by Sandra Li
On Monday, December 9th the Malden Reads organization held their first launch meeting at the Malden Public Library for the Malden Mass. Memories Road Show event that will be held on May 2nd. At the meeting, various other organizations across Malden were present to discuss more details in regards to the road show and volunteering.
The Mass. Memories Road Show is a community history program that was first launched in 2004 and is coordinated by the University of Massachusetts Boston (UMass Boston). Since then, the event has digitized more than 11,000 photographs from across the state. The roadshow will be a capstone event for the 10th year anniversary of Malden Reads.
Carolyn Goldstein, who is a representative from UMass Boston, explained that this event will be a “chance to bring people from all corners of the city together,” as it places an importance on archiving the stories and memories of residents.
Goldstein presented a slideshow to all the organizations including Chinese Culture Connection, Malden Historical Society, and Massachusetts Senior Action Council, where she discussed past road shows and the significance of it for the city or town. In addition, Goldstein specifically talked about what will happen on the day of the event.
She described that on the day of the road show, the archivists and public historians from UMass Boston will be scanning the photos that people bring in which will be a part of a statewide archive. Attendees will also have the opportunity to further share their stories on video.
Goldstein said that the objective of the first meeting was to “invite individuals and organizations to the planning team” in order to spread the word about the event and start thinking about additional ideas.
She emphasized how it will present Malden with a “number of opportunities to explore and document the city’s multi-layered past,” which assists residents who partake in the event to also “explore complementary and contrasting perspectives.”
Specifically, it is important to document the life in Malden so that “future generations of residents can learn from the experiences of the past,” Goldstein stated. Doing so, helps to “uncover the less-known aspects” of how people work and live in Malden.
One of the co-facilitators and co-founders of Malden Reads, Jodie Zalk, expressed that the ultimate goal in hosting this Mass. Memories Roadshow is to “draw people together from different backgrounds” and have a meaningful event where people’s stories are showcased.
Moreover, she hopes for people to bring in pictures that “share stories about our community” and this will essentially help to act as a time capsule for present and future generations to come which further assists in being able to “learn from and understand each other.”
Adding on to that thought, one of the co-facilitators, Anne D’Urso-Rose believes that this event will fundamentally be a “unique opportunity for Malden community members” because it encourages members “from all walks of life” to participate in an engaging event that connects people.
Leading up to the Malden Mass. Memories Road Show, Malden Reads and the organizers from UMass Boston hope to have many participants engage in the planning process so that attendance at the road show event will give a broad and inclusive “snapshot” of the City of Malden.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: The next two informational meetings for the Malden Mass. Memories Road Show will be held on Tuesday, February 4 at 7:00 pm & on Wednesday, March 4 at 7:00 pm at the Malden Public Library. Representatives from ALL Malden community groups and organizations are invited and encouraged to attend. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Sandra Li, the author of this article, is a sophomore at Malden High School and is a reporter on the Blue and Gold staff. This article was originally posted in the Malden Blue & Gold.
Watch a video about the Mass. Memories Road Show below:
I would like to share memories about my father, Avrom Babitskiy, who suddenly passed away on 1/24/2020. He was an exemplary role model not only for the family members but for his friends and colleagues. While living in Malden, he became an active member of Malden & Boston Russian-speaking community and participated, together with me and my mother, Svetlana, a famous poet, in different events in Malden & Boston, including Artistic & Poetic Exhibits in Boston, Malden Reads Open House or Lantern Walk around the Fellsmere Pond, etc. He and my mother edited & designed for publishing many immigrants’ memoirs, as well as videotaped and make documentaries about various cultural events organized by the Russian-speaking community. Due to their efforts were created invaluable, unique video memories about many outstanding people – WWII veterans, Holocaust survivors, scientists, physicians, teachers, engineers, artists, writers, and musicians – who came to Massachusetts during the last 4 decades. It is important to include this underrepresented piece of immigrant life into the diverse mosaic of Massachusetts historic memorial.