Our Blog

Executive Director Barbara Kibler Announces Her Retirement

i Apr 7th No Comments by
Dear Friends,
 
It is a year of transition at the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House.
 
After more than 11 years as executive director, Barbara Kibler has announced her retirement. We thank Barbara for her commitment, vision and leadership. Her many accomplishments include dramatically expanded programming, substantial increases in partnerships and funding, significant renovations and improvements to the house, and a more than tripling of the number of people it serves annually. Now in its 113th year, the house serves more than 4,000 families – from toddlers to senior citizens – through a wide range of programs designed to strengthen the community. Needless to say, Barbara is leaving big shoes to fill, but she has graciously agreed to stay on through this period of transition to ensure continuity in services.
 
With this transition, and the certainty of new challenges ahead, it is a natural opportunity for the board to take some time to assess the House’s role in the community and plan thoughtfully and strategically for the future. As we approach next steps, we will be seeking input from the community and our partners. We will involve community advisors in key decisions to ensure that they are made with the needs of those the House serves in clear view.
If you have any questions about the transition or our plans for the future, please do not hesitate to contact Barbara or any member of the board.
 
Sincerely,
 
Alan Schwartz
Board President
Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House

MIT’s Alternative Spring Break 2015

i Mar 31st No Comments by

 

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We had an incredible week with the volunteers from MIT’s Alternative Spring Break program! These remarkable students chose to spend their spring break with us, helping to finish a lot of key projects. They helped with building shelves, organizing and cleaning, database management work and even a Sweet Soul Supper mailing! They took a special interest in learning about the Port/Area IV neighborhood, about some of the children and older people in the community, and about how small non-profit community centers like the Margaret Fuller House operate. They brought a lot of positive energy and a special enthusiasm to the house that the kids and staff really benefited from. We wish them all the best of luck in their future endeavors and hope to see them at the Fuller House again soon!

 

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STEAM in the Port Night

i Mar 10th No Comments by

The first STEAM in the Port night was a huge success! On February 12th, Margaret Fuller House collaborated with Tutoring Plus of Cambridge and The Community Art Center in the FMA gym to provide students and families with a night to learn about Science, Engineering, the Arts and Math! We want to give a special thanks to Sharlene Yang, who was instrumental in the success of this event! Thanks also to Danger!AwesomeMmmmaven, Volpe Center, and the Fletcher Maynard Academy for participating in the event and offering activity tables. And thanks especially to MIT for sponsoring the event! We look forward to future collaboration with these wonderful organizations to provide this great neighborhood with more STEAM-based fun. Stay tuned for details of the next event!

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A Message from the Leaders in Training

i Dec 18th No Comments by

Hi Everyone!

We’re the LITs (Leaders in Training) at the Margaret Fuller House. Specifically, there’s four of us writing this together, and our names are Christelle, Heizy, Mariysa, and Haley. We’re all 13 or 14, and some of us have been coming to the House since we were almost babies (or like 6 years old).

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So Mark, our Director, asked us if we could write a little bit about what our experience at the Margaret Fuller House has been like. He wants to try to convince you that it’s worth it to give money to the Fuller House during the holidays. We have to agree! We came up with some questions we thought you might want to know about the Fuller House, and some answers we have to give.

What makes the Margaret Fuller House Special?
It has an old vibe, and is really a family place. It’s a house, and it really feels like a home. It’s also a place where it doesn’t matter about your skin color, or your background. Everyone is welcome here! It doesn’t matter where you come from, it matters where you’re trying to get to. It’s a place where kids and adults can grow together.

What makes kids stay here so long and become leaders in training?
The kids actually want to come here. It has tons of opportunities, like Girls Group and Boys Group, Strong Women Strong Girls, STEAM Team and Leaders in Training. For the kids, it makes doors open for them. Unlike at school, the teachers actually act like they want to be here. If you make one mistake in school, suddenly that’s what you are. At Margaret Fuller House, they are forgiving. Every day is a new day. For LITs like us, it’s the kind of education you don’t really get in school.

Why should strangers give their money to the Margaret Fuller House?

If the strangers were in the same situation that many of the people here are in, they would want people to give to the house too.

If you want to DONATE, please go to: http://www.razoo.com/story/Mfnh-End-Of-Year-Wishes

So this is the first letter we’re writing. Mark asked us to send you one or two more before the holidays. We hope that you’ll really think about what we’ve been saying, and think about giving to the Fuller House!

Peace and Happy Holidays!

Christelle, Haley and Heizy 

 

Our Neighborhood’s Needs Featured in the Boston Sunday Globe

i Dec 11th No Comments by

The Boston Globe featured our neighborhood- and the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House- on its Sunday front page this weekend. The article, entitled “Area Four Residents Live in the Shadow of the Future,” explores the stark inequalities in our neighborhood:

“As global pharmaceutical companies build new labs, Internet giants Google and Twitter expand, and startups snap up office space at ever-higher rents, families living in the shadow of the innovation economy are flocking to the local food pantry at three times the rate of a decade ago. The waiting list for public housing is double what it was five years ago. The beds in the Salvation Army homeless shelter on Massachusetts Avenue are always full.”

The article goes on to note:

“When executive director Barbara Kibler took over Margaret Fuller 11 years ago, the community center’s food pantry served about 400 people a month. Today, it’s about 1,200. On many days, the line stretches down Eaton Street.”

We have the power to meet the needs of our neighbors; we just need the funds. You’ll hear more from us during the holiday season- specifically, from some of the teens who grew up in the Margaret Fuller House, and so we thank you in advance for your generosity this season.

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Turkey Drive 2014!

i Dec 11th No Comments by

Thanks to the support of our neighbors and friends, we raised $7,000 and provided Thanksgiving meals to over 400 local families, a total of 22,000 pounds of food. We really had a successful Turkey Drive and we want to thank all of the fantastic volunteers who worked incredibly hard getting, moving, organizing, and giving out the food (and cleaning up)!!!   It was such an impressive day and we hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving.

Season’s Greetings from the MFNH Family to Yours!

i Oct 30th No Comments by

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Port/Area 4 Pride Day!

i Sep 18th No Comments by

On Saturday September 6th, neighbors, friends, and family came together to celebrate Peace & Pride in the Port Community. People of all ages enjoyed the neighborhood cook-out, arts & crafts, music, and amusements available. We especially loved the talented face painters, and of course the pony rides are always a hit!DSCN2076

The day’s performers included the Hip Hop Transformation Project, a group of Cambridge teens learning about the history and production of hip hop. They were a great group of energetic talent and we look forward to see where they go next! Also performing was the Fred Woodard Collective who were simply put, a group of amazing instrumentalists. Closing out the day was of course, our friends JG and the MeggaTones who played the hits of today and yesterday.

The basketball tournament was a highlight, despite the extreme late summer heat! Congratulations to this year’s winning teams!

Annie and Stephanie show their Port Pride!

Annie and Stephanie show their Port Pride!

We were so grateful to have Chandra Banks, Conflict Mediator of the Cambridge Public School District, on hand to address the crowd about peace and respect and caring for our neighbors. The Change for Peace Art Installation attracted new participants to express their peaceful ideas in an artistic way. Overall, it was a fun and peaceful day spent with friends and family.

The event was planned in partnership by the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House, MIT, the City of Cambridge Police Department, City of Cambridge Department of Human Service Programs, Cambridge Public Health Department, the Port Action Group, the Area 4 Coalition, and Pentecostal Tabernacle.

Creative facepainting!

Creative facepainting!

A major thank you and shout out to all of our amazing volunteers who made this day happen! We hope everyone has a great autumn and we look forward to all of the fun events in our neighborhood to come.

Kensley Project Party Celebrates Neighborhood Strength

i Aug 26th No Comments by

This past Saturday, hundreds of people from Area 4 and across the city of Cambridge came to celebrate neighborhood strength at a block party in our backyard.

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Members of the Kensley Project enjoy a performance by Elon Flyfield

The half-day event featured musical performances and face painting, basketball playing and water dunking—all of it thanks to a new community group called the Kensley Project, and the many people who support it.

The Kensley Project formed earlier this summer to honor the memory of Kensley David, a 22-year-old father shot and killed on Windsor Street in July. In the aftermath of that tragedy, several of his friends committed to strengthening the quality of life for residents of Area 4/The Port—and they’ve been adding members to the group ever since.

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From left: Cambridge Police Lt. Dan Wagner; Kensley Project Co-Founder Santos Carrasquillo; and Cambridge Vice Mayor Dennis Benzan

We’ll bring you some of their voices in later posts, but for now, enjoy some photographs of the block party below. Thanks to all who organized it, supported it, attended it, and cleaned up after it—and see you next Saturday, Sept. 6, for Area 4 Pride Day!

To learn more about the Kensley Project, email kensleyproject@gmail.com.

End-of-Summer Cambridge Celebrations!

i Aug 13th No Comments by

There are lots of great events that the MFNH is proud to support! Come spend some time with the Margaret Fuller Family before summer ends!

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Friends of the Margaret Fuller House are welcome to join the staff and families of our Summer Explorations Program for an End-of-Summer Party! Just in time for our kids to get ready to go back to school, our friends from the Novartis CorporationDraper, and Amgen will be providing back-packs full of supplies! This party is a cookout and potluck, will feature a youth talent show, a slideshow of all the fun events and moments shared over the summer, and will offer the chance for parents to learn more about our after-school program.

This party will take place in the Margaret Fuller House parking lot on Wednesday, 8/27, from 5:30 – 7 pm.

8 /28: THE PORT CAFÉ

The Port Café is a new community meal right here in our neighborhood. This meal will offer delicious food and a space for fellowship and community-building with neighbors. Our friends who are organizing the Port Cafe need YOUR help, as neighbors, to give the Port Café flavor!

The first Port Café potluck dinner was on Monday July 28th the Margaret Fuller House, and it was a blast! The second Port Café will be a potluck dinner on Thursday, August 28th from 6:00-8:00 PM. Location is currently TBD but will be in the Port/Area 4 neighborhood!

Please take a moment to RSVP here. Feel free to invite a neighbor!

 

IMG_00259/6: PORT/AREA 4 PRIDE DAY: WHERE WE CREATE OUR PEACE & PRIDE 

The Port/Area 4 Pride Day is a free public event featuring activities and resources for all ages.

This year, Pride Day will feature an exhibition of the Community Art Center’s “Change for Peace,” an ongoing art-making and music series. Local community based organizations will be in attendance to offer information about critical resources and services ranging from health to housing to education. Popular events such as the basketball tournament and live music will be back this year. Children’s activities will include arts & crafts, face-painting, pony rides, and more!

Port/Area 4 Pride Day is Saturday, September 6, from noon to 5 at Clement G. Morgan Park (at the corner of Columbia and Washington Street) and surrounding streets, Cambridge, MA 02139. Rain Date is the following Saturday. 
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