Wild Painting Album Release Party

By, Saphire Broxton, Events Intern

This past Saturday, July 22nd, at the ZUMIX firehouse, Wild Painting had their first album release party for their new album, Emotions! Wild Painting is a group made up of ZUMIX youth and who has spent the last few months working with ZUMIX staff such as Dan Fox and recording in the ZUMIX studio to put together their album. Emotions features 8 tracks and includes upbeat songs such as “Within (You)” as well as more chill, deep songs like “Distractions”.

The vibe at the party was very relaxed and calm, with low light, softer music, and twinkly lights around the stage and the tables. There was pizza and dessert, as well as disposable cameras that could passed around for everyone to take pictures on. They were selling CDs, as well as some art from local artists.


To start the night, the bands Tribe Sweat and Mint Green performed, hyping the audience for Wild Painting’s set. By the time the band was ready to perform, the crowd had grown quite large, with excitement and anticipation in the atmosphere. When the band did come on, they were welcomed warmly by the crowd – all there to support Wild Painting and congratulate them on their milestone.

Half way through the set, there were some technical difficulties, but Wild Painting took them in stride and opened the mic up to the audience to tell some jokes while the difficulties were fixed. Even the bassist, Juan Gutierrez, joined in and told a joke.

The band’s set was a mix of originals from their album and covers, such as “Love Me” from The 1975; for some of the songs, it was the first time the band had performed them live. They even brought in another ZUMIX youth, Project Method’s Dawry Ruiz, to perform a song with them as a surprise for the audience.

They ended the night with a dance party on stage, a Stranger Things theme song remix, many thank you’s – including ZUMIX staff, their parents, and their friends – and by signing CDs.

Now that Emotions is out, I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about Wild Painting in the very near future! Listen to and download Emotions here: http://www.nimbitmusic.com/zumix/

Follow their Instagram: wildpainting.band

Wild Painting will be performing at The Hatch Shell on August 9th.

1st Week of Programs

By Saphire Broxton, Events Intern

This week, summer programs started here at ZUMIX! ZUMIX youth all started classes in Director’s Cut, Con La Corriente, Street Program, and more! Over the course of the next two months, the students will be learning things such as Latin dances, how to manage a radio show, how to fix instruments, and how to write songs. As it is the first week, most classes were simply administrative; learning names, setting goals, and familiarizing the students with their classes and ZUMIX. However, once that was over, they quickly went down to business! I sat in on a few classes like Rock-Ed and Fix-It to have a better understanding of the kind of work they would be doing over the summer.


In Rock-Ed, the youth facilitator started off the class with some more ice-breakers, playing games like Elephant King and going around asking people for their names and favorite ice cream flavors. Then, they began to look over some song choices the students gathered so that they could pick one to learn to perform at the ZUMIX Rock-Ed night on August 18th.


In Fix-It, the students started to familiarize themselves with some of the tools they will be using throughout the summer as they learn how to fix things such as guitars. Dan Fox, the teacher, showed them how to use tools like screwdrivers, wrenches, and hammers. The students were also learning the differences between the tools and their uses.

These two classes only represent a small portion of the kinds of classes students have the option to take for free at ZUMIX. All year long, students are in-and-out of ZUMIX and expanding their knowledge on a vast amount of topics, so next time you’re at ZUMIX, ask about our youth programs!

Career Panels with a Twist

By Kaylene Sheran


Summer vacation for some means spending time at the beach, but for youth at ZUMIX, it means scrambling to find summer employment, spending hours upon hours on perfecting college applications, and thinking about the future. One way that many youth and community members began focusing on their futures this summer was through attending the first of four Summer Speaker Series events this past Friday.

The Summer Speaker Series is a series of “how to” events where professionals in various industries come together at ZUMIX to speak to members of the audience about what their jobs entail on a day-to-day basis. These events were organized in an effort to help the community with exploring various careers in which they may be interested.

This week’s “how to” event was “How To Find A Path You Love Even If You Don’t Know What You Love”. At this panel, we had professionals from various industries such as education, marine science, digital technology, and computer science. Based on the enthusiasm that every panelist showed when speaking about how they got on the career path that they are on today, it was obvious that our panelists truly loved what they do.

Some panelists, such as marine scientist Caitlin Shea-Vantine, who calls herself the “fish enthusiast”, knew that she had an interest in studying aquatic animals from a young age. However, Ashely Harton-Powell, an academic coach, didn’t realize that she had an interest in working with youth until she did some trial-and-error through going to a health careers based high school and realizing that the medical field wasn’t for her. At the end of the event, the audience was eager to ask numerous additional questions to the panelists and breaking into small groups. At the end of the panel, one of the panelists, Caitlin, even got the opportunity to explore another path that she seemed to love; music! She got to jam out with ZUMIX youth, Juan Gutierrez.

Overall, the first panel of the Summer Speaker Series went extremely well and we are all looking forward to meeting the panelists at our upcoming panels! The next Summer Speaker Series event will be on July 21st from 6-8pm.

Our next event will be “How To Use Art For Healing”, and we have artists who specialize in music, body language, performing arts, DJing, and visual arts. All Summer Speaker Series events are free and open to the public! We hope that you will be able to attend!

Staff Picks: June 2017

Staff Picks - June 2017

Summer is in full swing here at ZUMIX. In anticipation for the inevitable barbecues you will be at tomorrow for the 4th, here are some suggestions for additions to that backyard playlist courtesy of your friends at ZUMIX. These are the tracks we were digging over the past month including Roxbury-based artist, Vintage Lee, who has been hailed as Next Wave of Boston Rap.” Sit back, press play, and dive right on in. The water is fine!

“How Can I” by Laura Marling

“I’ve been traveling a lot recently and have discovered that there is absolutely no better sunset plane ride music than Laura Marling.” – Anni Leff, Development Associate

“Free Room” by Raven Lanae Ft. Appleby

“It’s finally summer! And right now, this song feels like a celebration of the sunshine.” – Sarah Saydun, Pathways Coordinator

“Bless You” by Vintage Lee

“Chill summer vibes, posted up at Popeyes. I think the catchiness of the track and the visuals made me hit repeat.” – Rene Dongo, Radio Program Coordinator

“Neighbors” by J. Cole

“Neighbors called the police because a lot of people were going in and out of this house. They assumed cause they looked like thugs that drugs were being sold here. Police then raided the house only to find a recording studio where artists rent out to record. Inspiring this song by J. Cole with live footage in the video of the raid. Thats what I call real.” – Corey DePina, Youth Development and Performance Manager

“Yes We Can” by Lee Dorsey

“Recently discovered the treasure chest of funky soul grooves that comprise the catalogue of Lee Dorsey. With a positive message, a voice that drips melody like tupelo honey, and New Orleans’ very own the Meters as his backing band, what more could you possibly ask for?” – Scott Mizrachi, Volunteer Coordinator

“Farmer In The City” by Scott Walker

“I love it because: I’m a farmer in the city.” – Ed Meradith, Teaching Artist

“Toe Toes” by Palm

“The mesmerizing drum and bass combo lets me drift away while the jarring guitar tones and rhythm keep me alert. It’s a very refreshing take on syncopation with interesting melody, noise, and chord choices.” – Ramsel Gonzalez, Program Manager

“Blood Muscle Skin & Bone” by Brandi Carlile

“This song always gets me through hard days and reminds me to ask for help when I need it!” – Kelly Baker, Director of Development

“Guilty” by Lady Wray

“All month I have been fixated on Charles Bradley, affectionately known as the screaming eagle of soul. This is not Charles Bradley but an algorithm at Spotify told me that I would also dig this track. Turns out I do!” – Jeeyoon Kim, Events Associate

“Lately” by Polica

“This is a love song whose meaning I’ve repurposed to be about trust and truth in all kinds of relationships. If it’s good it’s gonna stay.” – Brittany Thomas, Radio Station Manager



Alumni Spotlight: Charles Paizante

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Like many ZUMIX participants, Charles found out about our programs through a friend of his. “When my friend got accepted off the wait-list to take private drum lessons, I wanted to take lessons too”, remembers Charles. “I was about 8 then, and it took me a couple of years to get off the waitlist! But while I was waiting, I got to take many group programs, and it just felt natural. ZUMIX’s community is so welcoming and supportive.” Charles immersed himself at ZUMIX by taking Voces, Radio, and being a part of the Jazz All-Stars Ensemble. Although he had to leave ZUMIX before graduating high school so he could focus on his academics and applying to college, he still carries many lessons and fond memories with him to this day. “Meeting so many different people with different goals, values, priorities, and backgrounds really pushed me to think about life in a whole new way. I think my experiences at ZUMIX continue to help me step out of my comfort zone and do things to give back to my community, East Boston.”  

Charles is currently an Environmental Science major at Northeastern University. This year, he took time off to work for the city of Boston at the Boston Centers for Children and Families. The work he’s done this year has helped him gain a better understanding of what he wants to do in the future, and he is looking forward to starting classes again in the fall. He has goals of opening up a business in East Boston to help the community, and intends to stay in touch with ZUMIX for years to come.

Charles urges current ZUMIX participants to be true to themselves and to never be afraid of taking positive risks. He says, “It’s okay to take risks! Don’t let society tell you that you can or cannot do anything, listen to yourself. Do things even if they’re hard, and give it your all. It’s okay to go from point A to B to Z and then back. You’ll learn about yourself, expand your thinking, and be a stronger person for it.”

ZUMIX Staff, Past and Present, Reunite At #AMC2017!


Earlier this month, ZUMIX staff gathered with media makers, artists, and organizers alike at the 19th Annual Allied Media Conference (AMC) in Detroit, Michigan. The AMC define media-based organizing as: any collaborative process that uses media, art, or technology to address the roots of problems and advances holistic solutions towards a more just and creative world.

In Detroit, we reunited with former ZUMIX staffer, Sophie Kazis, fresh off of her time studying with the Transom Story Workshop in Cape Cod. Check out the latest piece from her, “Provincetown Remembers AIDS” here.

The weekend consisted of over 300 hands-on workshops, panels, film screenings, Detroit tours, art and music events, strategy sessions, karaoke, bowling, collaborative art and more! Some of sessions we participated in included panels on anti-oppressive facilitation, the link between artists and change makers, an in-depth historical tour from Black Scroll Network History & Tours, and hands-on workshops in poetry, audio gathering, and more!

We wanted to take a few moments to reflect on our weekend in Detroit learning from like-minded folks from across the country and exploring the city.

Our Reflections

“The Allied Media Conference allowed me to step away from my day-to-day responsibilities and focus on learning! The conference was attended by activists and indie media makers from across the globe and I learned as much from the other participants as I did the workshop facilitators.

From “Poetry as Speculative Activism” to “Real Talk with Major Donors,” the workshops covered a range of topics and disciplines. I would highly recommend this conference to anyone with an interest in media making, social justice, and grassroots organizing and fundraising.” 

– Kelly Baker, ZUMIX Director of Development

“Attending the Allied Media Conference gave me an exciting opportunity to learn with and from other media makers and organizers from all over, and to reconnect with my ZUMIX roots!

Jeeyoon and I attended a workshop called “Listening as a Revolutionary Act,” taught by journalists Jesse Hardman and Burgess Brown. Their project, The Listening Post, is a community media project that aims to facilitate two-way conversations around important local issues – directly countering “parachute journalism” that can feel extractive and exploitative. Jesse and Burgess have created an accessible storytelling platform for communities to implement themselves, with the goal of making media more representative and accountable to the communities it’s meant to serve. The Listening Post reflects all the values I saw in ZUMIX Radio, and that I hope to work towards in my own audio storytelling.”

Sophie Kazis, Independent Radio Producer

“This trip to Detroit gave me more than I anticipated, whether that came directly from the conference or from the city itself. The space that the AMC holds is unlike any other conference I’ve attended and I am so grateful for the projects and individuals I was able to connect with in our short time together.

I’ve come home to Boston thinking about the incredible impact the California Endowment has had in supporting communities to a healthier future by supporting projects like #SchoolsNotPrisons. I’ve come back looking for ways to be more intentional about how my work can connect with visual artists so that that link isn’t limited to transactional engagement when we need a poster or photos to document our programs. I’ve also come home with Detroit on my mind. I’m ready to dig in to this work and to do better.”

– Jeeyoon Kim, ZUMIX Events Associate

Last, but not least, we wanted to leave you with some of the gems we overheard last weekend in Detroit…

“Having strategic courage means knowing you don’t have to fight alone.”
“Speculative poetry offers a glimpse of a future world, one that is a little freer. Then it’s up to us, as activists, to figure out how to get there.”
“There’s a difference between feeling safe and feeling comfortable.”
“No matter what, we will fight, we will resist. It begins with love of self and the planet.” 

Meet Rene, ZUMIX’s New Radio Program Coordinator!

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Welcome, Rene Dongo, to the ZUMIX team!

Rene Dongo, Radio Program Coordinator, joined ZUMIX in 2017. As a filmmaker, media maker and teaching artist he has found the intersection of community and youth arts education to be a pivotal step to helping young people grow and find their voice in the communities they live and learn in. At ZUMIX he works to support community and youth produced radio programming.

We stole a few minutes away from Rene’s whirlwind first week at ZUMIX to get to know him a little bit better. Read more below!

What artists or media makers are you digging these days?

Latino USA, an NPR podcast hosted by Maria Hinojosa and a crew of great Latino writers, covers a bunch of stuff that really doesn’t get covered often. In one of my favorite episodes, they talk about how before people dubbed films they were asking themselves, “How do we bring this film to a new audience?” One of the stories was about how they made two versions of the film, Dracula, one in Spanish and one in English. They filmed them simultaneously! So on a day of shooting, both would be filmed in the same place but with different actors, directors, [and everything]. The thing is, the Spanish one is superior! The whole crew had already done the English version just prior so they were like, “Oh! We know what we’re doing now!” Then they realized that’s not the most efficient way to dub films.

I also want to shout-out my friends, my buddy, Catch Wreck – he’s really great. I’ve made a bunch of his music videos so I’m very familiar with his entire process and he’s such a great person to be around. I also really like listening to Luis Miguel.

Why do you think radio is a powerful outlet for youth voice?

I think it’s a great outlet in general, for people. Teens specifically, are going through such giant shifts in their personalities that it’s actually kind of funny that they are on air to try those [different versions] of themselves out. What I’ve heard here so far is how some radio shows change over time and that makes total sense. I think it’s great for teens to be able to try out what they’re listening to, to speak, and to listen to others as well.

Radio is just another platform like music or film – and giving someone a platform is great. I’m particularly excited about radio because it’s more immediate. I’ve done a lot of work in film and that is a process in terms of hitting the record button, you can then go back and look at what you’ve got and what you don’t want. Radio doesn’t allow that, it requires that practice, and that’s one of things I find the most interesting about it.

How did you get involved in youth work, how did your journey land you here?

The story I’ve been telling is that I was a part of teen programs and then I fell into working with them – it almost wasn’t by choice. I was doing a lot of video work and started getting hired by the nonprofits I used to attend. I began to get involved in documenting classes, that led to TA positions in classes, soon I was being asked to propose my own projects for those same places.

There’s a reason kids come here and hang out here, there’s a reason I kept coming back to these places. For the past couple of years I’ve really been seeing that. [Radio] is an aspect that I haven’t really explored as much but [radio] is like a bug I remember having from when I was going to college. It’s just so great that these youth get the chance to do radio here and I can already see that same excitement in them. Hopefully the experiences that I’ve had can help [them in their learning]. I’ll be learning from them too, [I expect] they will break what I believe is “possible” on radio.