Arts

Alexandria Onuoha blends dance, psychology, and activism in her quest for equity

Malden resident Alexandria Onuoha has a multifaceted approach toward her social justice work.  From psychology to dance to advocacy, Onuoha channels her passions into working for equity and equality in diverse ways for the local BIPOC community. A PhD student in Applied Developmental Psychology at Suffolk University, Onuoha is the Director of Political Advocacy at Black Boston, a nonprofit community organization that fights to end racial inequities while uplifting the creativity and solidarity of the Black community of Greater Boston. She is the founder of ACO Styles,  a business that aims to give advanced meaning to the complexities and excellence that comes with being Black, by centering Black women and girls through developmental science, dance, and fashion She is also a dancer; she performed at the Urban Media Arts studio for the virtual Juneteenth celebration last month. “I’m really interested in how fashion and dancing come together to make sure that women and youth of color feel their best, as well as how these different art forms and counseling come together. How do [youth and […]

Malden CORE member Ted Louis Jacques raising the Juneteenth Flag at City Hall Plaza
Arts

Juneteenth marked in Malden with joy and reflection

By Christina Appignani  The 4th annual Juneteenth Celebration, hosted June 19 by Malden CORE (Community Organizing for Racial Equity), was extra special this year. African Americans have marked Juneteeth annually since the late 19th Century, but this year Juneteenth became a federal holiday after President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law. Juneteenth commemorates when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to deliver the news of emancipation to the last remaining African American slaves on June 19, 1865. The day began with the in-person 3rd annual Juneteenth Flag Raising at the new City Hall Plaza. Later in the evening, Malden CORE held a virtual celebration on Zoom.  Erga Pierrette, a co-convener for Malden CORE, noted that Malden CORE made history this year by raising a Juneteenth flag at every school in the Malden district. The Juneteenth flag has also been raised at the Malden Police station and Fire Department.  Karen Colón Hayes, a Malden CORE member, opened up the flag-raising event with a land acknowledgement. “In Malden, we acknowledge that the […]

Arts

Green Man mosaic now on display at Cedar Park in Melrose

Nearly three years after the project began, the Green Man mosaic is on display at Cedar Park in Melrose. A community art project curated by Melrose artist Lisa Tiemann, the Green Man is a 5-foot by 5-foot mosaic based on the mythical green man. Originally conceived as a 70th birthday present to herself, Tiemann and 35 artists (amateur and professional) from the Malden-Melrose area worked to put this collaborative project on display, which depicts humans’ intertwined relationship with nature. The installation of the artwork was financially supported through grants and private donors, while the mosaic itself is a donation from Tiemann and the participating artists. For the full story behind the project’s origins, see this previous article in Neighborhood View. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and New England weather, getting the Green Man installed at Cedar Park has been a long process. Tiemann says that “it’s kind of fitting that mother nature had the final word on the installation.” The installation of the Green Man was supposed to take place in fall of 2020, and […]

Arts

Malden aims to purchase District Court Building to transform into the Malden Center for Arts and Culture.

By Saliha Bayrak  An imposing but empty brick building stands on the western side of Malden — abandoned after being deemed unfit to serve its original purpose as a courthouse. Now, city officials hope to turn the nearly 100-year-old building into a center that would house Malden’s lively arts and culture scene. The city of Malden is aiming to purchase the former Malden District Court building and transform it into what would be known as the Malden Center for Arts & Culture. Members of local government and Malden artists say that a center dedicated to arts and culture would be a much-needed benefit to the city. “We knew that there was this kind of nebulous cluster of artists that just needed a point to coalesce around. And that’s why we’ve been looking for an art center,” said Kevin Duffy, Malden strategy and business development officer. The idea was initiated by Mayor Gary Christenson; Duffy is playing a critical role in the first stages of this initiative — acquiring the building. Duffy worked with Christenson to […]

screenshot of Women Making a Difference opening slide during event
Arts

Zonta Club of Malden Recognizes Female Activists in Annual Ceremony

By Annie Bennett Five Malden activists whose advocacy covers issues as varied as the environment, girls education, child marriage, anti-Asian bias, and the arts were honored March 25 by the Zonta Club of Malden as part of the annual “Women Making a Difference” event. “Every day there are women in our community that are doing amazing things,” said Ari Taylor, Zonta Malden’s Recording Secretary and Chair of the Finance Committee. “Little (and) big things that you don’t even realize advance the status of women… and this event is to honor them, these everyday heroes.” The “Women Making A Difference” event, traditionally held during Women’s History Month in March, honors those who are pushing forward Zonta International’s mission within Malden, which includes “empowering women through service and advocacy.” This year’s honorees were Naomi Brave, Lisa Cenca, Kay Kahn, Marcia Menong, and Mei Hung. Last year’s event was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and this year’s event was held virtually. The goal of “Women Making a Difference” is to inspire others, Taylor said.  Members of Zonta […]

the Mayor and the councilman hold Trevor Noah's book, Born a Crime, in front of City Hall.
Arts

Malden Reads Launches New Season with Procession to City Hall

“It made the most sense at a time when we needed the humor and a need for us to learn about each other’s history.” Erga Pierrette By Annie Bennett Malden Reads hosted a COVID-conscious launch on Tuesday, January 26, with a car procession starting from the Malden Public Library on Salem Street, past UMA – Urban Media Arts (formerly MATV) on Pleasant Street, and ending at Malden’s new City Hall.  The procession symbolically linked the two anchor institutions (the library and UMA) that help coordinate the volunteer-run “One City, One Book” program, which first launched in 2011. According to the group’s website, the mission of Malden Reads is “to promote literacy and a love of reading, and to build community in the city of Malden.” It is known in the community for its unifying effect. This season, participants will be reading Born a Crime by Trevor Noah, a response to the fervent cries for racial justice across the world over the past year. Noah is a Black comedian and a South African native, most well-known […]

Arts

Green Man puts down roots in Cedar Park: Artist Lisa Tiemann spearheads community mosaic mural

“He runs through the forest; breathing life into all that he can Whispering to the trees, he’s known as the Green Man. Passing on his vibrant energy, to all living things, green”-The Green Man, By Joanne Kavanagh By Amanda Hurley Thirty-five artists, many from the Malden-Melrose area, have come together to create a mosaic that celebrates our connection to the natural world. Spearheaded by Melrose artist Lisa Tiemann, the 5-foot by 5-foot mosaic, featuring the mythical Green Man, will be installed at Cedar Park in Melrose; the mosaic itself is a donation from the artists, while the wall and installation will be made possible through grants and private donors. “Green Man is largely taken to represent the human being as one with nature,” says Tiemann, noting that his face is often depicted as being “part plant, part animal.” So, she believes, it was the perfect choice for a nature-themed community project, which started two years ago as a 70th birthday present to herself. Green Man, whose eyes peer out among colorful vegetation, will watch over all […]

Arts

Malden Reads Selects Trevor Noah’s “Born a Crime” for 11th Year Book

By Natasha Eslami In Born a Crime, Trevor Noah, the popular comedian and host of the cable TV show “The Daily Show,” recounts his childhood growing up in South Africa, the son of a white father and a Black mother. At the time, such a union was punishable by five years in prison in apartheid South Africa, so Noah’s very existence was  “crime.”  Noah tells his story, which ranges from the humorous to the traumatic, with his cutting wit and incisive perspective. At times both poignant and outrageous, Noah deals with the intersection of his life and the history of a country reckoning with deep-seated racism and finds a parallel here to the United States. His memoir does not shy away from exposing deeply ingrained racism, sexism, violence, economic inequity, and domestic violence. And yet, his personal story reminds us that even in the deepest tragedy and among the most menacing of fears, there is hope and strength within ourselves and those around us to set us on a better path. The Malden Reads team wanted to select a book that would […]

Arts

Seeking a sweet escape: Reading through the pandemic

By Sandra G. Ndengue All the media  — even TV comedy shows – were focusing on the pandemic. I needed a respite from fear and panic. So I opted for a sweet escape: reading, done at convenience via select outlets. Reading has always been a place for discovery, exploration, and travel. It’s like being in a time capsule, anywhere. My usual reads are nonfiction, autobiographies and memoirs — books that  help me understand and navigate someone else’s life experiences, living in their truth and finding a deeper connection. But during the pandemic, my reads were mostly fiction, focusing on African authors around  the globe and exploring culture in their respective world and how their origins and perspective affect society and how they developed as persons. With the lockdown, lots of people have found solace in reading.  “Before the pandemic more people borrowed non fiction and  memoirs but now people seem to fall back to fiction, fantasy and classics,” said Dora St. Martin, Executive Director of the Malden Public Library. Shaneuik, a 37-year-old nurse at a Boston Hospital, mom of two and former Malden […]