Feast Mass #14 will be on May 6, 2017 @ 6:00pm.

Design Studio for Social Intervention (DS4SI)
1946 Washington Street, 2nd floor
Roxbury, MA 02118

Enter through the Side Door on Thorndike St.

Proposals: Feast 14

Monday, May 8, 2017 | Posted by Nerissaruth
Check out the fantastic proposals that were presented at Feast #14 on May 6, 2017!

The Bait/Switch Project
“A city-wide experiment in casual art making”
By: Lucy Valena
Bait/Switch is a new project inspired by the art party game known variously as ‘Exquisite Corpse‘, ‘Fax Machine‘, or ‘Eat Poop, You Cat‘.  The premise is simple: a picture is drawn on one end of a piece of paper and passed to the next player; that person writes a description of what they see in the picture and then folds the paper over to obscure the first drawing. The next player than makes a new drawing based on what the previous person wrote, and the cycle continues, producing an unwieldy chain of (often silly) artistic expression.

Usually this game is played among friends, but what happens when it is deployed throughout the Boston community and played among strangers? I propose to construct and distribute a series of mechanisms (‘BaitBoxes’), which will facilitate this activity. These wooden boxes will have a roll of paper inside, and a hand crank on the outside will allow participants to advance the paper like a typewriter ribbon. The boxes will be distributed to local businesses around the city, and the drawings will be collected periodically. Excerpts from the BaitBoxes will be featured in a small zine, which will be released quarterly.

How will you use the grant to make your project happen?
The grant will be used to purchase materials, build the boxes, and to print the zine, which will be distributed for free at participating locations.

Why and to whom is your project important or relevant?
In a time ruled by autopilot and carefully crafted status updates, The Bait/Switch Project will provide a fun injection of spontaneous creative energy to people throughout the community. Because it is so open ended, the boxes can be placed in all sorts of different locations, such as bars, coffee shops, and retail stores, and can be enjoyed by adults and children alike. Won’t it be interesting to see how (or if!) content varies depending on where the boxes are placed?  

Somerville Neighborways
“Improving children’s outdoor play opportunities by helping communities transform residential streets into safe, inviting Neighborways.”
By: Erica Quigley, Sara Brunelle - Heyday Collaborative, Mark Chase - Somerville Neighborways

Although outdoor play is critically important to children’s development, kids aren’t playing as much as they used to. A major reason is the speed and volume of cars on residential streets. What if these streets, and the crossings between them, became comfortable places to walk, bike, and play? Neighborways are residential streets that are designed to give priority to people while allowing slower-moving vehicles to pass through. Each Neighborway becomes an inviting place to play; together, they form a network between homes, schools, parks, and shops.

Mark Chase with Somerville Neighborways has worked with residents of several Somerville streets to paint pavement murals and other visual cues. The longer-term goal is to help community members make permanent improvements such as curb “bump-outs” with benches, vegetation, and public art that cue vehicle drivers to slow down.

Erica Quigley and Sara Brunelle from Heyday Collaborative are play space designers helping residents think about next steps. For this project, we’ll work with people on one street to improve play opportunities. We’ll ask people to share play memories; many adults have forgotten how much fun they had on their doorsteps with simple things like chalk, stones, leaves, and puddles. After helping children and adults set goals for their street, we’ll facilitate activities that further those goals, such as play events or design charrettes for bump-outs. Finally, we’ll write a summary report to publicize successes.

How will you use the grant to make your project happen?
Pilot projects have built support for Neighborways among residents and city agencies, who each contribute labor and funding. The City of Somerville is investing $120,000 of State Complete Streets money, and five new Neighborways will paint street murals in 2017. Feast funding will leverage this support by taking one Neighborway to the next level as a prototype. Success on one street will help stakeholders envision what is possible for other streets.

Our budget includes a stipend for Heyday Collaborative’s designers, who plan to put in at least 60 hours of work. Funds will also be used for printing event flyers and a final report summarizing outcomes. This project will take place in summer of 2017.

Why and to whom is your project important or relevant?
Historically, urban children have been free to play in spaces and pathways near home and school. Neighborways restore this freedom, making physical and psychological space for play in everyday places. When children can move comfortably between frequent destinations, it’s easier to meet up with friends and play along the way.

A low-stress transportation network benefits residents of all ages by making it easier to choose walking or biking for short trips. As more and more people use Neighborways, a “safety in numbers” effect will reduce the likelihood of crashes between vehicles and pedestrians. Neighborways provide street environments that meet safety concerns, encouraging active transportation as well as children’s play.

Neighborways combine design and community organizing to slow down traffic and encourage walking, biking, and playing. A participatory approach empowers communities to work together to make real change, right where they live.

“A philanthropic social commentary piece on body standards.”
By: Anna Stabler

TIT-tee’s is inspired by creative activism. As our country was electing a new president, my community began to feel the negative effects of the new administration pushing them into deeper states of stress and frustration. I felt the need to find something to bring joy to my community through representing issues underrepresented by the President and his cabinet.
Shortly after the inauguration, I found myself doodling at a bar. Soon, my scallop-like boob doodle evolved into screen printed t-shirts and custom fabric. I decided these shirts would be called TIT-tee’s. Without excluding men, I made a textile of various sized penis’s in a medallion style formation too for shorts called BALL-Bottoms.
Through these garments we are celebrating the creative process, women and mens body images, and the power of creative activism. Fifty percent of any sale of a TIT-tee or Ball-bottom will go directly to Planned Parenthood or Testicular Cancer Research.
The TIT-tee’s launch party will be directed primarily at the local art community to encourage the importance of creative activism. It will be held at a local venue. There will be local snacks, sips, and products for sale all around a mini fashion show of TIT-tee’s and Ball-Bottoms.
This project will be an ongoing online experience until all products are sold. I chose to bring awareness to body standards, specifically two of the most vulnerable body parts. My hope is that my process will inspire others to think how they can use their creative super-powers to move their community and stand up for others fighting the good fight.

How will you use the grant to make your project happen?
The grant will allow me to purchase the remaining materials to produce the products and cover part of the cost of the launch party. Without the grant the price of the products will be higher and less accessible to those who would like to purchase a product to support the causes and represent the project. I have already purchased the TIT-tee’s silkscreen and the fabric for both textiles.
Rough Timeline:
Test pattern for tee’s.
Finalize pattern for tee’s and fabricating first prototype.
Test pattern for shorts.
Draft brand and packaging.
Finalize pattern for shorts and fabricating first prototype.
Produce replica’s of both shirt and shorts.
Finalize brand and packaging.
Order bulk products.
Print bulk products.
Secure a venue and menu for launch party.
Map out timeline and team for launch.
Finalize online store.
Launch Party!

Why and to whom is your project important or relevant?
With the current events needing our attention in every direction it becomes easy to forget about fun. Without trying to tackle every issue all at once the TIT-tee’s project offers an opportunity to expand the community I know even further to get others involved in making a difference not just through philanthropy but through visual communication. The TIT-tee’s project is provocative, light hearted, and meaningful. Supporters of TIT-tee’s and Ball-bottom’s are individuals that believe in outside-of-the-box thinking, community builders, change-makers and genuinely kind humans.
The TIT-tee’s project is intended to encourage pro-active use of creative skills and is specially inspired by these frustrating political times where creativity is needed to illustrate injustice. The project is also important to women and men who want to break down body-image standards, what the media projects as ‘perfect’.

Doula Training: Empowering Women in the Immigrant Community
“Doulas change the world one birth at a time - sponsoring women from the recent immigrant community to become Doulas will in turn support recent immigrant women giving birth and empower the community!”
By: Julia Dickinson

DONA (Doulas of North America) describe doulas as “a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible.”
Doulas are labor coaches who bring a strong understanding of the community and the culture of the women they serve, and fulfill an important function for their community as mentor and healthcare system intermediary.   For recent immigrants with limited supports, Doulas are cultural brokers-helping the laboring woman understand the medical culture and helping the medical team understand the women’s cultural beliefs.
The direct benefit of doulas are two fold – first to help provide an optimal labor experience for a recent immigrant and second to increase the capacity of the hospital staff to provide culturally competent care.
Additionally supporting a Doula training program opens the door to a new health care career path for immigrant women, including women who may have been midwives or nurses in their country of origin.

How will you use the grant to make your project happen?
This funding would allow the Midwives at Mount Auburn to sponsor 3 doulas for training through Birth Arts International at $300 a person, $900 total. Birth Arts provides their students with culturally sensitive doula training as well as marketing skills. For those women who we have sponsored to go through the doula program, the midwives would also support them in attending the five births that they need to become certified.  In the process of gaining the experience they need to become certified, the doulas would serve our vulnerable families at no cost to the patient. The average cost of a birth doula in MA is $1000, which is cost prohibitive for many low income women and families. This training will provide a valuable professional opportunity for recent immigrant women in our community and we hope that they will continue to provide volunteer services to our low-income patients in the future. At a minimum, 15 patients from the recent immigrant community will receive free doula services.

Why and to whom is your project important or relevant?
This project is in conjunction with the Midwives at Mount Auburn Hospital and Charles River Community Health Service (CRHC).  Mount Auburn Hospital provides onsite midwifery services at CRCHC where we serve a large number of vulnerable community members: 78% identify as Hispanic, 58% require interpreter services,  84% are under 200% of the Federal Poverty Level and 42% are uninsured.  Most importantly, 60% of the CRCHC women who delivered last year at Mount Auburn Hospital immigrated during their pregnancy.  A Doula is critical for these women who have only been in the US for weeks or months.   
The goal will be to match patients with doulas who share their cultural and linguistic background. We will recruit our doulas from students enrolled in local English Speakers of Other Language programs and other immigrant serving organizations.

Prison Gardens in Bloom!
“We will be using this grant to buy bulbs for a fundraiser, in which supporters will buy bulbs and our students will plant them in their prison gardens.”
By: Sarah Cadorette, Erika Rumbley, and Renée Portanova of The New Garden Society

This fundraiser will allow ephemerals to simultaneously bloom in our prison gardens and in our supporters' backyards. This is how it works: a supporter will purchase bulbs from us, and the money will fund the bulbs that we will use to introduce a new variety of plants to our students, and that they will then plant in the gardens in their prison yards.

How will you use the grant to make your project happen?
This grant will allow us to purchase 3,000 bulbs to make this fundraiser a reality.

Why and to whom is your project important or relevant?
This project would not only allow our students to have a more vibrant garden and learning experience, it would also give our supporters a tangible connection to the work we do inside of prisons, which is by its nature invisible.


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