Four projects to share $100,000 in prizes in Collaborate Boston competition

November 21, 2014

Winners taking on neighborhood issues along Fairmount Corridor through innovative strategies

Boston – The Boston Foundation today announced the four $25,000 winners of Collaborate Boston prizes for 2014. The awardees were selected from 11 finalists by a panel of business, civic, philanthropic and community leaders, and were announced during the Boston Foundation’s 2014 Annual Meeting, which was held November 20 at the Boston Foundation offices.

“We know that addressing some of the most challenging problems facing our neighborhoods needs the collaborative efforts of the entire community,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “These four award winners bring together unique groups of cross-sector partners, all of whom bring valuable ideas, connections and expertise to their community-based efforts. We look forward to seeing what they can accomplish.”

This year’s Collaborate Boston prize competition was open to resident-led collaborations focused on strengthening the Fairmount Corridor neighborhoods of Dorchester, Hyde Park, Mattapan and/or Roxbury. The winners seek to address a cross-section of neighborhood issues, including the arts, the environment, food and public health, and improving the outcomes of men of color. Each collaboration will receive $25,000 in grants and/or technical assistance to advance their projects.

“It has been exciting to see the strength and creativity of resident-led efforts to address key issues throughout this selection process,” said Jennifer Aronson, who as Senior Director of Program and Nonprofit Effectiveness at the Boston Foundation oversaw the prize competition. “These four winners have risen to the top of some stiff competition – and each brings with it creative, cross-sector collaborative solutions that can have a positive impact on the lives of the people of Boston.”

The winning projects include:

Breakfast IV Brothers: The project seeks to support and expand an ongoing breakfast series that aims to strengthen community amongst black and brown men in Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan through cross-generational dialogue and relationship building. The project also aims to address the role male identity plays in one’s personal responsibility and involvement in one’s community. The collaboration is a partnership between Body Snatchers Ministries, Inc., Mattahunt Community Center/Wheelock College and M.O.V.E. at Morning Star Baptist Church.

Fairmount Arts Collaboration: The project aims to create an economic and educational-focused intervention in Hyde Park’s Logan Square by providing visual and theatre arts in the community, marketing local restaurants and businesses, and instructing and supporting local students in the arts. The project would couple student engagement in monthly performances or art displays with discounts at area restaurants that will encourage patrons to visit the area on a regular basis and sample the local restaurants. The collaboration is a partnership between Franklin D. Roosevelt School, Hyde Park Main Streets, and Riverside Theater Works.

Fields Corner Shines: The project aims to engage youth from diverse backgrounds who had not previously been connected in cleaning up Fields Corner through launching a youth environmental club, where local teens would lead neighborhood clean up and beautification efforts while creating campaigns to engage others in keeping the community clean. The collaboration is a partnership between Viet-AID, BCYF Cleveland Community Center, GreenDorchester and Fields Corner Main Street.

Seeds of Change Bulk Food Buy-In Market: The project will launch a new “buy-in club,” where individuals come together in numbers behind the decision to purchase food items collectively from local farms and wholesale distributors. The project will train residents along the Fairmont Corridor with the skills necessary to create and coordinate the buy-in clubs ultimately saving them money and providing increased access to healthy foods. The collaboration is a partnership between City Growers, Family Independence Initiative, and Seeds of Change.