Two neighbours in the Bloorcourt area are bringing the community together through a neighbourhood playlist all about love. The pair, Anne Simpson-Porco and Alisha Sunderji, have created a display of twinkle lights and heart-shaped cards community members can use to add a song to the playlist on Spotify: Bloorcourt New Music Fridays.
So far, the playlist has 35 songs in total including “I Miss You” by blink-182, “Always Be My Baby” by Mariah Carey and “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge. An accompanying poster prompts people walking by to add their favourite love song to a paper heart or a CD and hook it onto the string to be added to the playlist.
Simpson-Porco and Sunderji created the playlist and the display outside Salem Parkette in honour of their neighbour Mercedes, who has made significant contributions to the North of Bloor Mutual Aid group (NOBMA) and the NOBMA vaccine hotline.
Love when a community comes together to spread some good vibes! Community playlist is a beautiful idea! pic.twitter.com/QaPqaDWjHQ
— West End Phoenix (@westendphoenix) June 21, 2021
“She consistently shows nothing but love and care for those around her. She makes the effort to get to know new people, is super fun, and has made incredible contributions to the North of Bloor Mutual Aid group (NOBMA) and NOBMA’s vaccine hotline. We love you, Mercedes!” A poster near the community playlist reads.
NOBMA is a Toronto network of neighbours supporting neighbours, connecting people and nurturing the community relationships that sustain them.
“Music and the prompt ‘share your favourite love song’ are approachable,” Sunderji says. “We wanted to create something everyone could relate to and a fun, easy and informal way for people to connect with their neighbourhood. We’ve seen from our mutual aid network North of Bloor Mutual Aid (NOBMA) that everyone can contribute to their community, and we hope the act of trying this out serves as an example of the many different ways people can share their talents and interests with their neighbours.”
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Simpson-Porco and Sunderji have facilitated other community-building pop-up art projects in the past through such as a postcard gallery where neighbours were prompted to share a drawing of their favourite piece of clothing and hook it onto a string using clothespins. The project also helped to promote NOBMA, doubling as a clothing drive for Fred Victor. Simpson-Porco and Sunderji plan to share different prompts for playlists with the neighbourhood regularly.
“While we were putting up the installation, it was so fun meeting new neighbours and getting to be a jukebox for an evening,” Sunderji says. “We are looking forward to more nights of music and connection.”
Follow the Bloorcourt New Music Fridays playlist on Spotify to stay connected. To volunteer with NOBMA to provide vaccine booking support, fill out their intake form.