Taking Back the Hill
No Man’s Land, September 15th, 5-8 pm
Dear Friend, In 1998 a group of young men and women approached me and asked me to help them navigate their grief around a rash of teen suicides and drug overdoses in South Boston. Early in 1997 there were 70 attempted suicides throwing our neighborhood into crisis. That summer we built a beautiful stone cross on the side of No Man’s Land, affectionately known as the “Ressie” to locals or ironically as Suicide Hill because of sledding accidents in winters past.
That was the beginning of our youth program at Medicine Wheel Productions. Today we serve over 300 young people a year in our acclaimed S.P.U.N (Silent People Until Now) program offering them year round employment and pathways to careers and education. Recently while working late one night at No Man’s Land, a young man, now around thirty, told me how good it was to see me still at it after all these years. I told him, I’m not sure how I do it. His reply was
“ Well Michael, you have to remember that we had a neighborhood to save.”
I had all I could do not to burst into tears. We never now the impact we have. I can tell you one thing your support has made this work happen. I have never been alone in my efforts to invite young people to claim their rightful places in the communities where they live work and go to school. You have been there with me!
For many years our work at MWProductions was done quietly. We responded to some of the most urgent calls of our times: HIV/AIDS, addiction, suicide, gun violence, racism, homophobia and poilce -youth relations with powerful public art projects created in and with commuities, often communities that did not see eye to eye.
We are excited to be honoring two local heroes, Phyllis Corbitt and Joe Rull from South Boston this year as King and Queen of the Hill . We will gather for a community meal; have music by the Sunset Kings; dedicate our new Hope and Recovery Plaza and Re-dedicate the Serenity Garden, built by the Cushing House Boys and Girls and refurbished through a generous gift from Ruby Machiz, in loving memory of Ed Danis who passed away after 37 years of sobriety.
Please consider becoming a sponsor of this event, our hope is to raise $50,000. Your donation will be matched 100% through the generosity of the Zug Family.