2021 Season Wrap Up: Events and Partnerships Intern

28, Oct, 2021

Written by Anna VanRemoortel, Events and Partnerships Intern

As I wrap up my internship at the Greenway Conservancy, I’m reflecting on my role in creating a vibrant public space in Boston. Workdays often consisted of supporting live music, relishing food from our many food trucks, and engaging with the park’s visitors. While work often felt more like play (and on Thursday nights in Chinatown, it was!), I enjoyed collaborating with the Conservancy’s Programs Team, supporting nearly 50 programs — programs designed to bring the Boston community together to enjoy their park.  

(Image 1: We had fun with puppets at one of our weekly play sessions in Chinatown!)

With a background in sociology, I’m interested in how people interact with their environment. The past several years I’ve researched trends from an academic perspective, and I was now ready to apply my knowledge to support accessible and vibrant public spaces. The Greenway Conservancy has a deep understanding of the role open spaces can play in a city, and through the 400+ programs put on yearly on the park, we are able to activate this space for the community to enjoy! My internship focused on supporting the Greenway Business Improvement District sponsored event series, Rediscover The Greenway. With many people starting to return to the office, these programs invited people back to the park during the workday. This funding supported lunchtime concerts, lion dances, a Halloween movie series, and more!

On Tuesdays, Dewey Square was transformed into a performance space. Musicians with AfroDesiaCity serenaded travelers arriving from South Station and those enjoying their lunch at the park. These lunchtime concerts combining funk, jazz, and soul had a joyful energy, mirroring the Daniel Gordon mural behind them.  

(Image 2: AfroDesiaCity performers at Dewey Square)

On Wednesdays, our performances spanned across multiple neighborhoods (from the North End to Chinatown), taking advantage of the entire park! This series, in partnership with the Boston Music Project, demonstrated The Greenway’s ability to transform almost any area on the park into a performance space. The combination of a string quartet with the sounds of honking cars and chirping birds made our physical space present in their performance. 

(Image 3: A family enjoys a concert put on by the Boston Music Project)

On Thursdays, our Farmers’ Market, run by the Boston Public Market, was enlivened by Berklee College of Music students. Their music carried down Atlantic Ave, encouraging people passing by to support the vendors. Musical events continued into the evening in Chinatown. During these events, we also held our weekly play sessions at Auntie Kay and Uncle Frank Chin Park. Families with young children came every week to play with the games provided by the Conservancy and enjoy the live music. 

(Image 4: People wander into the Farmers’ Market after hearing the music of Berklee Students)

Over the years, the Greenway Conservancy has showcased visual arts, demonstrating the powerful impact on its open spaces. This season’s featured live performances shone a light on the performing arts. As a linear park, The Greenway stretches through a diverse collection of Boston neighborhoods. Performances along the park highlighted this diversity and invited the city to come back to enjoy the park after so many have spent the last year working at home. While people often walk through The Greenway as part of their daily routine, the live music this season encouraged everyone to slow their pace a bit and enjoy the park’s offerings, amplifying the physical beauty of the space.

(Image 5: The children at one of our Thursday play sessions made us a new logo!)

My internship at the Greenway Conservancy was the perfect opportunity to bring my academic interests into more applied work in an urban setting. The experience has confirmed my passion for this work while introducing me to Boston nonprofits. I’m excited to continue exploring the potential for activating public spaces as the new Community Manager of Roslindale Village Main Streets! While knowing I’ll miss The Greenway, I’m so grateful for this experience and I’m excited to return as a visitor to see what the park has to offer in the future.

(Image 6: People enjoy the performers at Auntie Kay and Uncle Frank Chin Park)