Week 1

In March, we HONOR Legacy, CELEBRATE Community, and EMBRACE promise with Hibernian Hall!

This week we will travel back in time and HONOR the Legacy of historic Hibernian Hall.

The History of Hibernian Hall

After the Irish residents began moving out of Roxbury, the building went through a period of change. It became the headquarters for the Opportunities Industrialization Center, an international job-training program. Then, for a decade, it sat unoccupied and falling into disrepair. Hibernian Hall was purchased by Madison Park Development Corporation in 2000. It was fully restored to its original grandeur and reopened in 2005.

Hibernian Hall remains a wonderful gathering place for music, dance, and theater – reflecting the diversity of cultures in the area. It continues to serve as a destination for arts and culture in the heart of Roxbury’s Nubian Square. Check out this video from the 100th Anniversary of Hibernian Hall:


The Time Capsule

What better way to CELEBRATE the legacy of Hibernian Hall than to talk about the time capsule found there in 2013?

In 2013, a time capsule was found in a cornerstone of Hibernian Hall – coincidentally during HH’s 100th Anniversary year.
The capsule contained documents of the Ancient Order of Hibernians; a certificate for $100,000 worth of stock in the Hibernian Building Association; a book on early aviation; a postcard from the Harriman Aeromobile Company, an aviation firm that had offices in the Financial District; and three 1913 newspapers, including the May 30 issue of the Boston American, with a story on the establishment of the hall.
These scanned documents are 108 YEARS OLD! 😮
Read this great article from The Boston Globe to learn more!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here is a photo of the Hibernian Hall time capsule fabricator in Mattapan sealing up the capsule in a brand new box in December 2015. What a LEGACY!
Thank you Dillon & Martha for the photo!

HONORING Community with a performance by Milkshaw Benedict

Some Hibernian Hall #Throwbacks

#ThrowbackThursday CELEBRATING Legacy style! Check out this article from boston.com in 2005 discussing the past uses for Hibernian Hall. And stay tuned to learn about the LEGACY The Opportunities Industrialization Center. http://archive.boston.com/news/local/articles/2005/05/14/roxburys_hibernian?pg=full

#Throwback to when Mad River Theatre Works brought ‘Walk On: The Story of Rosa Parks’ to Hibernian Hall during Black History Month in 2016!  https://www.bostonmagazine.com/arts-entertainment/2016/02/08/boston-black-history-events-2016/

#ThrowbackThursday CELEBRATING Legacy style! Check out this article from boston.com in 2005 discussing the past uses for Hibernian Hall. And stay tuned to learn about the LEGACY The Opportunities Industrialization Center.


We are still CELEBRATING Legacy this week in honor of Madison Park Development Corporation’s 55th Anniversary!
Have a look at this press release from 2006 about the Roxbury International Film Festival at Hibernian Hall.

Week 2

Honoring Candelaria Silva 

Hibernian Hall wishes to CELEBRATE LEGACY and #IntrenationalWomensDay by recognizing Candelaria Silva!

Candelaria created the name for ACT Roxbury (Arts, Culture & Trade).

The mission of ACT Roxbury (Arts, Culture & Trade), the cultural economic development program of Madison Park Development Corporation, was to celebrate and use cultural and arts activities as assets to foster the physical, economic and social revitalization of the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts using the assets of its individual artists and cultural institutions. Candelaria Silva-Collins was the first director of ACT Roxbury, serving from 1998-2008. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury – was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook.

The programs she conceived and developed were:
Roxbury Film Festival: Film Celebrating People of Color
Roxbury Literary Annual
Roxbury Open Studios
Roxbury in Motion (Staged readings and performances)
Roxbury Discussion Series (
Playwright Mentorship (facilitated by Ed Bullins, Kate Snodgrass, and Lydia Diamond)
Danette Jones Business of Culture Series (professional development workshops for artists)
Roxbury Is Rich Holiday Shopping Guides (insert in Bay State Banner, Globe and Patriot Ledger newspapers)

She played a major role in the creation of the Roxbury Center for Arts at Hibernian Hall, the rehabilitation of the grand former Irish Dance Hall. ACT Roxbury received an Out of the Blue Grant from The Boston Foundation in 2005. Candelaria took action for the community of Roxbury through planning consistent cultural events for the public, residents, former residents, visitors, and friends as well as developing artists. All because she knew that Roxbury is Rich!

We love you, Candelaria. You are a LEGEND.

‘The Draft’ – a Past Performance at Hibernian Hall

Coming up this Friday we will be CELEBRATING the Legacy of past performances at Hibernian Hall. We begin with… ‘The Draft’ A filmed performance of Hibernian Hall’s Premiere Production of the award-winning stage play written by Peter Snoad & Directed by Diego Arciniegas The Draft is an interweaving of the real-life experiences of 10 young Americans – eight men and two women – whose lives were shaped and forever changed by the military draft during the Vietnam War (or “The American War”, as the Vietnamese call it.) Together, their stories give voice to the passion, the anguish, the fear, the joy, the inspiration, and the intensely personal and collective struggles of a generation. With the U.S. embroiled in ongoing military campaigns overseas, The Draft asks provocative and relevant questions about moral choice, the meaning of patriotism, and the impacts of war and militarism. Catch the trailer at http://www.vietnamdraftplay.com/video Stream On YouTube starting at 7pm on March 12th until March 18th: http://bit.ly/TheDraft2021

The Opportunities Industrialization Center

Today, in honor of MPDC’s 55th Anniversary, we are CELEBRATING the Legacy of a non-profit that previously operated at Hibernian Hall, The Opportunities Industrialization Center! OIC, a nonprofit agency specializing in job training for disadvantaged communities across the nation, operated its Greater Boston training facility inside of Hibernian Hall from April 1968 until the doors closed in the early 1980s. The OIC’s skeleton key logo promised “To Open Any Door,” and its programming opened doors for participants with Allstate, IBM, and other local businesses. Trainees received instruction in auto repair, keypunch, electrical, and other entry-level skills. In 2021, Madison Park Development Corporation kicked its first Construction Workforce Program, Train 2 Trades, mirroring the OIC model from the 60s. 

The Creative Circle Series

Week 3

Embracing Promise of Artists

Happy Monday! It’s almost the end of Hibernian Hall month for Madison Park Development Corporation‘s 55th Anniversary celebration. Today, we want to EMBRACE the promise of up & coming Boston artists The Loop!


For the final day of Hibernian Hall month, in celebration of Madison Park Development Corporation‘s 55th Anniversary, we are EMBRACING VCR. VCR (Vernon C Robinson) is a Dorchester native born and raised in Boston. He has been writing, reciting, and performing poetry/spoken word for nearly 20 years and has performed at several local spots as a feature and participant. He has poetically graced the same stage and opened up for Amiri Baraka, Last Poets, Saul Williams, Jessica Care Moore, and other well-known poets. Besides Massachusetts, he has taken his poetry to cities and states such as New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Dallas, Oakland, Cleveland, Baltimore, and Los Angeles, and the country of Cuba. VCR is also the founder and cultural event organizer of BloodSkinLand Productions. From that umbrella, he has created many annual gatherings, including the popular ongoing gathering called VerBaLizAtiOn, which is currently the longest-running open mic spot in the Boston area of over two decades. In 2011, he became one of many recipients of the NAACP Image Awards of the Boston chapter. In 2014, VCR was awarded the Ralph F. Browne Jr. Juneteenth Incentive Award by the Boston Juneteenth Committee and the National Center of Afro-American Artists for creating and sustaining VerBaLizAtiOn. VCR’s poem “Kangaroo Joy” became the official poem for then Boston City Councilor At-Large and current Massachusetts Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley’s annual “Jump Into Peace” event. In addition to that, he has also performed at the Congresswoman’s cultural arts swearing-in fundraiser with a poem entitled “Change Can’t-Wait” – named after the slogan used by Pressley during her campaign. Currently, his debut poetry book is in the works for a possible release in 2021. Thank you, VCR for all that you do! 

Become a Member of the Friends of Hibernian Hall!

We hope you enjoyed the month of March as we highlighted #Roxbury artists, cultural workers, and the many activities of Hibernian Hall on HH’s social media accounts in honor of

Madison Park Development Corporation’s 55th Anniversary celebration.
We want to remind you that:
We rely on our Friends.
Your membership helps Hibernian Hall keep its program doors open!
A $50 membership includes special benefits that include invitations to VIP events and the latest in Hibernian Hall news.
Your gift of $50, $100, $250, or more will support upcoming programs this year:
*Playwriting Lab for Aspiring Writers
*New Play about Nat Hentoff by our own Dillon Bustin
*Summer Dance and Movement Workshops by VLA Dance
*”Smoked Oysters” play directed by Dawn Simmons and written by Playwright in Residence Mary McCullough