Boltonstock 2016 a Big Success

Boltonstock 1Success is built piece by piece: a gorgeous summer evening, great music, tasty treats from grill meisters, bakers and brewers, plus a big happy crowd of neighbors. It turns out, this was the perfect formula to make Boltonstock 2016 a huge success.

The evidence is in the many smiles in the slideshow below (photos by Kellie Welborn, Kendra Parlock and José Hernandez). Boltonstock’s organizer Chas Phillips estimated that 325-340 people attended.

According to MRIA Treasurer Barry Blumberg, income from the festival totaled $2,765, which left just under $600 after expenses were covered. In contrast, 2015’s festival did not quite break even. MRIA’s Executive Committee has earmarked this overage to start a “Boltonstock Reserve Fund”, to cover losses should the event ever need to be cancelled due to bad weather.

Chas said, “It was the community’s support that made Boltonstock a success.” He continued, “We’re fortunate to have so many people willing to come together to build community while we enjoy an evening at the park. I’m optimistic about 21217 not because it’s perfect, but because we have so many resources to tackle the problems that we do have. Boltonstock is just one small indicator of that.”

Many people deserve credit and thanks for making the event happen, including:

  • All of the performers: DJ’s Vok2, Caleb Stine & the Brakemen, and the OrchKids;
  • Chris Whisted and the Brewer’s Art for donating beverages;
  • Mary Consugar and the team of volunteers who masterminded the food and beverages;
  • the Social Action Task Force (SATF) for organizing, coordinating, and volunteering at the event;
  • Jess Wyatt and Aften Blackwell for their hard work in inviting and organizing the many community-based organizations who are doing such good work in our neighborhood;
  • Monty Howard for helping with design and printing;
  • Midtown Community Benefits District for providing security;
  • the local financial sponsors, Steve Howard, Michael Booth, Kristine Smets, Michael Marcus, and Peter Van Buren;
  • and most of all, the whole of 21217 for coming out to celebrate our neighborhood, connect with one another, and work toward making this place an even better place to live.

In preparation for Boltonstock, the SATF reached out to about 20 organizations that serve residents in the 21217 area code, inviting them to participate in the event. They were offered a free table at which to showcase their organization’s work and inform residents on how they can support their efforts with time or resources. The organizations that attended were:

“We had a ton of fun at the festival. The youth earned approx $100 from sales of their products (t-shirts and bags), making it one of our best events ever,” noted Kim Loper, Artist-in-Residence at Jubilee Arts.

She went on, “This money goes into a pot that we use to pay their work stipends, so it was a huge contribution to getting them paid. It was also great for them to network with people in the Bolton Hill area. We are so appreciative for the opportunity and hope we can participate again in the future!”

In addition to the community tables, Thread student Tavian Coleman supported Chas Phillips as emcee earlier in the evening. Thread provides under-performing high school students confronting significant barriers outside of the classroom with a family of committed volunteers and increased access to community resources. Learn more and get involved at

For more information on organizations that support the 21217, check out the SATF’s ever growing Community Asset List, listed under the “MRIA” menu tab at the top of the Bolton Hill Bulletin Website.

Organizers are already planning to make Boltonstock 2017 better still!