Black Joy

The Arlington Black Joy Project

The Black Joy Project is a soul-to-soul monthly gathering of Black people to bring joy, build community, share our stories and reimagine our future.
  • Come as you are
  • Be yourself
  • Make new friends
  • Share resources
  • Support each other
Creating your space to belong in Arlington.
To sign up to get announcements about upcoming events and gatherings, please write to:
The Black Joy Project is a collaborative project organized by the Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture, the Arlington Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and the Arlington Human Rights Commission.
The Black Joy Project was sparked by ACAC’s 2021-22 Artist-in-Residence Chanel Thervil, whose project started with gatherings designed to get to know Black folks in the Town and, ultimately, create portraits for public exhibition. Unfortunately Chanel experienced health problems which forced her to withdraw from the residency. But it was clear from the conversations she led that participants enjoyed meeting each other and building community. The Black Joy Project was founded to continue this work.
RepHAIRations, a Black-owned storefront local business in Arlington Heights is a key Black Joy Project partner and has generously hosted many of our gatherings, along with Robbins Library, the Unitarian Universalist Church.
If you are interested in getting email announcements about monthly gatherings, guest speakers, fieldtrips, and other activities this spring, please write to:
A small committee shapes activities; we welcome new members and also your suggestions! Current members include:
  • Stephanie Mckay, who joined us in November and facilitates gatherings. Stephanie is a recording artist, educator and arts activist whose practice lies at the intersection of art, community, education and social justice.
  • Crystal Haynes, a journalist and long-time member of the Arlington Human Rights Commission who continues to plans events for AHRC
  • Jill Harvey, the Director of Arlington’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Division and President of the Mystic Valley NAACP
  • Cecily Miller, the Curator of Public Art for the Arlington Commission for Arts and Commission, whose temporary participatory public art projects often weave together art and activism
  • Teresa Marzilli, the Community Outreach and Engagement Coordinator for Arlington’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Division
Before she withdrew from the Residency, Chanel took a series of beautiful photographic portraits of participants, originally to use as source material for her mixed media work. Please take a look at our photo gallery here.

The Black Joy Project is organized by the Arlington Commission for Arts & Culture in collaboration with the Town of Arlington Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Arlington Human Rights Commission. It is made possible with funding from the New England Foundation for the Arts’ Public Art for Spatial Justice Program, with generous support from the Barr Foundation, and through grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. For more information contact: