Brighton and Braintree, MA (June 26, 2017)The Josephine A. Fiorentino Community Center at Charlesview Residences in Brighton, a property managed by full-service real estate and property management firm Peabody Properties, Inc., recently celebrated the second anniversary of its affiliation with StartNOW Boston, a 28-week music workshop/concert series facilitated by Kithara Project and run by internationally acclaimed guitarists. The occasion was recognized with a fundraiser and concert held at the Gallery at ArtBlock, which brought together the participating youth and staff members currently and previously associated with the program, as well as raised funds in specific support of Kithara Project’s Boston and Mexico programs.

Charlesview Residences is the home of Kithara Project’s only Boston program.

Kithara Project is a non-profit organization working to advance its mission of promoting widespread and equitable access to the guitar worldwide. The guitar is the focus of the organization due in part to its accessibility and versatility, making it an ideal tool, not just for enriching the cultural life of a community, but also for stimulating social empowerment where it is needed most. In general, the organization’s work is concentrated in the creation of long-term, sustainable guitar programs in underserved communities. These no-cost programs provide local children and young adults with instruments, weekly workshop opportunities, performance opportunities, and performance attendance opportunities. In addition to the Charlesview location, Kithara Project currently oversees its original program, in a Mexico City shantytown called Yuguelito.

Charlesview Residences first became affiliated with the StartNOW Boston program during the program’s inaugural year in 2015; at that time Kithara Project filmed a promotional video at the Brighton residences. The StartNOW Boston program, taught by instructor Carl Straussner, is free of charge; guitars are provided for participants to use and practice with, also at no cost. The program continues to expand – a summer workshop has just been confirmed, thanks to a grant from Boston Centers for Youth and Families, and a fall workshop is presently in the planning stages.

Youth from the program performed duets and solos at the anniversary event. Bill Rosenberg, Charlesview Board Member, and Misty Pisani, Resident Service Coordinator of Charlesview, also participated in an ensemble with Kithara Project founders.

“The kids were so excited about this program that Kithara Project decided to launch at our community center here in 2015,” said Pisani, noting that the partnership “has been wonderful.

“It’s remarkable to witness the transformation of these children, who otherwise might have very few musical encounters in their lives, and see close up what a profoundly positive impact Kithara Project has on them,” Pisani added. “We are very proud of our affiliation with StartNOW Boston and Kithara Project and look forward to many more years together.”