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Thought-Provokers: Fenway, Symphony & Jamaica Plain

Boston has always had an artistic soul.  The culture and heritage of our city, like most great cities, owes a tremendous debt to the arts community.  Supporting local art is something we care deeply about and we’d like to do everything we can to help the local arts community thrive.  Unfortunately, too often media attention is monopolized by corporate interests and tabloid gossip – but culture doesn’t come from a focus on celebrity breakups it comes from a focus on the arts.

Below, you’ll find some incredible artists from in and around Fenway, Symphony & Jamaica Plain that we hope you will check out, follow and support.

Stefanie Mnayarji

I am a London School of Economics trained economist turned lingerie designer. I left a career in quantitative finance to fill a void in the market for an alternative to shapewear aka “sausage casing for women.” I wanted to help women focus on reshaping the world, not their bodies. My designs focus on function, comfort and luxury. Read more>>

Chad Chesko

Starting with poking in punk designs with a sewing needle, I later graduated to a jailhouse-style machine introduced to me by one of the older kids in my new neighborhood, where we moved when my father remarried. Then, on to work professionally in 1994. Read more>>

Ana Villa

I studied musical theater for seven years before getting accepted to Berklee College of Music in 2012. I graduated from performance in 2016 and had the opportunity to perform with some great artists such as Juan Luis Guerra, Joyce Moreno, and Noel Schajris. I’m currently going to Japan to sing in a TV show and also trying to get money to finish a second degree at Berklee as a music therapist. Read more>>

Brandon Diaz

I had taught myself piano and then not long after, taught myself how to play guitar. This allowed me to perform at local wineries, festivals, restaurants; basically anywhere that wanted live music. I began to make a name for myself in my hometown. I was by no means doing this alone, my mother would spend countless hours calling venues all over for gigs and searching the internet for audition opportunities to help further my career.  Read more>>

Paulina MacNeil

I have always been shy and so I also spent a lot of time by myself growing up and still do to this day. My work cites this experience in the way that I have taken interest in online communities that are often maintained over the barriers of screens. I have also found it easier to engage with my surroundings and other people when I have a camera to do so. I am interested in the ways that people connect on the internet and the ways these connections can provide benefits for those involved. Read more>>

Marc Douglas Berardo

I came to performing and writing songs later than most. I was already a college freshman at Northeastern University, Boston in 1987 when I got a cheap acoustic guitar and started to play. Playing the guitar came easy to me and I immersed myself in it. It was comforting as well as challenging. Read more>>

Danielle Dean

I worked on the island as a fine artist and in arts administration. My time there helped to develop a unique visual language and connection to the land; however, I was feeling isolated and in need of a better understanding of the contemporary art world. This led me to Boston in pursuit of a Master of Fine Arts from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Read more>>

Peter Hanaman

I chose bass because it was the biggest, lowest, and “coolest” instrument in the classroom. I came up playing jazz and soul in high school on both guitar and bass. I spent most of my high school commuting sometimes 400 miles/week for rehearsals and gigs. During these drives, I started listening to new music including dance and hip-hop. Read more>>

Michael Zachary

I definitely didn’t set out to be an artist, I was just trying to avoid a boring life. The idea of a 9-5 job didn’t appeal to me at all and I was horrified at the idea of sitting at a desk all day. So, like a lot of young people, I tried all kinds of things hoping something would stick. Read more>>

Jillian Freyer

I began as a painter and soon found myself at MassArt in a beginner’s black and white photography class and fell in love. I believe I brought a number of aspects that I loved about painting to my use of photography as a medium. Color, texture and detail and intimacy between myself and my subjects have always been present when it comes to my work, whatever the medium may be. Read more>>

Josephine Farah

I started doing photography at a young age using a standard point and shoot camera, but did not really engage in it until my senior year of high school. I was taking a photography class which involved a variety of tools to shoot, including but not limited to film cameras and darkroom developing. Read more>>

Dana Ruff

Writing saved my life. I was a kid, who was bullied about last name and appearance, who had suicidal thoughts and when I believed that time was approaching, I wrote my “last” poem. A classmate read it, cried, and asked me to continue writing. From that point on, I didn’t stop, and high school was my first time on stage. Read more>>

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