Our Fantastic Community Resource: Magazine Beach

23 Aug

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I’m not a kid person.

Or at least so I thought, before I was humbled by a summer of captivating picture books at Stories & Song, drawing alongside young, imaginative minds during Sketching, and even brought along on the epic search for butterflies among the brush as a Nature Detective. These were just a small portion of the programs I got to oversee this summer as Magazine Beach Program Coordinator, and not only did they bring joy to so many (both young and old), they also found me a mess at the end of the season when I knew I’d have to say goodbye to our regular troupe of 4-5 year olds who had relished our almost daily programs all season.

Of course, the cool breeze off the river on hot summer days was not just enjoyed by little people. Practicing Morning Yoga to start or Zumba to ease out of a long day was a ritual adopted by many who found not just pleasure , but essential relaxation.

Ultimately, some of our best events brought kids, families, and adults together into the wide stretches of shade under the trees that dot the parkland. The season kicked off with 240 people at Make Music Boston, with bluegrass and acoustic tunes wafting over the small hill where picnickers gathered. Then came the Walk/Ride Day Eve Celebration with 100, offering all manner of green transportation education and glamification (the bike decorating station was utilized by many). The night concluded in much the same way, with community members enjoying the music of Trusting Fate and listening to delightful commuter stories. There was a gorgeous sunset. Finally, thanks to the work of Brian O’Donovan of WGBH’s A Celtic Sojourn, 300 people played, danced, and listened along to our Traditional Irish Session. Many left with a deeper appreciation of Irish music and culture, and perhaps a new step or two under their belt thanks to Jackie O’Riley of O’Riley Irish Dance.

As you can see, these moments often transcended their role as ongoing activities or special events, creating community and becoming impactful experiences in people’s lives. Almost 1,700 people attended Magazine Beach programing this summer, and whether it was the little girl who transversed the parkland in record time during Navigation Games, solidifying her love for maps and orienteering, or the amazed adults who just couldn’t figure out how Bonaparte the Magician did it, vowing to figure out for themselves out to make a rabbit disappear in a ball of flame, the park was truly a fun, challenging, and imaginative space for all.

It’s important to note that a steady source of joy was always DCR’s popular FREE pool, open 11:15 – 6:45 daily through TODAY. (Yes, you’ve still got time for a quick dip!)

A massive thank you to all of our performers, cosponsors, and our especially our main sponsors: Sanofi-Genzyme, MIT, Kimco, Forest City and the Charles River Conservancy.

And most importantly, thank YOU for bringing your curiosity, enthusiasm, and laughter to Magazine Beach. We’ll see you next summer! (Or at our Benefit Party–see below.)

Benefit Party at Riverside Boat Club: Join us on Sunday, September 24th, 6-8pm, to celebrate the incredible strides we’ve made. Live music, drinks, hors d’oeuvres. $75 per person or $125 for 2!

Screen Shot 2017-08-23 at 12.42.32 PMMake checks payable to: Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association, Inc. and send to:

CNA, Magazine Beach, c/o Olivia Fiske, 131 Magazine St. #2, Cambridge, MA 02139 Or use PayPalAnd if you can’t join us, please consider a tax-deductible donation!

— Silas Weiner, Magazine Beach Program Coordinator & Boston University ’19

 

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