In the summer of 2022, CultureHouse collaborated with the Boston Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics (MONUM) and the Office of Civic Organizing (OCO) to pilot Block Party Kits. Inspired by Mayor Wu’s call to increase accessibility to hosting block parties, we created two kits—a Game Kit and a Cool Kit—that offered Boston residents an opportunity to bring their block party to the next level by providing fun and useful items they might not have on hand.
The idea for these kits came from a desire to spread access to block parties, which are essential community-strengthening events, across all Boston neighborhoods. In tandem with Boston’s new Play Street Permit process, we launched the kits to encourage more block parties outside of Boston’s whiter and wealthier communities—where most block parties took place previously. To further increase access, the Office of Civic Organizing delivered kits on-site and picked them up after the event.
The Game Kit was designed to require as little infrastructure as possible to be successful so people could open it up on their street and immediately use the contents. The kit is full of fun outdoor activities such as slam ball, cornhole, and hula hoops.
The Cool Kit was full of water-based activities to cool down on a hot summer day with your neighbors and friends! In this kit, we included a mister, water balloons, and a splash tower (easily the most popular item). The Cool Kit required access to a water spigot nearby.
Where are they now?
The Block Party Kits program lives on in Boston! Following our successful pilot in 2022, Boston Centers for Youth and Families (BCYF) took over distribution of the kits. Both the Cool kit and the Game kit are available to folks living in Boston who want to add some flair to their block parties!