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BAO Fam Share: New organization to produce Jamaica Plain Porchfest!

By Mindy Fried and Marie Ghitman

January 1, 2021

Mindy Fried and Marie Ghitman, co-founders of Jamaica Plain Porchfest, are thrilled to announce that this much-treasured event is being handed over - with love and gratitude - to the amazing artists and art-managers from Dunamis, a Boston-based nonprofit organization.

JP Porchfest is a vibrant music and arts festival that takes place on porches (and patios, stoops, driveways, church/community center yard) all over the Jamaica Plain neighborhood.

Their mission is to bridge the divides of race, class, culture and immigrant status through the power of the arts. JP Porchfest welcomes performers of all kinds (music, dance, theater, spoken word, storytelling, circus arts, comedy…) and from anywhere.

JP Porchfest has had a long-standing collaboration with Dunamis, originating with the organization’s Executive Director serving as Porchfest’s Volunteer Coordinator for two years before curating a Dunamis Porch for an additional two years.

“I have always been struck by Mindy and Marie’s intentionality towards celebrating the rich and diverse JP and artistic communities via a refreshingly genuine and authentic servant leadership model. Part of our work at Dunamis is to transform Boston to fully recognize its potential as an arts-hub and this is work that JP Porchfest has been doing to much success with equity at its core. We could not be more excited to carry on this legacy.”

— J.Cottle, Executive Director

Dunamis, founded in 2017, serves as a nexus for professional development, community-building, consultation, production, advocacy and developing equitable pipelines for access and leadership in creative spaces- particularly for emerging artists and arts managers of color.

We’re very excited that Neo Gcabo, the Director of Marketing and Community Development at Dunamis, will be the new JP Porchfest lead producer. Neo is a Boston-based arts-manager as well as an RnB, Jazz, Neo-Soul singer. Originally from Pretoria, South Africa, Neo graduated from Berklee College of Music with a Music Business degree. She has performed at events such as the Boston Book Festival, the Regatta Bar, and Emerson College, and toured internationally with the University of Pretoria Youth Choir.

Reflecting on a reimagined approach to JP Porchfest, building on the fundamental work that the JP Porchfest Co-Founders have created, Neo comments,

In this time of uncertainty, the arts have been forced to pivot as we navigate the challenges of COVID. At Dunamis, our focus is to steer the work of Porchfest to highlight BIPOC-run organizations and communities, elevate the collaboration of community partners, and create long-lasting relationships between artists and community members through a robust, safe and engaging festival. With the fundamental work Marie and Mindy have done, we are excited to launch a reimagined Porchfest to the world.

Mindy expresses how much she and Marie have loved creating this festival, and the importance of passing it on to the artists/arts managers at Dunamis:

We have loved producing JP Porchfest for the past 6 years, but we feel that it is time for a transition. We know that JP Porchfest will thrive under Dunamis’s leadership. Dunamis will bring to this project their brilliance, creativity and commitment to artists and arts-managers of color. Porchfesters are in for a treat!

Marie expresses how she and Mindy welcome what Dunamis will bring to JP Porchfest moving forward:

Dunamis’ mission – to ignite agency and transformative growth for emerging artist and arts-managers of color - aligns really well with the JP Porchfest’s mission of celebrating the creative talent and diversity of JP and beyond, using the arts as a vehicle to weave together the community across the divides of race, class, culture and immigrant status. We can’t wait to attend JP Porchfest, produced by Dunamis!

Dunamis will of course adapt the event to ensure safety, based on the status of the Covid pandemic in summer/fall of 2021.

Stay tuned!


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