What participants and the press have said about

Discover Roxbury Tours

I would recommend this tour to anyone…..The entire trip was extremely well planned and coordinated. This tour was in a part of Boston I had not visited. It was fascinating and I hope to go back soon. Roxbury is really quite beautiful, the buildings intriguing….This is an interesting area, historically and in the present…. A great deal of effort is being made to preserve the historical and invigorate the present.

Lexington Historical Society

Learning about the community life of our schools METCO students was very interesting and educational. When the METCO students come to Lexington schools they are in our community, they are in our system; they have to learn our customs. To help us, Lexington students, understand our friends from Boston more, why not show us how their life is. This would make the relationship of our communities less stressed and closer.

8th grader, Clarke Middle School, Lexington, 1999

I liked the whole idea of a shopping tour. It’s really a great way to bridge cultural differences in a comfortable simple way—people always like to shop and its good for business….I did not expect such interesting places of business.

Roxbury Holiday Art and Shopping Tour

The Open Studios tour was a totally new and inspirational experience….
The highlights of the tour were seeing the artists; talking with them; listening to their stories—I felt a greater appreciation of their struggles as artists and I was inspired—and I saw many beautiful works of art.

Roxbury Open Studios Tour

Thank you for a truly inspirational odyssey through the neighborhoods of Boston-it was an extraordinary afternoon on many different levels. You’re doing g a great service for both communities with the Bridges Program. Best wishes for continued success.

Fifth grade teacher, Lexington Public Schools

It was a joy to meet you and all the wonderful and friendly members of the Bridges Program. We enjoyed having you and your groups visit our church. I hope and pray that you may be able to visit us again, perhaps for worship. You’re always welcome.

Charles St. AME Church


The best part of the trip was being on the home turf of the METCO students and to watch them talk authoritatively about the area. Lexington Public Schools… It made my METCO students seem less like visitors from a foreign land… I liked the excitement of the students, the chance to interact with the parents and actually seeing the human side of a place that had become mythologized as devoid of humanity.

Lexington High School Staff

I learned that I was wrong when I thought of Boston as big factories, big smokestacks and such busy streets even worms could not get through… I learned that Boston is not a bad city.

4th grade trip, Estabrook School, Lexington

Motivated by what she saw as a lack of connection between her new hometown of Lexington and Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood, Marcia Butman started the Bridges Program seven years ago to get suburban families to discover the city. …. Through the program, Butman plans tours for suburban families to eat in Roxbury restaurants and to shop in stores in the neighborhood. For the last four years she’s also participated in an open studio tour in which a bus takes Lexington families to see artists working in their Roxbury studios for the day. Since 1996, Butman has led more than 40 tours with more than 1800 people participating.

Newsmakers 2002,Boston Globe Northwest January 5, 2003

Many of those who live far from the heart of the city do not typically think of traveling into Roxbury to shop or wander through art galleries, but Candelaria Silva and Marcia Butman are working to change that. Roxbury is a place beyond the traditional stories you see on TV and the newspapers, said Silva, director of ACT Roxbury. “Roxbury has artists, Roxbury has history, Roxbury is a diverse community.”

Creating bridge to urban arts,Boston Globe September 29, 2002

After touring Boston neighborhoods on a school bus last week with four Lexington High School students as guides, 31 teachers new to the towns school system shared some of their new perspectives.

“I was surprised there were trees….It was great to see all the health services and community centers….But the dominant response from the white teachers was applause for their guides, four black girls who have studied in Lexington schools since the first grade under METCO, the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity Program. “ The best part was hearing the students talk about their experiences,” said Kara Kunkler –Peck, a special education teacher at Bowman School.

Student led tours dispel urban myths,
Boston Globe Northwest Weekly, October 24, 1999