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Hyde Square Task Force to kick off 'Summer Nights Out' series in Jamaica Plain this week

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  July 16, 2013 03:56 PM

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HSTF Summer Nights Out 2013 youth.jpg

(Mark Saperstein)

Hyde Square Task Force youth and community members dance at the 2013 Summer Nights Out: Salsa Social & Dance Night on July 17.

This story was updated on July 18 to add photos after the first event in the series:

An annual series of celebrations featuring live music, youth performances, and family activities in Jamaica Plain will kick-off this week, organizers announced.

The Hyde Square Task Force will host the first of four “Summer Nights Out” on Wednesday, July 17. The other dates are July 31, Aug. 7, and Aug. 14, which are also Wednesdays.

The evening gatherings each run from 6 to 8 p.m. in the courtyard of the Blessed Sacrament Church on Centre Street and aim to bring “together the residents of Hyde/Jackson Square and beyond to celebrate community and culture,” the task force said in a statement.

The series is organized by youth in the task force’s community and development programs “giving them the opportunity to take a leadership role and raise awareness about current youth and community issues,” the statement said.

The task force began hosting the summer events in 2001 to prevent violence.

“Summer Nights Out is a way of giving the community a family-friendly gathering that is safe and engaging; it also allows them to get to know our youth, what they are capable of, and also at the same time the Hyde Square Task Force,” said a statement from Brenda Rodriguez-Andujar, director of programs for the task force.

The series is supported by My Summer in the City, A Boston Foundation Initiative; Urban Edge Community Development Corporation; City Feed and Supply; The Eliot School of Fine and Applied Arts; and the United Way, organizers said.

For more information or to RSVP for any of the evenings, visit the task force’s website,

The following are descriptions provided by the task force of each of the four upcoming “Summer Nights Out:”

The first evening of this series, Salsa Social and Dance Night on Wednesday July 17th, hosted by the Hyde Square Task Force Ritmo en Acción dance team, will feature salsa lessons, a dance competition, live musical performances, and social dancing. There will be special performances by: Salsa y Control, "Angie & G", DJ Hernan, and the Ritmo en Acción dance team.

The second night of the 2013 Summer Nights Out Series is Literacy Night on Wednesday July 31st and hosted by the Youth Literacy Theater troupe. This evening will feature theater performances and other children's activities that help bring books to life and inspire and encourage reading. Every child that attends this evening’s event will go home with a book. The Literacy Night will feature a special performance by local Jamaica Plain author David Hyde Costello, Little Pig Joins the Band.

Family Fitness Night on Wednesday August 7th will be hosted by the Hyde Square Task Force Rookie Runners. This family-friendly evening will focus on fitness and healthy living; featuring a family work-out competition lead by CrossFit on the Hill, a healthy living discussion by a local farmer, and a Zumba workout.

The final evening of the 2013 Summer Nights Out series will be held on Wednesday August 14th and is an Afro-Latin Percussion Night hosted by the Musicians in Community youth program. This evening of live Afro-Latin music and dance will conclude this year’s annual Hyde Square Task Force summer series. The night will feature special performances by: African Gente, an Afro-Latin band lead by Cornell Coley; a community drum circle; and the Hyde Square Task Force Musicians in Community youth team.

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HSTF Summer Nights Out 2013 crowd.jpg

(Mark Saperstein)

Hyde Square Task Force youth lead the crowd in salsa dance lessons at the 2013 Summer Nights Out: Salsa Social & Dance Night on July.

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