Green Roots’ ‘Evening on the Creek” fundraiser has traditionally been a huge celebration on Chelsea Creek consisting of salsa dancing, music, and food.
But due to the ongoing coronavirus and the state’s social distancing guidelines, GreenRoots Executive Director Roseann Bongiovanni sought to formulate another option for the event – and one that was not a virtual gathering.
“We wanted to make sure that the event was still in good spirit and I feel like sometimes it’s really hard to get across the same level of energy and fun when you’re doing something virtually,” reasoned Bongiovanni.
So instead of having a party, GreenRoots will host a Mural Painting fundraiser on Friday, Sept. 11 at the parking lot at 227 Marginal St., Chelsea.
“It will almost be like a paint-by-number,” explained Bongiovanni, a popular former city councillor. “It will be the outline of a mural and people will come at scheduled intervals and color in (paint) different parts of the mural. Guests will be able to choose their own colors and what they paint. Every paint brush will be sanitized. People will be allotted different times and they will have to leave when their time slot is over.”
The event will be held entirely outdoors. There will be individually packaged foods and drinks for all guests. Music playing in the background during the fundraiser.
“It’s going to be a good opportunity to interact with people outdoors and socially distant,” said Bongiovainni.
The goal is to take the mural, which is transportable, and place it at different locations throughout the city.
“The mural will be designed by Silvia Lopez Chavez, a well-known muralist who lives in Chelsea and composed the Chelsea Walk mural,” said Bongiovanni.
The GreenRoots leader said this year’s event is all about “community resilience.”
“We’re all in this together,” said Bongiovanni. “We’re fighting coronavirus and dealing with this pandemic together and we’re coming together as a community.”
Bongiovanni said the event will be limited to 80 participants over a course of six hours (2 p.m. to 8 p.m.).
GreenRoots hopes to raise $50,000 for the organization during the month of September. For the past six months, GreenRoots had asked donors to give to the One Chelsea Fund “so we could directly help Chelsea families through cash assistance.”
“We’re hoping to raise enough money to keep our operations and staff going and to be able to continue to give back to the community and support it through all the COVID-19 response we’ve been doing and all our regular programming as well,” said Bongiovanni.
Bongiovanni is in her fourth year as executive director, having founded GreenRoots in July, 2016. It is her 25th year working for environmental justice.
Asked to describe the organization’s mission, Bongiovanni said, “GreenRoots is a resident-led and passionate and committed organization consisting of a team of members, staff, and board who are from Chelsea and East Boston, dedicated to the two communities and working every single day to make Chelsea and East Boston healthier places to live, work, and play.”
For more information or to reserve your spot in the Green Roots Mural Fundraiser, please contact [email protected]ootschelsea.org or call 617-466-3076, ext. 1.