I announced the Messina Grants in my inaugural address in January, and I am happy to say that the Messina Grant Committee formally launched the program at the Victorian Fair last week. The goal of the Melrose Messina Fund for the Arts (MMFA) is to supplement the budgets of local arts organizations and individual artists in order to encourage diversity in arts presentations in the City of Melrose and to provide broad-based arts experiences to the citizens of Melrose.
Any Melrose artist or organization can apply for funding to support arts activities that will take place in Melrose. Grant criteria include local focus, value to the community, and innovative qualities, and preference will be given to projects that include an opportunity to share the outcome with the Melrose community in the form of a demonstration, art show, or performance.
Named for Joe Messina, who was the Director of Fine Arts for the Melrose Public Schools for many years, the Messina Grants are intended to supplement the Melrose Cultural Council grants; artists are encouraged to apply to all available funding sources.
We are starting off the Messina Grants with funding from the city budget, and the committee will be doing some fund-raising to increase the amount of the grants over time. The committee members are Nancy Kukura, Gina Tempesta, Brendan Carroll, Tom Sutherland, Jennifer Leclerc, Bonnie Cronin, and Jean Dancewicz, and I want to thank them for all their hard work in getting this program off the ground.