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JP Porchfest is July 7th: Get Ready for 170 Performances on 90 Porches!

Last updated on July 6, 2018

The 5th Annual Jamaica Plain Porchfest this Saturday will be more awesome than the previous four as it will include music, theater, dance, spoken word, storytelling, comedy, circus arts and a politicians’ porch.

Voci Angelica Trio played its folks-inspired classical on Boylston Street at JP Porchfest, Saturday, July 9, 2016.
Voci Angelica Trio played its folk-inspired classical on Boylston Street at JP Porchfest, Saturday, July 9, 2016.

“We have 90 generous porch hosts this year – that is, folks who offer their porches to performers. In some cases, people perform on their own porches, but they often welcome others,” said Mindy Fried, co-organizer with Marie Ghitman and Eli Pabon. “And in many cases, porch hosts simply offer their porches to whomever we assign to their porches, of course taking into consideration their available space, and if they have any special requests.”

Click on the map of porches to see a description of all of the performances (courtesy JP Porchfest).

This year’s JP Porchfest is spread all around the neighborhood — Jackson Square, Hyde Square, Centre Street, Egleston Square, South Street and lots of neighborhood streets. There will be something for everyone with 170 performances on 90 porches.

Not wanting to walk? There will be a trolley for anyone to ride going along a circuit for folks to get around to different spots. But the entertainment won’t stop because you’re on a trolley, as Michelle LaPoetica’s spoken work project, DenCity, will provide entertainment. DenCity will also perform and emcee an open mic at the Mildred C. Hailey Apartments, one of numerous performances at the apartments.

Just down the road from the Mildred Hailey Apartments there will five hours of music and spoken word performances outside of Mooyah and Perfect Dental. This “porch” will showcase local performers from ages 16 to 29, organized by nonprofit Dunamis, and will also feature a voter registration table.  “We’re just imagining the surprise of folks getting off the T – and seeing these amazing performers!” said Pabon.

West End House performs on the steps at the former Blessed Sacrament Church during JP Porchfest on Saturday, July 9, 2016.
West End House performs on the steps at the former Blessed Sacrament Church during JP Porchfest on Saturday, July 9, 2016.

The Eliot School‘s lawn will feature circus artists from the Commonwealth Circus Center, a lineup of storytellers, local theater companies led by Dustin Bell of the Open Theatre Project, and a dance class taught by Integrate’s Ken Pierce.

There will be a Politicians Porch from 2 to 3 pm at 26 Grovenor Road with performances by state Rep. Liz Malia, At-Large City Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George and state Rep. candidate Nika Elugardo. Once again District 6 City Councilor Matt O’Malley is expected to grab the mic, but it is unknown what the redheaded Frank Sinatra will sing. Some of his past performances include Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run,” David Bowie’s “Spacey Oddity” and Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al” (although this recording is not from Porchfest, but we wanted to toss it in anyway).

Looking to dance? Check out the DJ’d parties led by Sammy Savuth (12-6 pm at 31 Germania St., Leo Alarcon (12-2 pm at First Baptist Church, 633 Centre St.) and CSC/Social Studies (12-6 pm at 8 Copley St.).

“We started JP Porchfest as a way to build community – using the arts to bring people together across the divides of race, class, culture and immigrant status. While JP is incredibly diverse, the neighborhood is still divided in many ways. We were initially inspired by Somerville Porchfest, which is a great community-building festival,” said Ghitman. “But as we thought about what we felt was important for JP, we developed an approach, or model – that’s different. Most porchfests welcome people to play music on their own porches (or a friend’s porch). Our approach is designed so no one excluded from performing, whether or not they have access to a porch.”