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Community Art: Things are looking UP

This week, Cedric Douglas is an artist with a mission – and a truck.

Last Wednesday night, Mayor Martin J. Walsh joined the Boston Foundation and the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative to introduce Cedric as the winner of a commission (and up to $500,000 in grants and technical support) to design and install a piece of public art in the Upham’s Corner section of Dorchester that represents the community and the promise of the arts in the Fairmount Corridor of Boston.

But this effort is as much about the process as it is about the product. The commission, and even the application process that preceded it, requires the artist to engage and give community members an active role in the design, siting and development of the artwork.

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The power of collaboration and Collaborate Boston

Here’s what I see all across this great city - people working together to make Boston a better place to live and to raise children, to grow and pursue dreams.”

-Mayor Thomas M. Menino, 2005 State of the City Address

Look up community in the dictionary, and you’ll find two general definitions – one based on place, the other based on something less tangible, a shared interest.

As a community foundation, we were founded with the first definition in mind – as a foundation to serve the community of Boston. But it’s the shared mission and goals that often drive our work. No place is that more critical than along the Fairmount Corridor, where the expansion of rail service creates an opportunity to create opportunity, in terms of jobs, housing and community development, for thousands of Boston residents.

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Boston EdTalks: Amplifying Teacher Voice

Boston Public Schools are closed this week, but we know that for thousands of teachers the break is one being spent catching up, grading, planning, and we hope making plans to share their innovative ideas.

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Donor Advised Funds and local philanthropy

In the foundation world, community foundations are a bit different. Unlike the national foundations – recognizable names like Rockefeller, Case, Gates and Knight – we have a more local focus. Unlike private foundations, which are typically funded by a single entity, community foundations are designed to both reflect and affect their communities – more and more often through the generosity of donors who have set up donor advised funds.

But while a lot has been written about donor advised funds – and the differences between these funds at community foundations versus corporate entities like Fidelity and Schwab – the discussion often gets caught up in issues of taxation, fees and logistics, all of which are important but don’t get to the ultimate question – where does the money go?

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Will third time be the charm for sensible soda tax reform?

Here we go again.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has once again put a long-overdue removal of the state sales tax exemption on candy and soda in his Fiscal Year 2015 budget. It’s the third straight year that he has put the provision in his budget – but will the third time be the charm?

We hope so.

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About the Blog
As Greater Boston’s community foundation, the Boston Foundation is focused on the myriad factors which make our city unique and successful.  Read about what we’re up to in Paul S. Grogan’s blog, City of Ideas.
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