Published On: June 6th, 2024

Photos by Margaret Lampert.

✨Magical ✨is how we’d describe last week’s celebration of nonprofits and changemakers at Starlight Square.

When we think of family reunions, we think of great music, juicy burgers on the grill, the perfect sides of watermelon and ice cream, picnic tables and soft grass underfoot, and of course laughter, joy and togetherness with extended family of all ages. And that’s just what we had at Starlight Square last Wednesday afternoon, with about 200 family members. With vivacious emcees Michael Monestime and Peter DiMuro, together we saluted our city’s hard working nonprofit staff and named five incredible groups as our fifth cohort of Imagined in Cambridge! Social Innovation awardees.

Announcing promising news to nonprofits

In a rousing speech, our President Geeta Pradhan lifted up the many ways Cambridge makes good happen every day, as a sanctuary city, as a city that embraced the first gay marriage, as a city with a committed nonprofit sector that’s always there for community.

Lifting up nonprofits as an essential partner in dealing with our city’s complex challenges in an environment of limited resources, Geeta reported on a recent breakthrough in accessing future nonprofit funding from the City, following a legal opinion on the Anti-Aid Amendment that we commissioned in partnership with Cambridge Nonprofit Coalition.

“For decades the Amendment has been used as a barrier to public funding for the work of nonprofits to meet community needs and make our city vibrant. We are delighted to tell you that the Cambridge Nonprofit Coalition and the Cambridge Community Foundation recently met with our City Manager Yi-An Huang and for the first time in decades we have agreement from our city administration that the Anti-Aid Amendment is not a blanket barrier to funding the nonprofit sector.” This is the first step in our collective effort to work with the City of Cambridge for greater flexibility, transparency, and financial support for the Cambridge nonprofits.

Warm thanks

We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful spring day, a more beautiful crowd of people we’re proud to call our family, and a better expression of the value of our nonprofits in the city we all love.

Big thank you to our event partners at Central Square Business Improvement District and all the local, small businesses who helped make the event so special – including Everybody Gotta Eat, The Diddy Burger, DJ Nomadik, Antidesigns, Momma’s Wine + Grocery, Nick’s Ice Cream, and Pemberton Farms. We’re grateful to our generous event sponsors Cambridge Trust Charitable Foundation and Verizon for their support as well as our valued donors of the Imagined in Cambridge Fund: Cambridge resident Dan Raizen, the Upland Gardens Fund, and Verizon. And of course, thank you to everyone who joined us for an unforgettable event!