Monday, April 27, 2009

Congratulations! Malden Window Arts Project Wins State Award

Announcement from the Office of Malden Mayor Richard C. Howard, May 2007:

Courtesy photo

Malden Window Arts Project Wins State Award

The Malden Windows Art Project, created by Malden residents Naomi Brave and Kelvy Bird, has received a Gold Star Award from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

The Gold Star Awards annually honor outstanding projects funded by Local Cultural Councils across the state. These projects celebrate diversity, foster collaboration, showcase artistic excellence and provide learning experiences for people of all ages and backgrounds. Nominees are evaluated based on a variety of criteria including artistic quality, success in reaching out to underserved constituents, educational value and ability to engage with the community.

The Malden Windows Art Project was one of only 11 programs in the state to receive this recognition. This, according to the Massachusetts Cultural Council, is quite an accomplishment given that local cultural councils awarded grants to more than 5,000 projects statewide in this past fiscal year.

The Malden Window Arts Project is a new annual citywide arts event that engages downtown Malden storefront businesses as showcase venues for local artists. Launched in 2006, the three-week exhibit spread over storefronts throughout the downtown, and was kicked off by an outdoor festival that honored Malden's diversity with performances by a youth dance school, a Chinese orchestra, a faith-based youth choir and band, and others. The kick-off festival included printed maps, guided walking tours, an interactive mural wall, and other features to help people access and enjoy the exhibit

As a juried exhibit, Window Arts was almost like a sprawling downtown gallery including painting, photography, 3-D installations and media art. The project catalyzed community involvement, attracting dozens of volunteers. The project also bridged connections between Malden's growing artist community and the city's business owners and residents.

Massachusetts Cultural Council Program Coordinator Julie Martini recently presented a citation to Ms. Brave and Ms. Bird during a ceremony at the Office of Malden Mayor Richard C. Howard. Also on hand were members of the Malden Cultural Council and State Representative Christopher Fallon. Both Howard and Fallon have been longtime supporters of the arts in Malden.