Arts

Put Malden on the map: A growing city takes pride in its up-and-coming art scene

By Nia Harmon Since 2016, husband and wife duo Ose and Marcel Schwab have been amplifying the work of local creatives in Malden. As the outgrowth of an initiative by Ose Schwab, owner of Malden Creates LLC, The Gallery@57 and non-profit Creative Malden strive to enhance the culturally rich city through its support of local artists, writers, and musicians. “Malden has been lucky to have many art groups and initiatives throughout the years that highlight and connect its many fine artists,” writes Marcel Schwab in an email interview. “The Gallery@57 seeks to continue that work and nurture an inclusive and active artist community that is connected and informed about the opportunities available.” What originally started off as “Malden Pops Up,” a pop-up shop in an abandoned space at 480 Main St. that ran for about a year, is now the inviting storefront located at 57 Pleasant Street. “The purpose of Malden Creates LLC was to initiate opportunities for artists and performers to bring their work to Malden for money,” said Ose Schwab. “[In 2016], the […]

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Habitat for Humanity provides affordable homes for a select group of Malden residents

By Jack Drees Habitat for Humanity has a presence here in Malden. As you stroll down Main Street near the Melrose line, you’ll come across two new townhouses next to a construction site. Several Malden families have new affordable homes thanks to Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston. An independent affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, the Massachusetts non-profit has given housing to people with low to moderate incomes since 1987. The group, which has thousands of volunteers, buys land or restores existing buildings and then passes the houses on to people in need. Habitat for Humanity homes have sprouted up in 26 Massachusetts cities and towns, including Dorchester, Weston, and Roslindale. With the city’s first project completed in 2022, Malden is officially a part of the Habitat family. The project resulted in two single-family homes on Main Street. Each one is complete with three bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, one full, and one-half bathroom. Also in 2022, Habitat for Humanity broke ground for their next Malden project. This time around, it is for five townhouses. […]

Arts

Meet the five “Wonder Women” decorating Malden’s bike path AND the women behind them

By Samantha Deras In the midst of bright colors and bold outlines, you can see five of Malden’s famous women looking back at you. A new Malden Arts mural by artist Amanda Hill highlighting five local “wonder women” was recently installed along the bike path this October (off Main St. between Charles and Madison St.). Malden Arts is a community organization that was founded in 2006 by former Maldonian Naomi Brave who is on its board of directors along with four other women: Candace Julyan, Robin Inman, Naomi Kahn, and Sharon Santillo. The group’s mission is to bring art to the Malden community and put the spotlight on local artists. “As much as we want to support local artists and all that they do, we felt that not everyone goes to galleries, not everyone goes to museums, but public art is truly for everyone involved in this very diverse community,” Malden Arts historian Sharon Santillo said. “And we wanted to put art out there that everybody could enjoy, just in their daily life or as […]

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How to help (close to home) this holiday season

This article is an updated and modified version of a piece that ran last year in Neighborhood View. Detailed info on how to help appears at the end of this article. Are you looking for meaningful ways to give back this holiday season? Donating and volunteering locally has many benefits beyond the most important of meeting local community needs.  Donating to a local food or toy drive or doing hands-on volunteering provides an opportunity to connect more deeply with one’s community and meet others who are spending their time giving back. Volunteering can also offer a different or broader perspective on one’s own life. The need for donations and volunteering is year-round, but giving back at this time could also help jump start a cycle of giving and volunteering during all seasons. Malden is a community rich in nonprofits, service organizations and community groups that help those in need, including local people struggling with housing insecurity, food insecurity, substance abuse, isolation and other challenges. The Malden Warming Center serves nightly meals and a warm place […]

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Malden provides support for Haitian migrant families

By Maile Blume A rapidly growing number of Haitian migrant families are seeking shelter in Massachusetts to escape violence, poverty, and hunger — all of which have intensified since 2021 following the assassination of the former President of Haiti, Jovenel Moïse. Malden joins cities throughout Massachusetts in responding to the needs of the incoming families. Reverend Dieufort Fleurissaint, the founder of True Alliance Center, Inc. — a Haitian-led organization dedicated to supporting migrant families — said that those arriving often do not have any family ties in the U.S. and face many challenges to finding housing and employment. “You know what’s the number one thing they told me? They need to work,” said Fleurissaint, adding, “Many of them are engineers, teachers, doctors, plumbers, professional drivers, artists — many of them had basically previous professions back home.” However, migrants seeking shelter in Massachusetts must wait for work authorizations, which can sometimes take six months to a year to receive. In the meantime, the families depend on services contracted through non-profit organizations, including shelter in motels and […]

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Malden Community Fridges open their doors to the hungry

By Kami Nguyen Dotted around the city of Malden are a handful of large painted boxes that house community refrigerators — stocked to the brim with free food for anyone in the community to take as they need. The Community Fridge initiative, founded by City Councilor at Large Craig Spadafora, and Ward 8 City Councilor Jadeane Sica, was started in March 2021 with a single spare fridge from Spadafora’s basement. Since then, the program has grown to four fridges at various locations around the city, and two more waiting to be installed. No city funds are used to sustain this program. Aside from a one-time grant, the entire initiative is community run. Local businesses donate fridges and electricity, the Malden Teen Enrichment Center decorates their protective boxes, existing organizations provide food and volunteers restock them every week. Much of the food comes from an organization in Arlington called Food Link, that saves unused food from local grocery stores. “Councilor Spadafora and I teamed up with them after learning about that particular organization when we volunteered […]

Arts

6th Annual Hispanic Festival offers a lively celebration

By Sabrina Monteiro On October 7, the North Shore Hispanic Association celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month for the 6th consecutive year in Malden. Among the local figures attending was Mayor Gary Christenson, who gave a speech about the importance of this celebration. “They say to never underestimate the power of music,” Mayor Christenson said, excited about the opportunity to showcase Hispanic culture in Malden. He finished by saying, “Gracias por estar aquí y disfruten el evento.”  Soon enough, everyone was on the dance floor. Iliana Sanchez, the 2023 Preteen Miss Honduras winner, began the festivities with her rendition of “I Am Woman.” Other performers followed, including Pumawari Tusuy, a traditional Peruvian dance group from the Boston area. Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15th to October 15th. The initiation of this celebration first began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson. It then expanded into the span of a month by President Ronald Reagan and turned into a law on August 17, 1988.  The event in Malden was held at the Malden […]

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Q&A with Mikeneil Paul, Director of the Malden Senior Center

By Jack Drees Mikeneil Paul has served as the Malden Senior Center’s program coordinator for more than two years. His days – Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. – include anything from meeting with the mayor or the city’s Council on Aging, to assisting anyone who needs him. Between tasks, activities, or solving problems, there’s always some new challenge for Paul. It is a job he continues to “take a lot of pleasure in,” whether dealing with seniors who come in every day, or only once a week. While they may not be family, Paul sees himself as the seniors’ noble grandson who rises to the occasion whenever called upon. And by making the job a staple of his life, Paul has become a factor in the center’s ongoing success. He recently took a moment out of his busy schedule to chat with Neighborhood View. How would you describe a typical day as the Program Coordinator of the Malden Senior Center? One of the things I actually like about this job is that […]