Beantown Beanfest Is Coming to Boston!
Key Partners Include: The Greater Boston Food Bank, Astound Broadband
Powered by RCN, Boston Harbor Hotel, Downtown Boston BID, Meet Boston,
WCVB Channel 5
(BOSTON) April 18, 2023 – The New England Legal Foundation (NELF) is proud to announce the first ever Beantown Beanfest™ to honor Boston’s namesake: the bean. The Beantown Beanfest will take place on Saturday, June 24, 2023, from 11am – 5pm on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Boston, known internationally as Beantown, will finally have a festival devoted to Boston’s connection to beans.
Beantown Beanfest will support the Equalizer Institute, a social economic justice initiative of NELF that will provide free corporate legal aid to entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities to help them start their businesses. Those underrepresented communities include BIPOC entrepreneurs, new and first-generation Americans, women, veterans, students, LGBTQ+ community, and others from diverse backgrounds who historically face barriers to starting up their companies.
In many ways, beans themselves are an equalizer, with their influence and import spanning across most cultures and providing a common thread. Beans are affordable, accessible, healthy, come in various forms, and have longevity—in short, they’re accessible to all, just as the plans for the Equalizer Institute will make entrepreneurship accessible, affordable, and lasting for all.
“Our small businesses lay the groundwork for our economy and communities here in Boston. The Equalizer Institute will wrap around small business owners with accessible legal aid as they gain their initial footing,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “I am grateful to the New England Legal Foundation for providing this opportunity to uplift small businesses while celebrating our City’s namesake.”
Beantown Beanfest will feature vendors from across the region representing different ethnic cuisines and products that use beans, music, entertainment, bean-themed crafts, games and activities for all ages.
“The inaugural Beantown Beanfest will lift up the small business community, draw attention and support to the Equalizer Institute and provide Boston residents and visitors with a fun, festive day on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. After years of the pandemic impacting residents, visitors and businesses alike, we are thrilled to provide a day for the city to come together and enjoy food, activities and music at a free event open to everyone,” said Christina Knowles, Beantown Beanfest Executive Director. “We also hope that the underlying purpose of the event, to support the Equalizer Institute and future entrepreneurs, will resonate with participants who want to support its mission.”
Local entrepreneurs say they are looking forward to when the Equalizer Institute is launched to help others like themselves.
“My family came to America from India with nothing but our belief in the American Dream. With hard work, we have built a thriving business to create jobs and a better life for our employees. The Equalizer Institute corporate legal clinics will help accelerate the success of entrepreneurs who in turn can create opportunity for the people who follow their path. This is much needed in Massachusetts,” said Nick Raval, CEO of Liquor World with six locations in Massachusetts: Norfolk, Medway, Franklin, Sharon, Mendon and Framingham.
“As a veteran who returned from the Middle East to build a new business, I know first-hand the barriers that need to be overcome. These free legal clinics for entrepreneurs can really make a difference to create jobs and opportunity,” said Kevin Hennessey, owner and founder of Brabo Payroll in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Beantown Beanfest is teaming up with The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) as its charitable partner. At the event, non-perishable food items will be collected and donated to GBFB, the largest hunger-relief organization in New England and among the largest food banks in the country.
“We are so appreciative that the New England Legal Foundation has chosen GBFB as a charitable partner for the first ever Beantown Beanfest,” said GBFB Chief Operating Officer Cheryl Schondek. “This support is coming at just the right time as COVID era SNAP benefits are coming to an end and inflation continues to drive up food prices which are both resulting in even more families looking for food assistance from our network of food pantries in the months ahead.
Beantown Beanfest also announced key partnerships that will support the event and the mission of the Equalizer Institute:
- Astound Broadband Powered by RCN
- Boston Harbor Hotel
- Downtown Boston Business Improvement District
- Meet Boston
- WCVB Channel 5
“Beantown Beanfest aligns with Astound’s focus on diversity, equity and inclusion and with our commitment to the communities we serve. We are energized about supporting Beantown Beanfest that will not only showcase a diverse array of local vendors, it will also kick-start the Equalizer Institute to help entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities start their businesses,” said Sanford Ames, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Astound Broadband Powered by RCN.
“The Boston Harbor Hotel is excited to be a partner of the Beantown Beanfest which will be held at the Rose Kennedy Greenway, just steps from our front door,” said Stephen Johnston, Managing Director and General Manager, Boston Harbor Hotel. “We welcome the Beantown Beanfest to the neighborhood. It will be an entertaining event for the community, plus it will support the Equalizer Institute to support underrepresented and diverse local entrepreneurs.”
“We are delighted to partner with NELF to launch the inaugural Boston Beanfest in support of their Equalizer Institute,” offered Michael J. Nichols, President of the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District. “Downtown Boston has long been the site of technological and revolutionary firsts, and through the work of the Equalizer Institute, we expect more innovative businesses will make Downtown their home.”
“The support of our new partners means the world to us as we embark on our inaugural Beantown Beanfest event that we hope becomes an annual tradition, knitting together neighborhood vendors of all things bean, for a great cause – aiding new diverse entrepreneurs,” said Knowles.
About Beantown Beanfest™
Beantown Beanfest™ is an event to support the Equalizer Institute, a social economic justice initiative of the New England Legal Foundation, a Boston-based nonprofit organization that will provide free legal assistance for underrepresented entrepreneurs throughout New England including new Americans, women, veterans, students, and those from diverse backgrounds who face barriers to starting up their companies due to lack of resources. Beantown Beanfest™ will be held on June 24, 2023, on the Rose Kennedy Greenway and will feature vendors and activities all related to beans, which are a common denominator across cultures and cuisines.