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About us

The Jamaica Plain Multicultural Afterschool Arts Program (KidsArts) began in 1986 as a program at the Jamaica Plain Firehouse Arts Center. In 1994, as a result of a severe financial crisis, the Firehouse Arts Center decided to close the program. Within three weeks a group of 30 parents mobilized to keep the after school program open as a parent-managed cooperative. The program moved into the Unitarian Universalist Church where it currently operates. Kids Arts was incorporated in 1995 as a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization to continue a community based after school arts program.

Many generations of children, staff and directors have helped build a long-standing KidsArts community.  Scores of children have made monster masks, danced Capoeira, created music videos, crafted shadow puppets, discussed social justice, cooked empanadas and more – delving deeply into creative thinking that is increasingly marginalized in school.  Staff and children have developed countless personal relationships that recognize the unique creative powers of each child.  Over the years, hundreds of families have enjoyed the riches of a program that was ignited by the artists and activists of the old firehouse. 

6 Eliot Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

KidsArts is housed in the First Church located on the corner of Center and South Streets in Jamaica Plain. The entrance to KidsArts is at 6 Eliot Street. You will have to ring a bell to enter the building. We are open from 1:30 - 6:00pm M-F. 

Directions to KidsArts @ 6 Eliot Street

T: Take the Orange Line to Green Street or Forest Hills. The walk to Eliot Street, about ½ mile from either station, takes about 10 minutes. From Forest Hills, you may take the 39 or 48 bus, a brief ride, to the Soldiers Monument. 

Bus: The stop at the Soldiers Monument, where Eliot, South and Centre Streets meet, serves busses # 38 (Wren St-Forest Hills), 39 (Copley Square-Forest Hills), 41 (JFK-Dudley-Jackson-Centre St) and 48 (JP Loop). MBTA travel page has details.

Bicycle: Hubway has a station at the end of Eliot Street.  

Parking: Free on-street parking is usually available around the church. Check for street cleaning signs (active April through October) to avoid tickets before 6pm. A free lighted parking lot can be found one block away off Centre and Burroughs Streets, behind Blanchard's Liquors. Please leave yourself extra time for parking. Please do not park in the church lot as the children use this as a play area in warm weather. 

PHONE: 617-524-0818