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Boston GreenFest 2011

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This time last year I was still getting my feet wet around Boston! After less than a month of being in Boston I was volunteering at Boston’s Greenfest as a photographer. I’d found out about the Fest from a friend who came all the way from New York to volunteer and meet some of the designers from the Eco-Fashion show that was being held in Government Center. The Eco-Fashion show was only the tip of the iceberg. Check out the photos below!

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I don’t expect any less from this year festival and I can’t wait to experience it with my best friend. GreenFest started on Thursday, August 18th from Noon to 10am when the party moves to the Hard Rock Cafe for the rest of the night through Saturday, August 20th  from 11am to 8pm. Check out the schedule of events here. There will be performances, exhibits, eco-fashion and accessories, music, food vendors, artwork for sale, films, martial art performances, and fun things to entertain kids!

How to get there?

Take the green route when you head over this weekend. Walk, bike or take the Green Line or Blue Line train to Government Center near City Hall Plaza, the Orange Line to State Street, or the Red Line to Downtown Crossing. And don’t forget your reusable water bottles! There will be a water station available to refill your bottles to decrease the number of plastic bottles being used.

The weather is supposed to be nice on Saturday, get out and HAVE FREE FUN PEEPS!

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Urban Music Festival 2011

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A quarter of last year's crowd

For those of you who don’t know, Boston Urban Music Fest, formerly known as the Peace Hip Hop Festival, is coming up this weekend. On Saturday, August 6th from 5-8 PM there will be hip hop emanating from City Hall Plaza in Downtown Boston.  I attended the Urban Music Festival last year and had a great time. Best part, it was FREE! Last year, Wiz Khalifa, Ryan Leslie, & M-Dot was received very well by the audience. Maybe a little too well. Memorable moment – Wiz Khalifa walked onto the stage and greeted hundreds of adoring fans. Metal barricades could do nothing to hold the crowd back from springing onto the the stage and converging as a mob onto the stage to spend some QT time with Wiz. While the moment was  a little hectic, police were able to get the crowd back behind the barriers with threats of being denied of seeing Khalifa perform. Ryan Leslie did his things and swooned the crowd. I can’t say i remember M-Dot but the crowd definitely had a good time. Even the Mayor showed his face to impart a few words to you youth of Boston.

P.S. Just a few words of advice… if you’d like to get a better view of the performance get there early. Also, there’s no seating so wear comfy shoes since you’ll be standing on cold hard concrete for a few hours.

Enough about last year, what’s happening this year?

~ We’ll, it’s still FREE! so there’s no reason you shouldn’t check it out.

~ Sound system – For an outdoor Hip Hop muisc festival on City Hall Plaza the speakers are pretty good.

~ Live music outdoors – If you haven’t been to an outdoor music festival for the summer you need to get on it.

Aaaandddd… you get to share some personal space with other Boston hip hop enthusiasts.

See you there Peeps!

DIY Fest Recap

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If you weren’t at the Allston DIY Fest this past weekend you missed out on a pretty epic movement. I don’t have an official count of the number of people in attendance but if I had to estimate I’d say there was well over 300 people who enjoyed the festivities. From Jamaica Plain to Somerville, residents from the greater Boston metro area came to check out the festival. There was food, entertainment, art, hoola hooping, skill sharing, and free stuff! Who could ask for more on a Saturday afternoon. The day began with some rain which cleared out soon enough. The bike powered sound stage was emitting the sounds of various artists including Melodeego and Brunt of It while up at the Acoustic Hill Hang Sonny Jim, The Hogstompers, and Mornin’ Old Sport played some melodious melodies. Delicious food was provided and served by the lovely volunteers of Food Not Bombs. Commonwheels Bike Coop facilitated a fix-a-flat workshop while my friend learned how to make sauerkraut and others took part in a First Aid workshop and a radical self defense training. Some local, well known organizations  also showed their support for community building and sharing knowledge.  The free market was bountifully free and the art was a plenty. If you haven’t figured it out already, you should probably be prepared for next year’s Allston DIY Fest.

Before you check out a handful of the photos I took this weekend, I have to say that I couldn’t be any more proud of the people that dedicated their time and energy to put together such a successful event on no budget. As a person employed in the non-profit sector I know for a fact that it takes share creativity, networking, and dedication to have an amazing event such as this one.  Also, a shout out is due to the multitude of people who came out to show their support for anti-oppressive, community building, educating, and sharing. Without the attendees the event wouldn’t have been successful and the message wouldn’t have been as powerful.

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Links to explore further:

Brunt of It 

Melodeego

Mornin’ Old Sport

The Hogstompers

Heather Foxwell

Tom Hart

David

Allston DIY Fest

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You can’t tell me that the flyer above doesn’t grab your attention. If you need something free and cheap to do this weekend? Head over to the Allston DIY Fest at Ringer Park. Two words – Free Everything. You can take your time rolling out of bed since the festival is this Saturday, July 23rd, from 10am to 6pm. But don’t wait too long, you’ll miss all of the good stuff! Bring your friends and family because this event is open to everyone of all ages. It must be noted that while everyone is welcome, “racism, sexism, agism, classism, sizeism, ableism, transphobia and homophobia are uncool and unwelcome!!!” Basically, this is a safe space that is free  of all types of oppression so everyone can have a great time together!

I’m sure I don’t really need to do any convincing past that but I might as well go ahead and share a few reasons why.

#1. Volunteer Run. Organized by a ton of pretty bad ass people who volunteer their time to sharing knowledge and bringing people together. One of the organizers is my roommate and I’ve seen some of the background time and dedication that it takes to organize an event like this together. Shout out to her and everyone else that do awesome things like this for no monetary compensation.

#2. Knowledge Sharing. Education is already too expensive. Why pay for it when you can can get it for free? There will be workshops and skill shares to attend. From fixing a flat to feminism in the media to home brewing. You’ll be able to walk away with newfound knowledge.

#3. Free Market. Yes, I just used to amazing words. I know I’m not the only one who suffers from buyers guilt after I walk out of the store. There is going to be tons of items up for dibs at the festival. Bring an eco-friendly tote bag to take something home in!

#4. Music and other Artists. About 12 different local bands will be playing through a bike generated sound system to get you moving. About 8 acoustic bands will also be entertaining you with their melodious melodies. You can even bring your instrument to jam along with new peeps.

#5. Local Organizations. Get connected with your local area organization’s that do great work. Stop by to see what they’re up to. Use this opportunity to sign up to volunteer or just learn about the cool things the local organizations are up to.

PLUS… You get to meet a whole bunch of cool people like yourself 😉

Find the DIY Fest on Facebook or check out the blog!

Somerville’s Artbeat

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The solution to your “What should I do this weekend?” question is obvious – attend the Somerville Artbeat Festival. I hear it’s supposed to be nice out!

According to the Somerville Arts Countil, the  Somerville Arbeat, is “the areas most innovative arts festival.” There will be something from varying genres of music, dancing, puppets, acrobatics, storytelling, interactive activities, a parade, and the best of all …(drumroll please)… FOOD! hah What’s a festival with out some grub? Also, you’ll have an opportunity to show your gratitude by supporting the festival by purchasing a $3 dogtags from the volunteers.

6:30pm -10pm on Friday, July 15th

1:00pm – 5pm on  Saturday, July 16th

You can find a schedule and description of of all the events and the participating artists here.

Source: Somerville Arts Council

Free Fun Friday

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Don’t forget to reserve some time to check out the Free Fun Friday opportunity for this week – the Museum of Science. Going! There’s something for all the different curious minds out there. Log onto here for a list of current exhibits.

Free Artsy Activities around town?

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As you know by now, I love art and try to consume it for free as much as possible. I recommend visiting the MFA as an activity you should include in your life at least once a month. Ok, so that might be a little ridiculous but you should at least check out the MFA of Boston at least once. This Friday – July 1st for the first Free Fun Fridays of 2011. Each summer, the Highland Street Foundation helps to fun FREE opportunities at local area institutions of culture. Find out about Free Fun Friday at the MFA here.If you can’t catch it next month, there’s always Wednesday’s when admission is free!

I’ve actually be able to see a traveling exhibit or two on Free Wednesday’s. Donation is requested but not necessary. I recommend donating even if it’s a pocket full of change because it’s free opportunities like these that allow everyone to appreciate the value of a local cultural institution.

I’ll be sharing some of my experiences at some of these institutions of the next coming months. Stay tuned! Until then, Download the Free Fun Friday event schedule!