MCA is a non-profit organization that provides services to the residents of the Jonestown neighborhood in Baltimore, particularly its youth. The organization currently operates out of two existing facilities: the McKim Free School and the Quaker Meeting House. The facilities are owned by the City of Baltimore—under the care of the Department of Recreation and Parks—and are leased by MCA. Together, the facilities and their respective outdoor spaces are utilized as a campus for the community, providing academic, physical, social and spiritual growth through focused programming.
For nearly two hundred years, both buildings have primarily served as centers for education and community work, hosting programming ranging from night school to kindergarten, wrestling to choir. Our team got involved with the MCA to help them identify opportunities to expand programming and set a course for even more impactful work within the community in the future.
Our project team has held four community engagement meetings with various audiences to discuss project goals, timelines, programming ideas, building site studies and more. Work is not yet complete, but we look forward to continuing the MCA’s mission through life-changing programming for the people in our community.
Below are some thoughts from our team about this important project:
“It has been a pleasure assisting local community members who are passionate about continuing traditions within two historical buildings to create life-long memories for all of whom they serve.”
– Briana Blowe
“As a high school student, The McKim Center was my first job at 15 yrs old. I am honored and excited about giving back to what McKim’s gave me: focus, determination and a chance.”
– Nidra Williams
“It has been great to learn about the good The McKim Center has provided over the years in Baltimore as well as to help establish a new chapter for these important historic buildings in a rapidly changing area.”
– Ryan Jordan Pfarr
“Continuing our relationship with the Neighborhood Design Center has afforded us the delightful opportunity to work with the McKim Community Association, its partners and the local Jonestown community. It has been a wonderful experience getting to know the people–the leaders pushing the community forward and the community members excited about the possibilities! I’d say our team definitely considers ourselves fortunate that we get to help reimagine the future of the McKim Free School and the Quaker Meeting House–they each have an incredibly rich history!”
– Monica Pascatore
“It was a joy to see what jewels Jonestown already has underway, and a wonderful opportunity to work through the local Neighborhood Design Center (NDC) to support The McKim Center and Jonestown moving forward.”
– Daniel Beatty