Story by Diti Kohli
MATV, Malden’s Media Center, calls on community members to celebrate and encourage artistic expression in the city at the Arts and Culture Summit on March 9 2019. At the event, artists and supporters will gather to meet each other, hear guest presenters, and participate in a conversation about Malden’s arts and culture ecosystem.
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.”
In the near future, MATV plans to sell its building on Pleasant Street and upgrade to a newer space that can more readily serve the needs of its members and the public. With the support of organizations from the summit, the center aims to open a space that might include a black box theater, gallery space, meeting space, a retail shop, and more. “I think we can learn a lot from The Gallery experience,” said D’Urso-Rose, referring to the space on 480 Main Street which morphed from a pop-up shop to a year-long experiment as a gallery, performance center, workshop space, retail shop, and cultural gathering environment.
Watertown City Councilor Vincent Piccirilli, who has served the city for 11 years, will deliver a featured presentation about the creation of The Dorothy and Charles Mosesian Center for the Arts in his city. Decades ago, the building operated as a military arsenal and then as a mall until 14 years ago when the Mosesian was founded. Now, the performance space includes a theatre, as well as multiple restaurants and shops.
MATV hopes to emulate the essence of the Mosesian and the efforts of Piccirilli and other Watertown residents while working to create something new in Malden. The Watertown arts center serves as a good model because the two towns share many similar characteristics––size, population, cultural diversity, proximity to Boston, income level, and more.
“I think we can be inspired and learn from the collaboration and contributions of different entities in Watertown,” said D’Urso-Rose. “We also have something unique, which is the media center component.”
Ron Cox, MATV executive director, adds “MATV has been serving this community for over 30 years, providing media resources in ways that connect community, promote civic engagement and nurture arts and culture. This is an important next step for us.”
The media center will utilize the summit to gauge participants’ interest in helping to establish a new center that incorporates many or all of these elements. The hope is that the community will be prepared to seize any opportunities that might arise, like grants and real estate prospects.
The Arts and Culture Summit will be held on March 9 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m at the conference room at River’s Edge, overlooking the Malden River. Tickets can be purchased here for $20 per person through March 7, or until capacity is reached. Revenue from tickets sales will be used to cover lunch and other expenses.
A detailed schedule of the day will be released to registered participants closer to the summit date. But guests will be able to mingle with others, offer ideas for enhancing arts and culture in Malden, and appreciate the work of local artists who will offer short performances during the event. Organizers also encourage attendees to bring marketing materials from their organization to share with others.
With the summit and planned action afterward, the media center strives to help Malden evolve into a diverse, inclusive, and expansive arts and culture hub.
“We’re very excited about this opportunity and hopeful for the collaborations and possibilities that can come out of this,” said Cox.