Over the past few months, ZUMIX Radio’s narrative project, Constelación de Historias, has explored stories of life and housing in East Boston. On Thursday, Nov. 7, the project continues with ‘The Story Loft,’ a night of community storytelling for a live audience at the ZUMIX Firehouse. Neighbors are invited to join in on the experience from 7-9 p.m., beginning with the lively tunes of the youth-led ZUMIX Latin Ensemble and continuing with a story by local resident, activist and Co-director of Neighbors United for a Better East Boston, Gloribell Mota.
This event is the fourth in the Constelación de Historias series — and continues the work of bringing neighbors together to consider questions around housing and displacement from an artistic perspective. In August, participants in the Audio Challenge formed teams to record their own stories of courage, love, transformation and hope at some of their favorite places around East Boston. In September, the ZUMIX Radio Block Party’s boom box installations offered attendees the chance to listen to some of these neighbor-produced audio pieces. In October, walkers in the ‘Sound Walk’ followed a sidewalk map of Maverick Square, listening to audio stories about the people who bring these places to life and the community groups working for a more just housing environment.
The collaborative project has hoped to highlight the proactive work happening at the local level to imagine a future for East Boston where current residents can remain. About twenty youth and community members have contributed as producers in the project. “Storytelling can be a source of strength, hope and creativity. I think we need more creativity in how we’re thinking about planning in East Boston,” says Brittany Thomas, ZUMIX Radio Station Manager and lead producer of the project. Thomas hopes the project can help involve more neighbors in the Plan East Boston, the City of Boston’s master planning process currently underway. Planners from the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) were in attendance at the Sound Walk, collecting nominations — for community leaders, renters, homeowners and members of community based organizations — to form the Advisory Group for the planning process. Nominations will continue to be accepted by the BPDA through Nov. 15.
This edition of ‘The Story Loft’ is a continuation of the efforts of Eastie resident, Maureen White, who started bringing neighbors and friends together to unplug and connect two years ago. ‘The Story Loft’ has traveled to different living rooms, to Eastie Farm and Maverick Marketplace, and will be landing this time at ZUMIX. The event will be interpreted into Spanish by the Boston Interpreters Collective and broadcast on 94.9FM ZUMIX Radio. A multi-media presentation will share work from Constelación de Historias, accompanied by food and drinks and a call to contribute visions for the future of life and housing in East Boston. The event will take place from 7-9 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8, at 260 Sumner St. in East Boston. It is free and open to all.