The recipients of this year’s Melrose Messina Fund for the Arts awards were honored at a special ceremony on Monday, June 8, in the Beebe Estate.
This year, as in previous years, the MMFA awards support a wide variety of new and innovative ideas that have enriched our community as a whole. While each of these events is enjoyable in its own right, the arts also bring many benefits to Melrose: They are an economic stimulus, they enrich us personally, and they help build community. I am grateful to the many artists and arts organizations who work so hard to ensure that Melrose has a rich cultural life, as well as to our hard-working MMFA Committee.
This year, the MMFA Committee granted a total of $10,000 to 13 different artists and arts organizations:
The Sally Frank Farmers’ Market, to support a weekly schedule of musical entertainment throughout the market season;
The Melrose Chamber of Commerce, to provide entertainment for the downtown Summer Stroll;
The New England Light Opera, to support a concert of music and poetry to honor the 100th anniversary of World War I;
The Trinity Episcopal Church Community Concert Series, to support the presentation of a classic silent movie, with live organ music, to honor the restoration of the church’s pipe organ;
Follow Your Art, to support for a program that invited Melrose citizens to create a work of art that illustrated something new or different in their lives. The finished works were displayed at several downtown locations;
Austin Smith, to support the performance of an original composition of his work at the Beethoven Society and Polymnia Choral Society;
The Intergenerational Spring Fling, to provide entertainment for this annual event in which senior citizens and high school students mingle in a festive evening of music, food, and entertainment;
The Irish Music Festival, to support an exchange program for students of traditional Irish music;
Polymnia Choral Society, to support their semi-staged version of Purcell’s operatic work, “Dido and Aeneas,” their first staging of a dramatic work under the direction of conductor Murray Kidd;
The Beethoven Society, to support their popular and long-lived free concert series;
Nicole Cacchiotti, to allow her to print and mount her photographs for display in the Windows Walk for this talented young photographer as she prepares her work for the Windows Art Walk in downtown Melrose;
Jubilate Ringers, to support their presentation of an acclaimed bell ringer group, Back Bay Ringers, in a presentation intended to showcase the talented musicians and support Bread of Life; and
Melrose Birth to Five, to support a children’s concert and community art project at Melrose Common, to coincide with the playground re-opening.
“When we promote the arts in a community like Melrose, everyone benefits: Musicians, artists, writers, children, adults, seniors,” said MMFA Committee Chair Nancy Kukura. “The MMFA is grateful for the opportunity to assist so many diverse individual artists and art programs as they strive to enrich Melrose’s cultural landscape.”
In addition to Kukura, the members of the MMFA Committee are Maggie Abdow, Brendan Carroll, Bonnie Cronin, Jean Dancewicz, Demi Dubois, Jennifer LeClerc, Tom Rosa, and Gina Tempesta.