When we last posted a month ago, we had high hopes that we would be able to continue having events through September. Unfortunately, things don't always go according to plan and we are stopping just a bit earlier than we originally anticipated.
As an all-volunteer team, we just couldn't keep up with the demands of keeping a large industrial site safe and suitable for public events. A series of vandalism incidents and petty thefts were compounded when we lost a grant we had been counting on to help us pay the bills. It's simply become more than we can handle to keep the site going safely.
In the end, we stopped 4 weeks short of our goal. And while we wish we could have made it to the end - and we are deeply apologetic to the two event organizers who we had to cancel on after they had done considerable work to prepare for great event - sometimes you just have to know when to fold 'em, as the song says.
But in spite of this small setback, we couldn't be happier with the way things turned out. We have vastly exceeded the expectations we had when we originally set out to turn this barren lot into a community resource last winter. We had envisioned a site for small neighborhood gatherings and a place for people to meet on the weekends to enjoy some pop-up urbanism. What we ended up with was a testament to Boston's incredible collection of street artists that has quite literally put Roxbury on the world stage. We are happy to report that we now have pieces by artists from Berlin, Paris, Buenos Aires, Montreal, and Bogota on our wall in addition to equally amazing pieces from artists who grew up right here in 02119. We never imagined the depth and breadth of talent that existed in Roxbury.
But more than just creating a venue for street art, we also feel that we have exceeded our goals in fostering community in Roxbury with our event series. We have seen Roxbury grandmothers enjoying music next to college students from Northeastern and MassArt while the young children of new homeowners run by. We have met immigrants from every corner of the world who now call Roxbury home. We have had strangers stop us on the street to tell us about their memories of the old bus yard and elevated train line. We have had mothers and daughters collaborate to start a community garden, Russian immigrants drop by to give us a free piano, and young adults build us benches. Every day that we've been open, we've had a new opportunity to meet someone we never would have encountered in our ordinary daily grind. Roxbury is one of the most diverse areas in the city, if not the entire country, and we truly feel like we had the opportunity to meet someone from every walk of life this summer. We hope that you have had the chance to make your own memories and your own new connections with neighbors.
With such an abrupt end to our programming, we didn't want to leave without getting a chance to say goodbye, and to say thank-you in person to everyone who helped make this experiment a success. Please join us for one final look at the site on Sunday, September 29, from 2pm to 5pm. We look forward to seeing you one more time.