What If … We Had An Art’s and Culture Summit?

An Art’s & Culture Summit was held yesterday at 200 River’s Edge Drive in Medford, MA and was an exciting and promising event – the first next step for those of us who poured our hearts and souls into The Gallery.


It was well attended and included some surprising attendees of our local and state representatives: As always, Mayor Gary Christianson was there along with City Counselors Debbie De Maria, Ryan O’Malley, Steve Winslow, Peg Crow and others. State Rep Steve Ultrino and State Senator Jason Lewis were also there to lend their support! I was so busy listening and getting settled in a bit late so I missed getting some of their photos but once I realized I hadn’t taken a single one I made up for it.

The Summit was a collaboration of Malden Creates, The Gallery and MATV. The fabulous space was thanks to Preotle, Lane & Associates!

“Anne D’Urso-Rose, associate director of MATV and one of the summit’s hosts, said the objective of the summit is to connect residents, artists, businesses, and officials with each other and MATV.  

“Our goal is to bring people together,” said D’Urso-Rose. “So that there’s more communication among groups, organizations, and artistic individuals, to envision new possibilities, and to take advantage of opportunities that are available or that may arise.” 

We enjoyed music and dance throughout the event.  Regretfully, my pics of the talented dancer, Mcebisi Xotyeni, were too blurred to use but his dance technique was exceptional! An accomplished dancer and teacher in his own right, he’s also a choreographer with Jean Appolon Expressions (JAE).

Jean Appolon began in Haiti and continued in the US Harvard and Radcliffe Dance Program in Boston ( a program I was able to participate in for a short while many years ago.) Jean went on to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Joffrey American Ballet School that culminated in a joint degree program with The New School in NYC.

Jeantilus Gedeus played a mean sax, one of his many musical talents! At the Malden Immigrant Learning Center, he mixes music with teaching English and was a Mass Literary Champion award winner in 2016.

I missed the earlier entertainment by Erin Wu and Zipping Wang, but I was able to hear Vivek Sonar call up some melodic sounds from his flute.

Keynote speaker, Vincent J. Piccirilli, Jr., delivered the keynote presentation about the creation of The Dorothy and Charles Mosesian Center for the Arts, and was an excellent speaker with an encouraging story. We can learn a lot from him. It’s a wonderful facility. Again, I was lucky to be juried into an exhibit there in 2016.

After listening to the main speaker, we broke up into  focused groups: Collaborative Funding, Programming, Municipal Capacity and Cultural Space Development. I was in the Cultural Space Development group and our conversation went like this:

I believe we’ll meet again real soon. There was not enough time to accomplish all that we had hoped to but we did see evidence of real interest and support to take the next steps forward. Also clear is that people there had plenty of ideas and a lot of commitment – we have our work cut out for us! What if……we move it forward?!

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