Featured Guest Blogger Sweat It Out: Two Weeks Into Our Fort Point Experiment

Kamaria Carrington
Interim Program Associate, Creative City
By Sweat it Out
By Sweat it Out

With permits in hand, sauna books on the shelves, historic hooks on the walls, orange jelly loungers, a crystal jar of sweat, a handmade mobile sauna and a variety of artifacts and evolving artworks Sweat it Out opened its doors to the public on Nov 25th with a soft launch and detox. The first two of six sessions, lasting four hours each, has brought a steady flow of sweaty conversations.

People trickle back and forth between the lounge and the sauna parked outside. A live-processed audio feed distorts the voices from inside the sauna, projecting them into the lounge, offering a subtle reminder of the value of talking face to face in neutral space. Inspired by Finnish Sauna diplomacy and the saying that everyone in the sauna is equal, we have invited a variety of professionals to guide activities and conversations about Boston’s changing landscape and how it affects us all.

By Sweat it Out
By Sweat it Out

For the Dec 2nd Sweat it Out Pennie Taylor created and led people in playing a game called “Skin in the Game” where players were prompted to make decisions as developers and community members. The game took place in the lounge, but Pennie and participants took sauna breaks and continued to talk about issues involving public space, displacement, and property ownership. The modest structure of a hand built, wood-fired sauna and down to earth textures of the evolving, immersive lounge space, stand in sharp contrast to the bling of all the new building in Fort Point. This dissonance ends up acting as opportunity, a fitting backdrop for bringing different viewpoints into the same space. So far our visitors have included a developer and housing activists, a newcomer to Boston, a whole family splitting their day between us and a children’s museum visit, and even an Envoy Hotel guest. We are excited to already have a few regulars joining us each week and hope that reading this encourages you to join us, and to add your ideas to the collection of diverse perspectives shared as we sweat, relax, chat and dig deeper each week into our experiences living in rapidly changing cities.

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By Guest Bloggers Sweat It Out