Lil Saltbox, Maine Vacation Rental

The Little Saltbox, a 3 bedroom, 2 bath classic Maine summer vacation cottage with a private backyard and in-ground pool. The property is a peaceful, inviting, and restorative home and vacation hangout owned and operated by Jeanne Dasaro and Alexis Schroeder. Read more about the history of the Little Saltbox by the Sea. 

Additionally, bookings and reservations are available here.

Wonder Women of Boston, Founder

Jeanne Dasaro is the founder and main organizer behind Wonder Women of Boston.

Wonder Women of Boston is an open community of ambitious, accomplished women of all ages and backgrounds in the greater Boston area. Our networking events serve as opportunities for professional and creative women to come together and learn about each other’s work. Our workshops, hosted by local practitioners in a wide variety of fields, aim to provide women with useful skills for rewarding life and work. For more information or for a calendar of events visit: http://wonderwomenboston.com

Photos from past Wonder Women of Boston events are below.

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Wentworth Intitute of Technology Social Innovation Lab, Innovator-in-Residence

Named Wentworth Institute of Technology’s first Innovator-in-Residence for two semesters.

Work focused on serving as a valued mentor to students participating in innovation and entrepreneurship programming, expanding networking opportunities for students, faculty, and staff with entrepreneurs and leaders in the innovation space, and collaborating with faculty and staff to advance Wentworth’s position in Boston’s local innovation economy.

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About Accelerate + SIL Social Innovation Lab

The SOCIAL INNOVATION LAB [SIL] launched on May 20, 2013. It highlights the focus of our Wentworth’s students to create, design, and develop product and technology innovations that make an impact to communities and individual’s lives.

ACCELERATE  is an innovation + entrepreneurship challenge for Wentworth students turning ideas into reality. The focus is on the learning experience!

Exhibition, North End Stories Pop-Up Museum

On June 22, 2013, Jeanne Dasaro curated and hosted a pop-up Italian-American cultural museum that highlighted the North End’s Italian heritage.  Below are photos from the event as well as a video..

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Similar to an actual museum attendances were able to engage in multi-media ‘exhibits’ to learn about the history of Italians in Boston’s North End. But unlike a typical museum, this exhibition was an interactive flash mob, made up of North End residents and supporters who shared stories, explained photographs, and showed short documentaries about the North End. Attendees engaged with actual community members about their neighborhood instead of a small placard that usually accompanies artwork at a museum.

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The project was made possible by a grant from The Boston Foundation’s new initiative, Expressing Boston. Through ExpressingBoston, the Foundation seeks to diversify the types of art created and presented in Boston and challenge normalized definitions of art. ExpressingBoston hopes to advance a dialogue that explores all kinds of audience engagement and participation that connects with global classics, traditional canons from across the world, and interpretations of varied traditions that reveal the astounding vibrancy of our city.

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Exhibition, Boston-Como: More than an Art exchange

Jeanne Dasaro’s videos and photography for her project North End Stories was selected by exhibit curators. 

Boston Como 2013 was an artistic and cultural exchange between Como-based Italian artists and Boston-based American artists. Throughout 2013-2014, two 30-day art exchanges will take place.  The first in 2013 in Como, Italy from July 18 to August 18, and the second in 2014 in Boston, USA.

The title Boston-Como symbolises a kind of round-trip ticket into the world of contemporary art. “more than an Art exchange” stays to indicate that is not only art that moving from a place to another, but a contamination between the Italian and the American Art and a real cultural exchange.

 

The New Prosperity Initiative, Co-Founder, Digital Media & Video

Between 2008 and 2012, The New Prosperity Initiative (NPi), publicized the efforts of individuals and organizations working to build social and economic prosperity in and around Boston, Massachusetts and later, throughout New England and Detroit and a few locations worldwide. Through media and events, we aimed to help weave a network of ideas and solutions aimed addressing the root causes of systemic social and economic issues. As our work evolved, we began entering the conversation on systems change and emergence and began leading workshops like “Social Media Meets Purpose” and “Rethinking Careers in Social Change for the 21st Century”. Learn more at http://thenewprosperity.org/

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Jeanne was Co-founder of The New Prosperity Initiative, responsible for Business Development, Operations, Events, Video Production

Stories and interviews by Jeanne Dasaro

North End Stories, Creator, Curator, Digital Media & Video

Jeanne Dasaro is the creator, producer, and interviewer at North End Stories. Below are two sample videos.

About North End Stories:

North End Stories is a digital narrative project that aims to collect, preserve, and share the stories of Italian-Americans whose families immigrated to Boston’s North End in the late 19th and early 20th century.

How has the neighborhood changed since 1900? since 1950? How have lifestyles changed? What has stayed the same? How is Italian-American culture alive today in the North End? The project is a series of video interviews, a booklet of photos and quotes, and an interactive website. More at http://northendstories.com.

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Rising Class, Commission by Boston Rising, Digital Media & Video

Rising Class Boston

Jeanne Dasaro was commissioned by Boston Rising to produce 5 Rising Class Stories from Boston’s North End. These videos are below.

About Rising Class:

Launched in 2012, the Rising Class is a new initiative from Boston Rising, a dynamic nonprofit organization committed to ending the cycle of poverty by enabling people to chart their own paths to success.

At Boston Rising, we believe that everyone is born to rise and that all of us are part of a single class — the Rising Class. While each of us must succeed according to our own ambitions and goals, we all need access to the proper tools to rise: a quality education, a shot at a good job, and the right social connections.

Matt Conti, “The North End/Waterfront website guy with the camera”

Alphonso Dasaro, “You don’t know everything in life until you meet other people. People are life.”

Frank Imbergamo, “Accomplishment.”

Joe Letteri, “All my life, I’ve always loved opening that door that was closed to me.”

Elizabeth Ventura, “You only get one shot at life, don’t waste it.”

Prosperity Catalyst, Digital Media & Video

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Jeanne Dasaro was commissioned by Prosperity Catalyst to produce an informational video for Prosperity Catalyst’s launch. The video is below. Additionally Jeanne created the first Prosperity Catalyst website and newsletter. 

 

About Prosperity Catalyst:

Prosperity Catalyst  incubates prosperity by preparing, training, and supporting women in a holistic way to launch candle-making businesses, allowing them to independently tap in to local and regional markets. Their mission is to catalyze entrepreneurial opportunity for women in and from distressed parts of the world as a means to increase peace and prosperity.

Ram-Ram Udaipur, Collaboration with Shikshantar, Digital Media & Video

Ram Ram Udaipur (Hello Udaipur) is the first and only webshow in India produced in the Mewari language. Shikshantar volunteers help to produce the monthly show which features socially active, eco-conscious, and artistic citizens from Udaipur, India. Ram-Ram Udaipur seeks to inspire swaraj and localization while sharing community stories.

Jeanne Dasaro was on the Ram-Ram Udiapur concept development team and served on the Production Team for Episodes 1 and 2. Videos below.

 

Ram-Ram Udaipur Episode 2, March 2012

Ram-Ram Udaipur Episode 1, February 2012

Why Not Boston, Digital Media & Video, Producer, Creator

Why Not Boston was a funny little web show co-hosted by Trish Fontanilla and Lex Schroeder filmed from September 2010 to June 2011. It featured monthly for musings about life and Boston (and life in Boston), special guests, good music, and more. Produced by Jeanne Dasaro and featuring a live audience, Why Not Boston kept life interesting. Some people called it improv news, others just called it a really good time.

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Jeanne was Co-Creator, Producer and Editor of Why Not Boston. View two past episodes below or visit http://whynotboston.com to watch more!

Episode 7 (Season Finale): You Should Probably Wear Pants from Why Not Boston on Vimeo.


Why Not Boston – Dance Break 1 from Why Not Boston on Vimeo.

10,000 Hug & T-Shirt Giveaway

Wonder Women of Boston, The D.O.N Clothing and SoJust to spread 10,000 hugs across Boston!
Join us on a walk from Boston Common to the South End to create a positive atmosphere in our city. The walk will be about an hour long, stopping to hug everyone we find on our way.
http://bit.ly/10khugs

When you arrive at 11am you’ll be provided a Hug T-Shirt (if you have made a donation, see below) and some flyers. As we walk together we’ll be providing people we meet on the way a flyer, explain to them the 10,000 Hugs Event and how we are supporting the youth by raising awareness and giving them shirts. Then offer the people we meet a friendly hug – and ask them to hug another five people today!

DONATE via our Volt Crowd page:
http://bit.ly/10khugs
We want to see our youth engaged in their communities. We want the adults in those communities to encourage and empower the youth. The DON (Definition of Nyce) produces shirts that spread positive messages – and we want to be able to give these shirts to youth at no cost to them. By joining our hug chain, they’ve certainly earned it! So donate to this Hug Chain today, and not only get a shirt for yourself – but for one of our youth, as well! We’ll also be contributing to The City School, an organization developing & strengthening the power of youth to work toward building a just society.

Itinerary:

11:00am – 11:15am
– Receive a T-Shirt (if applicable), Get Hug Flyers.

Begin walk — Some people might want to linger in Downtown Crossing area while others go through the park toward Newbury Street.

1pm- Arrive at Laced Boston (569 Columbus Ave), for an after party with music & food.

For those who prefer not to go on the walk, Huggers can choose to stay in one place and offer hugs to potential huggees at our Hug

Stations:
88-98 Nightengale Street in Dorchester, Boston
99 Salem St. in North End, Boston

ATTENTION YOUTH HUGGERS
Each Hug Station will have a set amount of clothing inventory to donate to youth huggers. If you are a youth hugger, please register by October 5th to be added to the list of youth who will receive a t-shirt on the day of the event – t-shirts are limited and will be given out on a first come basis.

What’s #JoinTheHug all about? Conceived by The DON (The Definition of Nyce), we’re a community oriented clothing brand dedicating the profits to charities. We’re labeled as a “streetwear” brand; outshining others in our genre as we support a non-violent culture; we believe in changing the current language – from Thugs to Hugs, in a sense. Same people, same style, slightly different script.

Who We Are
The DON is a community oriented clothing brand dedicating its profits to charity. A brand with substance – a brand you’re proud to wear. We have the same style & attitude as other streetwear brands but we’re changing the script, sharing positive messages on our shirts.

Jeans McQueens Creative, Fiber Artist & Digital Media

Jeans McQueens Creative is a woman-owned, Boston-based company specializing in unique handmade items to make your world a little brighter.

.Jeanne is Owner and Crafter Extraordinaire at Jeans McQueens Creative

  • February 2011, Juried Show Selection, SOWA Cabin Fever Show, read more
  • October 2010, Juried Show Selection, Arts at the Armory’s Snow Mall, read more
  • August 2010, Juried Show Selection, ahts: The Boston Arts Festival, festival program

Jeanne is also a Crochet, Knitting, and Sewing Instructor at Stitch House Dorchester
December 2009-Present

And she has a series of Crochet instructional videos:

 

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Project Have Hope: Uganda, Africa

In April 2009, I traveled to Kampala, Uganda to volunteer abroad with Project Have Hope. During my two week stay I interviewed women of the Acholi Quarter to learn more about their displacement from North Uganda, offered knitting and crochet classes, and helped with urban container gardening. Below are photos, videos, and few written reflections of my trip.

April 5, 2009 – Arrival, Muzungu, how are you?

An exciting but exhausting day. It’s now past midnight in Uganda (about 5 PM or so in Boston) and I have been traveling for just over 20 hours. The longest travel day thus far in my life. After spending the past 4 years as a bi-weekly business traveler, I can say the entire trans-Atlantic adventure went perfectly. Each transfer from plane, to train, to automobile was flawless and on time, impressive, almost shocking.

Even with the near travel perfection, I do feel in a daze and disorientated. Everything is familiar, baggage claim, airport-hotel shuttle service, hotel check-in, but each is so different. The cars, the people, the roads, and the city lights look nothing like any American city. Besides that variation in what I am accustomed to, the air distracts me. It’s heavy from the humidity and it hits you the moment you step of the plane like steam when you remove the cover from a boiling pot of water. It’s thickness seems full of life, you can smell the vegetation and dust. The distinct aroma reminds you that you are somewhere else, and that’s before you factor in all the chirps, squeals, and buzzes that serve as it’s soundtrack.

As I sit beneath my mosquito net writing, I wish my fascination had been drawn more to practical logistics, like the exact location of the bathrooms as opposed to the sights and sounds of the night. The sheer volume of the animal noises outside has me nervous about crossing the courtyard to find the toilet, so I wait til day break.

April 6, 2009 – Charapita and the chickens

I woke up this AM to the sound of bubbling hens. Once the sun rose, I ventured out to find the bathrooms and discovered the chicken coop is located next to my room, which is why these chicks managed to wake me up. (This was also when I realized there was nothing to ‘fear’ in the courtyard outside my room, meaning I wouldn’t have to ‘hold-it’ each night until the sun came up.)

I opted for a ‘spot-cleansing’ shower since both water pressure and hot water were lacking. Passed the resident goats on the way to breakfast where I contemplated why the egg yolks weren’t as yellow as they are at home. The 5 of us reviewed the trip and work itinerary for the next 8 days. At about 10 AM we set out for the Acholi Quarter to meet the Project Have Hope women and this was when I encountered Boda-Boda’s, Kampala preferred method of transportation. Instead of a typical taxi ride, which could leave you stuck in traffic for hours, you hop on motorcycles whose drivers take you anywhere you’d like to go for cents. I stood there, helmet in hand, terrified but playing it cool. I had never been on a motorcycle before and my driver recognized this 2 minutes into the ride. He casually asks if this is my first boda ride, I reply yes, asking how he knew, to which he says “your hand hurts my shoulder.”  I apologize, release my death grip, and attempt to explain that I am holding on for dear life mainly because I can’t get the thoughts of being flown from the bike or side swiping a car or person out of my head. He simply says, “You’ll be fine” and laughs as we weave in and out of traffic.

100 handshakes and a host with the best hair

I dismount the boda-boda in the Acholi Quarter after a near bike stalling hill climb happy to have both feet on solid ground. I attempt to take in the sights and sounds of my new environment, the children playing, the goats grazing, and a very large blue sky, before I am whisked away by a very loud and joyous welcoming committee. Sixty or so handshakes are followed by song and dance celebrating our safe arrival. At the same time we are introduced to our hosts for the week. Karen the Project Have Hope founder has paired each of the volunteers with a PHH member who will serve as our guide and translator for the week. This is about the time we realize my host, Santina, is not present. My initial thought is perhaps she doesn’t want to spend a week with Jean, aka the Muzungu woman with a man’s name (explanation to follow). This however is not the case and I have my first experience with how fast word in the Quarter travels. Within minutes we learn Santina is at the beauty salon, getting her hair done. A woman after my own heart, Santina arrives fashionably late and looking great. We hit it off immediately. The volunteer posse splits ways to tour the Quarter with our hosts.

Santina and I walk the Quarter for nearly an hour, up hill winding through narrow corridors, stepping over drainage ditches, down hill ducking under clotheslines.  I am introduced to another 60 or so people and feel as though I am running for office with all the smiles, laughs, waves, and handshakes. I soon find out, laughing is not a typical Acholi greeting and my laughing introductions are caused by the contrast between myself and ‘the other’ Jeanne-Marie known around the village, a Belgium man who recently visited.. Mid-handshake I am asked “but are you a man?” to which I say, “well, no I’m not, why?” which causes Santina to let out the first of many whole-hearted laughs. As we continue walking, heading towards the Stone Quarry and Santina explains Jeanne-Marie is a man’s name, which is why everyone laughed when they first met me. “It’s quite obvious you are not a man,” she says “And they do not understand why your mother would give you a man’s name.” I smile as I say, yes-good question.

We arrive at the Stone Quarry, which is how many people in the village make a living. The work is beyond what I as an American know as labor intensive. The large pieces of stone are removed by men chipping away with only a sledge hammer, the stone is carried up the quarry walls by men and children, where it’s left in piles to be crushed into smaller pieces usually by women and children. I later find out while completing member profiles that working in the Stone Quarry is a hard life. The work is time and effort consuming and produces very little finished product, meaning it pays very little in comparison to other forms of livelihood in the area. People would prefer not to work in the Stone Quarry, but for many it’s their only employment option.

We end our tour at Santina’s home. Like most homes in the Acholi Quarter it’s a single room house with a dirt floor, a charcoal cooker, and 1 small window. A single sheet separates the front seating area from the sleeping quarters and it’s incredibly tidy. I meet her 3-year-old son Tiboni, who has been at home while we were on our tour. We begin to talk about family, which easily transitions, into completing my first PHH member profile.  I hear my first of many stories that differ in specific details, but have the same general theme. Santina migrated to the Acholi Quarter about 10 years ago. Originally from Sudan she left her home for Kitgum in Northern Uganda after her family was murdered and her village burned. After the rebels of the LRA arrived in Kitgum she along with her husband traveled about 300 miles south to the Acholi Quarter where they are remained for the past 10 years. The daily living here is difficult but they did not fear for their lives. She hopes to one day return to Sudan with her children. Upon arrival in the Acholi Quarter she worked in the Stone Quarry, but has transitioned to making paper bead jewelry for Project Have Hope. Assistance from PHH allowed her to attend tailoring school and with a recent microloan she has purchased a sewing machine. She is now able to sew items like school uniforms as yet another way of earning an income.

Everyday life

This morning I began to see Uganda. As I dismount the boda-boda and walk toward the PHH building Santina, my host, greets me. Using my freshly learned Acholi phrases I say good morning (Acho Maber) to which she asks, in English, how my ride was. Like a child I begin to tell her about each of the things I saw on the way, rows of shops offering everything from phone cards to rice to flip flops, the car wash that I believe might be an oversized puddle, women carrying yellow gerry cans of water on their heads, and a man lugging large strips of wood on his bicycle, Smiling she says, “yes, everyday life.”

As we walk, I realize my fears and anxieties are waning. The voice in my head that has been known to say, “the rest of the world is dangerous,” or “you shouldn’t blah, blah, blah” is starting to fade away. This morning I enjoyed my boda-boda ride (and I’m sure the driver enjoyed the fact I loosened my grip on his shoulder). I took in the sights, felt the wind on my face, actually looked around, and began to see someone else’s everyday life.

As Santina and I made a plan for collecting member profiles this morning, I couldn’t help but wonder how many times in the past my fears and anxieties kept me experiencing what life has to offer. I have made two international trips in the last two months and both managed to challenge my personal comfort levels. Somehow I keep finding myself alone, in the middle of a foreign country, in a drastically new circumstance, wondering “now what?” Each time the new situation nearly paralyzes me either into staying indoors or giving up completely, but something (like boredom) or someone (like random person on the street) gets me to “just try,’ and very quickly the feelings of apprehension are replaced with a sense of wonder. It’s at this moment that I laugh at myself saying, “that challenge of my comfort level wasn’t so bad after all.” Then I am grateful I didn’t give into my fear since that would have kept me from a memorable, perhaps once in a lifetime, experience. (I do however wish it was easier to sense the ‘grateful ending’ when you are standing there with a pit in your stomach contemplating what to do.) This realization leaves me feeling as though I’ve left behind about 40 pounds of baggage; I’ve been carrying around since childhood, so basically I feel like I am ready to take on the world.

Santina and I complete 8 member profiles before lunch. The member profiles consist of 9 questions that help PHH learn more about each of its members. Questions about age, schooling, family makeup, PHH programs they participate in and benefit from, then the dozy of a question. What were some of the circumstances that brought you to the Acholi Quarter? Let me just say the stories I heard about the war in the North were equally horrific. Raided and burned villages, murdered family members, running from the rebels, walking miles on end, near starvation, taking in and supporting children of family members who have been killed, then finally settling in the Acholi Quarter where life is hard, opportunities are few, but no one has to fear for their lives. The story that will remain with me for ever is from a woman who watched the men from her village get lined up, beheaded, cut into small pieces, so they could be cooked, after which those who weren’t killed were made to eat the cooked remains of their families. Nothing about what brought the Acholi from their homes in the North, to an area outside Kampala is pleasant, though somehow they manage to be some of the most pleasant and joyful women I have met thus far in my life.

We take a break to meet the other volunteers for a group lunch. The lightness from this morning’s personal revelation is replaced by equal amounts of somberness and anger. Somberness since all the condolences in the world couldn’t make up for what these women have lost and experienced and anger from the realization that is this only a small drop in the bucket of world’s social injustices. I take a plate, to avoid offending anyone for not eating. I manage a few bites, but don’t have much of an appetite after all I learned this morning.

Abutu Maber?

I wish I could describe every sight, sound, and smell. Each is so different, but at the same time oddly familiar. The hustle and bustle of the main strip reminds me of NYC’s Chinatown with countless stalls, packed streets, and intriguing merchandise, but even that doesn’t fit the description I am looking for. The red soil, traffic exhaust, and an indecipherable language are only a few of the aspects that are making oddities Chinatown feel as familiar as the food at McDonalds.

This morning when I arrive in the Acholi Quarter Karen, the PHH founder is in the midst of a quarterly “bead buy.” Jewelry sales are the primary means of funding PHH programs. PHH members make pearl like beads out of paper, string the beads into jewelry, and sell the jewelry to make a living. Project Have Hope brings the jewelry back to the States where it’s sold. Each gorgeous piece of jewelry takes about 4-6 hours to complete and the women in line have baskets with hundreds of pieces. As I arrive there are close to 25 of the program’s 100 women waiting in line to have their jewelry inspected and purchased. More arrive as others finish and the entire process will take Karen about 7 hours to finish.I watched the bead buy for about a 1/2 hour before I headed over to the home of my host, Santina.

We are off to complete another 6 member profiles, which will bring us to 13, 6 short of our final total of 19, and after talking with some of the other volunteers on the trip, I learn that Santina and I ‘have a knack’ for the member profiles meaning we get good, in-depth information. Along with answers to the questions we take a portrait of each woman and a short video. Each woman’s story and circumstance is unique though the theme is unchanging, the war in the North lead to almost unmentionable horrors, lost family members, a long journey south, followed by difficult times. I am left speechless mainly from the fact that the global community has done little to stop these crimes against humanity.

After lunch I hopped on a boda-boda and after a 30 minute ride I arrived at Owino Market in downtown Kampala. All I can say is mayhem. The market is enormous and has everything from scrub brushes, to flat screen TV’s, to sneakers. I found another travelers video on YouTube, so I will let you watch as opposed to attempting to explain.

I purchased some fabric for myself, household items for Santina, and spend the rest of the time observing the happenings of the market. Though I think most people spent time observing me, since Muzungu’s are a rare sight. I hop back on a boda-boda with my purchases for another 30 minute ride back to the Red Chili.

Interactive Designer for Counter Corporation

///COUNTER is a creative cooperative with a mission to frame, amplify and transmit the work of artists and cultural organizations.

Counter brings cutting edge knowledge of network culture to advance the special relationship between an organization and its community in the 21st century. Counter designs tools, systems, and interventions that organizations need to engage a network audience. Counter provides a range of interactive and strategic design services centered around aesthetics and communication.

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Jeanne is an Interactive Designer and Media Strategist with Counter Corporation.

She created the content and media strategy for the online platform of the  MIT 150 Exhibition, and worked closely with museum curators to design an online space that revealed the relationships and connections between the 150 exhibition pieces.

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