6 Good Things About 2018

arts / Community / Sports

Below is a short list of events, people, and experiences I encountered and enjoyed in 2018 that you might want to know about for the year ahead.


Earfull, the music and author reading series, curated by Tim Huggins and offered in partnership with the Mosesian Center for the Arts in Watertown, MA, is pure magic. Each season, drawing on their personal and professional networks, Tim and his collaborators invite a wide variety of local and national musical and literary talent to perform and read for an intimate group of about 100 people, many of whom have been attending Earfull events around Boston for nearly 20 years. Each event has been a “wow” experience. Earfull is definitely a happy place for me. Thank you, Tim.

Polymath Heather Schmidt

Of the many things that Heather Schmidt is good at, she is an accomplished long distance trail runner, and has been coaching runners of all abilities. This past summer, Heather coached me toward my very modest goal to just get into a regular running routine. I am someone who needs accountability and instruction when it comes to fitness, and Heather provided both. She also provided much needed moral support, especially after the initial high of getting into the groove subsided, the harder work began and coincided with life and work stresses. Heather has run several running and writing retreats, and has a new enterprise on the horizon. Look out for more from her in 2019 as she launches Landsmith, a cafe and outdoor adventure clubhouse. Thank you, Heather.

Everyday Boston

Cara Solomon is an accomplished journalist, but she doesn’t want to read about famous people, and she doesn’t want you to either. She wants you to get to know your Boston neighbors, and through Everyday Boston is training people across the city to listen, record, and write each other’s stories with the goal of opening people’s minds to commonalities and demystifying the differences. Cara is also running storytelling workshops at all kinds of organizations in Cambridge, Boston, and Somerville. The power of listening and sharing cannot be underestimated in any community and is the central ingredient in its strength and growth. Read a few Boston stories. Brava, Cara!

Elevate Youth

Elevate Youth founder Alec Griswold has spent the past decade working in the outdoor industry and over the past few years has turned his attention toward providing mentorship to underserved youth in Boston. From March through November, Elevate Youth ran 46 outdoor trips (fishing, hiking, climbing, skiing, surfing…) for kids aged 8-14, 86% of whom identify as people of color. In addition, Alec and his team engaged over 40 adult mentors and ran programs in partnership with three community partners around the city. This fall Patagonia recognized Elevate Youth’s impact with a special grant, evidence that the organization is clearing a path for more young people to have access to more opportunity, build new skills, and enjoy the outdoors than ever before. Someone had to be the first one on the trail, and that someone in Boston is Alec.

Crews for a Cause

Since its inception, humans have been enamored with the moving image, and over the last decade video has exploded as the medium of choice for entertainment, information, learning, communicating and sharing. Producing great content of any kind requires professional skillsets, tools, and equipment, but video remains the format that is the most highly specialized and costly to do the right way. The prolific and generous team of filmmakers behind Crews for a Cause recognize that nonprofits are not often in a position to fund promo videos so essential to the advocacy and fundraising work that they do (on top of the actual programmatic work that they do).

These videos can cost anywhere from $5-85,000 depending on the scope. That is quite a range, and in this medium, you usually get what you pay for. For perspective, without time spent on planning, scripting, location scouting, casting, lighting, sound, editing, graphics, etc., a single day of shooting with two cameras will run approximately $1,200-$1,500.

Crews for a Cause invites nonprofits to submit requests for video projects (live action and motion graphics), and based on expressed criteria decide whether the project is one that they think they can assemble a team of volunteers around to fulfill. Beyond the value of the services rendered, this angel intervention makes double the impact as nonprofit leaders and team members feel supported by others who are also giving of their own time to help. Keep up the extremely valuable work, Crews for a Cause!

Gallery 263 Celebrates 10 Years

When I moved from New York to Boston in 2007, I joined the fledgling board of Gallery 263 in Cambridge, a project which grew out of a space with a creative history and into a neighborhood hub for fine art, entertainment, and community. Being a part of the gallery anchored me, gave me a tribe, and allowed me to feel helpful in a new city. I only served for a year or two, but have stayed connected and regularly attend their Harvest Dinner fundraisers and other events.

Most impressive is the way in which the gallery has grown into an organization that employs people across disciplines; shined a light on the people of the neighborhood in Cambridgeport; attracted high caliber talent and curators for residencies, exhibitions, and performances; and that it continues to build on its original mission ten years on. Wanting to cultivate something like this is a dream, doing it takes a lot of work, time, and humor. Congratulations to David Craft and the entire team for putting in this effort for our benefit.

Please check out these events and organizations in 2019, and consider putting them on your shortlist for charitable donations, entrepreneurial support, and volunteering/mentoring in 2019. Nothing says that you can’t cross that off of your list today!