being. Since March, we have been planning the build-out of a small gym on the twelfth floor at the Smith House that will contain weight-bearing exercise machines and provide regularly-scheduled fitness classes. We are happy to say that the project is moving forward! Early in June, the room’s floor was reinforced to provide sound insulation, and now, three nautilus-type machines explicitly tailored for older adults have arrived. The pandemic has made our plans to utilize the room tricky but not insurmountable, and the room will open for use in October 2020. The project is funded in part by Enterprise Community Partners (Section 4 Capacity Building). We are grateful to them for launching a project that was first envisioned by the Smith House residents themselves!
Virtual Jazz at Hibernian Hall
The Jazz Standard Duo Online Concert featured vocalist Verna Hampton and guitar player David Ruggiano. For this performance, the duo brought special guest Curtis Rivers. Performing original songs and music covers, Jazz Standard Duo put on a very energetic performance.
It may be time to renew your membership for the Friends of Hibernian Hall (FHH) or consider becoming a member for the first time. Your membership provides support for Hibernian Hall as it creatively counters pandemic restrictions. It has a robust advisory committee of creatives and artists. FHH offers a range of arts & culture programs online, including a beautiful Playwriting Lab led by theater director Jacqui Parker, a Summer of dance and movement classes taught by VLA Dance Company; online interviews with creative partners; and storytelling. Contact Kay Mathew for more information about how to get involved with The Friends of Hibernian Hall.
Gratitude for our funders!
MPDC was awarded a grant of $75,000 from Plymouth Rock Assurance to fund 2451 Washington Street's COVID-related construction cost gaps, thus allowing us to complete the construction of 16 units of affordable homeownership condominiums. Thank you, Plymouth Rock Assurance!

MPDC would also like to acknowledge all of the funders who have supported our work, including new initiatives implemented in response to the impact of COVID-19, as well as the core programs MPDC residents and the broader community depend on. From Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation and the Boston Resiliency Fund, which have helped MPDC expand food access; to Life Science Cares, which has supported MPDC's construction workforce development efforts as well as an emergency fund for Boston MWBE Contractors; to John Hancock, City of Boston Department of Youth Employment & Engagement, Boston State Community Trust, Massachusetts Department of Health, Liberty Mutual Foundation, The Boston Foundation, and Boston Children's Hospital, who have all helped MPDC continue to provide high-quality youth employment programs and other services to young people, we couldn't do this work without the support of our committed funders!

A new program at The Dewitt Center
The Dewitt Center is happy to welcome its newest program, Digital Ready. Digital Ready is a non-profit that aims to blur the lines between the high school, higher education, and industry so students can pursue their purpose without barriers. They believe all students should be treated as active, social, and creative learners and have equitable access to tangible pathways to economic opportunities in Boston’s growing innovation economy. This Fall, students will learn by using cutting-edge technology, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, digital fabrication, robotics, massive 3D printed building designers, computer programmers, and many more! For more information on Digital Ready, visit
MPDC's Food Distribution Updates
Led by the MPDC's Health Equity and Community Wellness team, MPDC's expanded weekly food distribution continued throughout the Summer. In the last three months, the team accomplished the following

  • 2,018 bags of food distributed
  • valued at $28,259.74
  • to 260 unique households

In partnership with Lovin' Spoonfuls food rescue organization, families received groceries delivered safely to their front doors by trained staff and volunteers. We want to thank the City of Boston for their continued support providing volunteers and personal protective equipment that supports our ability to distribute healthy food to our community safely.
MPDC is biking, walking, and advocating in Roxbury!
The Free Bike Repair event hosted by the Boston Cyclists Union (BCU) at The Dewitt Center Plaza was a socially-distanced success! BCU's bike mechanics hoisted two tents and fixed 27 bikes for MPDC residents ranging from 2 to 70 years old. Many also received a free helmet, donated by the Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition. Attendees were also reminded to complete the 2020 Census. One gentleman even called and completed his Census while he waited in line. Everyone rode off on their bikes with a smile on their face!
On Saturday, September 12th, the Jolly Walkers completed ten weeks of socially-distanced morning walks. The Jolly Walkers, in its recent years, has been led by Peer Health Leader Pauline Sheridan. She felt the support system for her fellow seniors was more critical now, during quarantine than ever. The smaller, adapted Jolly Walkers joined 6+ feet apart on the Madison Park Field from 8 am to 9 am for ten weeks. Thank you, Pauline!
The Boston Planning and Development Agency is beginning to host public meetings regularly via Zoom. The Madison-Whittier Coalition submitted suggestions for engaging communities that do not have access to technology and recently received a response from the BPDA. Follow the developments that are happening in Lower Roxbury and learn about public meetings as we reignite the Roxbury in Motion Facebook account or follow us on Instagram @RoxburyinMotion.
Bodega Makeover in Roxbury complete!
Over the past year, Health Equity & Wellness Organizer Leslie Stafford has supported The Bodega Makeover Project with the project's Executive Producer, Evelyn Brito. This project was an innovative effort to upgrade a Nubian Square bodega and dramatically increase their capacity to provide healthy foods to their customers. MPDC is proud to support this critical project, providing Health Food Access for our neighbors.

On September 26th, MPDC celebrated the Grand Opening of Roxbury and Nubian Square's very first Bodega Makeover. Vega Brothers, located at 219 Dudley Street in Roxbury, opened their doors to the community and are ready for customers to enjoy healthy food and snacks. The Grand Opening was celebrated with Mayor Marty Walsh, City Council President Kim Janey, Sheriff Steve Tompkins, and City Councilor- At Large Annissa Essaibi-George.

Madison Park Development Corporation would like to thank Evelyn Britto for her hard work and dedication to this fantastic project!
Updates from MPDC's Real Estate Team
In July, another MPDC family reached their goal of owning their own home. Former Haynes House Resident, Gloria Chinyelu Ezeonyido, and her family of 5 purchased a home in Taunton with $50,000 of assistance from MPDC’s Down Payment Assistance Program.
Also, MPDC's affordable homeownership development located at 2451 Washington Street is near completion. The development has received over 700 applications for seven affordable units. During October, MPDC hopes to receive Boston Planning and Development Agency approval to finalize sales to income-eligible residents in accordance with the affirmative fair housing marketing plan.
Additionally, Compass Working Capital, in coordination with WinnCompanies, has partnered with a collaborative of four Boston area community development corporations (CDCs) including MPDC, Lena Park CDC, Codman Square NDC, and Dorchester Bay EDC. The Family Self Sufficiency Program (FSS) is a voluntary five-year program offered to Housing Choice Voucher families to help them in becoming more self-sufficient. There are currently 28 MPDC families participating in the initial program and working towards reaching their financial goals.
MPDC's Workforce Diversity & Development Program
steps up to the challenge
Madison's Train 2 Trades participants were tasked with constructing a step stool following an online tutorial video. Sponsored by Tara Construction, students were asked to measure their materials and submit their completed projects for cash prizes!
MPDC wants you to meet Amenoyah Bossman, Bossman Construction Management owner, and one of MPDC’s first recipient of MPDC’s MWBE Contractor Relief Fund. Yes, she is a BOSS! The MWBE Contractor Relief Fund was designed to offer a one-time relief grant of $2,500+ to qualified local MWBE contractors to offset the cost of remobilizing during COVID-19. In partnership with Life Science Cares, MPDC awarded over $27,000 to over 25 local contractors serving construction projects across Greater Boston.

For more information about the Relief Fund or Madison's Train 2 Trades program, please contact Katrina Conrad / 617.304.7587.
It's Fall & time to make your
annual gift to MPDC!
You can make a generous donation to MPDC and its programs in various ways, utilizing the Community Investment Tax Credit program, which will provide a 50% state tax rebate on a gift of $1,000 or more. You can even allocate your donation to a specific initiative, including Sponsorship of our 2020 (virtual) Sparks for Arts Virtual Gala. In these times, your donation goes a long way to support our community-building programs and our COVID-related initiatives created to counter the pandemic's economic, social, and health impacts on our community. Make your gift today or contact Kay Mathew for more information about how your donation will benefit from CITC.
MPDC Staff Spotlight:
5 Questions with Arianna Guiseppone
 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 Clinical Manager Arianna Guiseppone.

1. What is your role as Clinical Manager at MPDC?
A: My role as Clinical Manager is multi-faceted, but overall I am here to provide clinical expertise, consultation, coordination of services, and provide clinical training and coaching for staff. I will also provide in-house mental/behavioral services, case management, and coordinate with Community Action department staff to implement youth workforce initiatives.
2. What are some MPDC initiatives or programs you are excited about?

A: A part of the position I am very excited about is creating and implanting clinically focused workshops for both staff and participants as a way to increase individuals’ mental health as well an understanding of the role mental health plays in not only the progressive work being done at MPDC but in overall daily life.

3. Where is your favorite place to visit in Roxbury?
A: Slades Bar and Grill has incredible fried chicken and I love the staff and atmosphere.

4. What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: I love spending time with friends and loved ones watching movies, TV, or watching music videos-low key yet underrated! I also love to doodle and make ugly art that sits in a box in my living room until I either give it away or throw it out. Ugly art makes great gifts!
5. What do you hope for the future of Roxbury?
A: I hope to see a community where people feel safe and acknowledge all the incredible people who live and work here. Roxbury is a vibrant, unique, and inspiring neighborhood, and I hope to see that more widely recognized.
Valerie Stephens Storytelling
Join us online for two evenings of storytelling with Hibernian Hall!

WHEN: Thursday, October 8 & Friday, October 9
7:00 pm

Incorporating her vocal ability, acting talents, and movement Valerie will tell historical and fictional stories online.
Hibernian Hall Poetry Series
Join us online for a week of online poetry!

WHEN: Monday, October 19 to Friday, October 23
7:00 pm

A five-day poetry event showcasing six local artists who inspire, educate, entertain, and connect with people from different walks of life. A new artist will be streamed online each night.