A volunteer-based initiative, Nasty Cooperative, has been started by a Jamaica Plain resident to build community, raise funds for organizations in need, and encourage others to do the same.
Sarah Bob, the founder, is a professional pianist who has been running a music/visual art concert series for seventeen seasons. She started the cooperative after returning from this year’s Women’s March in Washington, D.C.
“I came back to Boston [from the Women’s March] with a strong desire and an unnerving panic to DO something, anything, to feel like I was helping the resistance of our new administration in a meaningful and capable way,” Bob said in an email. “I was well aware of all of the things I personally couldn’t do that made me sad, including the inability to make large financial donations of any kind, and I felt that I had to figure out what I could do. So, instead of looking outward, I turned inward.”
Bob’s desire to make a difference in the community translated into several pop-up, dialogue-driven artistic events. The events include a short performance or a group activity for about 30-40 minutes, and also a representative from the event’s featured organization. The representative shares information and insight about the organization’s work, as well as facilitates and leads community dialogue.
Nasty Cooperative collaborates to decide which organization each event should support. Their first event in March raised funds for MomsRising.org, an organization aiming to mobilize grassroots actions and educate the public.
“I adore [MomsRising] because it hits on so many nerves that need to be addressed: gun control, health care, paid maternity leave, family economic security, bringing women’s voices to policy issues, and the list goes on,” Bob said.
Bob said that the event in March was successful because it raised money, featured incredible performances, and everyone in attendance learned a lot from the MomsRising representative. Above all, Bob said that everyone was able to talk safely, comfortably, and respectfully.
“We met more of our neighbors, we became aware of how much we all want to do, what we can do, how we might be able to do it,” said Bob. “The Nasty Cooperative became both an outlet for our frustrations, as well as an intake of information and neighborly love.”
The name “Nasty Cooperative” was influenced by the recent popularity of the term “nasty” since the Presidential debates.
“I found the juxtaposition of “nasty” with “cooperative” quite funny, and, in a way, the name brings a little joy to our ludicrous situation,” Bob said.
The Nasty Cooperative is a completely volunteer-based initiative with a $10 suggested donation at events. All proceeds are donated.
Nasty Cooperative’s next event will be on April 29 at 7 p.m. and feature jazz, folk, soul singer and J.P. resident, Zoë Krohne; clarinet, bass clarinet, and soprano sax player, Todd Brunel; and story teller Doria Hughes. Proceeds from this event will go to Camp Aranutiq of Harbor Camps, a nonprofit organization that provides camps for transgender and gender variant youth and their families. Another event will be on June 11 at 2:30 in JP and will consist of a short Zumba class with proceeds going to the Boston Center for Refugee Health and Human Rights.
For more information or to get involved with Nasty Cooperative, visit sarahbob.net/nasty-cooperative. Bob also said that she often isn’t able to publicize exact locations of venues if they are residential, and recommends that interested residents email her at [email protected] to get complete information about the events.