Arts & Culture Summit Program

On March 9, 2019, MATV hosted an Arts & Culture Summit to imagine the next steps for Malden’s art and culture community, also referred to as creative economy players. This page contains video and information about this event. For information about forthcoming meetings (Summit Sessions), visit the Summit Followup page.

Arts & Culture Summit Program


Ron Cox, Executive Director of MATV, Malden’s Media Center, greeted a crowd with several language translations of “Welcome” and set the stage for the Arts & Culture Summit as “an opportunity to bring people together, focus on building and nurturing arts and culture in our city, and creating change through our civic involvement.”
Shikha Vyas, a member of the planning team, greeted the attendees with Namaste. In Hindi and English, she described Malden and its perfect mix of different cultural and traditional flavor as a “splendid song of togetherness.”
मिले सुर मेरा तुम्हारा ,तो सुर बने हमारा ।
Anne D’Urso-Rose, Associate Director of MATV, Malden’s Media Center provided more detailed context into MATV’s current interest in expanding offerings to include support of arts and culture. She also emphasized the importance of honoring what makes Malden unique – its incredible diversity.
Ose Schwab, Owner of Malden Creates, LLC and Director of The Gallery, shared briefly about the learning from The Gallery, a year-long extended popup gift shop and art gallery. Before introducing a slide show of current and future event highlights in Malden, she emphasized the need for skill diversity as Malden builds its arts and culture ecosystem.

Art Story and Performance

Mcebisi Xotyeni, Jean Appolon Expressions Company Dancer, performed an excerpt from Vwayaj, a dance performed to spoken dialogue about the experience and shame of immigrating to the United States.

Jean Appolon, Choreographer, Teacher, Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Jean Appolon Expressions, describes how he found dance as a way to survive the effects of personal tragedy and later to offer dance as a source of hope and life for others – especially youth. Dan Koff, President of the Board of Jean Appolon Expressions, shares about the JAE programs.

Keynote: Creating an Arts Center — the Watertown Experience

Vincent J. Piccirilli, Jr., Treasurer of The Dorothy and Charles Mosesian Center for the Arts, Watertown Town Council Vice President delivered a featured presentation about the creation of The Dorothy and Charles Mosesian Center for the Arts in his city. Decades ago, the building operated as a military arsenal and then as a mall until 14 years ago when the Mosesian was founded. Now, the performance space includes a theatre, as well as multiple restaurants and shops. Slide images below or as a pdf download.


Erin Wu, Voice and Ziping Wang, Guitar, provided background jazz music as people registered and greeted one another.
Vivek Sonar, Indian Classical Flute, played classical Indian flute.
Jeantilus Gedeus, Saxophone, delighted the audience with an instrumental version of the Beatles’ “Let it Be”.

Closing Remarks


Vincent J. Piccirilli, Jr. has served on the Board of Directors for The Dorothy and Charles Mosesian Center for the Arts since 2013. He is currently serving as Treasurer.
Piccirilli has also been active with the Watertown Town Council, elected in 2008 and currently serving as the Council Vice President; Chair of Committee on Budget and Fiscal Oversight; Chair of Committee on Public Works; Vice Chair of Committee on Public Safety; Secretary of Committee on Economic Development and Planning; and Member of School Building Committee.

Piccirilli works with Kidde-Fenwal-Inc., subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation as a Business Analyst in the Climate, Controls, and Security Group, manufacturing industrial fire protection products under the Kidde Fire Systems brand name.Mosesian Center for the Arts Treasurer and Watertown City Councilor.

Jean Appolon, a resident of Malden, is Director and Cofounder of Jean Appolon Expressions. In addition to being the Co-founder and Artistic Director of Jean Appolon Expressions (JAE), Jean Appolon is a successful choreographer and master teacher based in Boston and Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Appolon received his earliest training and performance opportunities in Port-au-Prince with the Viviane Gauthier Dance Company and the Folkloric Ballet of Haiti. Appolon continued his dance education in the U.S. at the Harvard and Radcliffe Dance Program (1995-1996, Boston, MA), Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (1996-1998, New York, NY) and the Joffrey American Ballet School (1998-2003, New York, NY), where he graduated with a B.A. from a joint degree program offered by The New School. For a complete biography, visit:

Jean Appolon Expressions. Based in Boston, JAE is a Haitian contemporary dance company, directed by Jean Appolon. Combining Modern technique and Haitian folkloric dance, JAE brings a new artistic vernacular to its audiences. With its dynamic repertoire, JAE educates audiences about Haitian culture, traditions, history and current issues. JAE fulfills its mission to preserve Haitian folkloric culture while constantly enlivening the art form in a way that is vital, accessible, inspiring and educational. JAE is comprised of dancers from diverse backgrounds, each of whom who are committed to JAE’s mission to use dance to share Haitian culture.


Erin Wu is a Berklee student and member of newly formed pop band Recolor. This band is made up of 5 Berklee students. They have performed for many major events including Dealmoon night market, Yami gala, and MIT/BC Chinese New Year gala at John Hancock Hall. They have just had a tour in Shanghai, China in 2018 summer. Instagram:

Ziping Wang is a guitarist and Berklee student who performs in the Greater Boston area.

Mcebisi Xotyeni, of Cape Town, South Africa, is a professional dancer, teacher, and choreographer. He began dancing with the outreach program Dance For All, where he trained extensively in ballet, African, contemporary, and hip hop. He was awarded a full scholarship with Dance For All and eventually began working for the professional dance company iKapa Dance Theatre. He has also worked with leading companies in South Africa such as Cape Town City Ballet, Suede Productions, and Sibonelo Dance Project. He has performed for numerous festivals and has collaborated with international artists for performances and outreach projects.

Vivek Sonar, a resident of Malden, is a melodious flutist from India. He is disciple of Hindustani Classical flutist Shri Sunil Patil (Zee Yuva Sangit Samrat fame) under teacher-disciple lineage from last 8 years. Vivek has performed on various stages in India and Colombia. He was part of most prestigious flute symphony of India “Bansuri Utsav” and shared stage with Padma vibhushan Pandit Hariprasad ji Chaurasia . He was also part of largest flute ensemble , which is recorded in Limca book of records . His expertise is in exploring ragas and raga based songs.

Jeantilus Gedeus teaches English at the Immigrant Learning Center in Malden. Originally from Haiti, Gedeus is trained as a teacher and also plays multiple instruments and sings.
Gedeus utilizes his musical skills to help students learn English more quickly. In 2016 Gedeus was recognized as a Mass Literacy Champion award recipient. This recognition earned him additional funds that allowed him to further develop his teaching songs and chants repertoire.


During the Arts & Culture Summit, participants met as groups by topic to share observations and possible experiments for key topics pertaining to the Arts & Culture ecosystem of Malden. Daniel Koff led this portion of the summit, with the assistance of designated facilitators who helped each group use a methodology known as “Innovator’s Compass”.

By Ela Ben-Ur &

Discussion Topics: Each group discussed the following topics and gathered notes. These notes are available in google docs and in an online Innovator’s Compass tool. To access the results of these discussions, click on the links below.

  • Collaborative funding: identifying and using funding sources for collaborative projects, programming, or space
  • Programming: events, festivals, and inclusion
  • Municipal Capacity: availability and flexibility of city properties, staff, policies, resources, funds, and processes for the sake of arts/culture growth in Malden
  • Cultural space development: utilizing, buying, sharing, and/or leasing available spaces in Malden for the use of Arts and Culture entities, projects, players.

Experiments: The idea for the discussion groups was to end with a list of experiments, concrete action steps, to followup on. A preliminary list of experiments was generated, though some groups did not have time to get to this final step. A preliminary list is provided below. A list of combined experiments and ideas is available in a sgoogle sheet. This will be updated as teams meet.sss

  • Start a media campaign covering positive activities in Malden (Note: The Boston Globe cut back on Regional section.)
  • Use to publicize events(Ari Taylor,
  • Form a Committee to flesh out a Collaborative Funding Plan
    Push for art support with elected officials in time for coming election and final budget.  (Mass Creative offers Create the Vote)
  • Propose Art-Culture Liaison in City Government: an arts person on mayor’s staff to support arts and community (Culture).
  • Add affordability requirement to developers (trying to pass currently). Watertown has gone from 10% to 15%. In 2010 it was 10% in 2020 will be under 10
  • Add ballot question about affordability housing
    Department of Public Works could be RFP (Request for Proposal)
  • Form Advocacy-coalition artist/cultural groups
  • Start an arts commission
  • Use Commerce Place as art exhibit space for more than 3 months
  • Initiate a Cultural Asset Mapping: identify all artists, spaces, and venues
  • Plan Festivals
  • Regional outreach/study what other groups are doing outside Malden, especially on North Shore
  • Develop cultural / arts spaces

Promise Cards: As a way to capture attendees’ interest in helping with various as projects, including proposed experiments (above), attendees received a “promise card,” a survey tool devised and used by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. Follow the link above to complete the promise card.

Click link to complete card


Special thanks to many individuals who donated space, talent, goods, and time to help make this Arts & Culture Summit possible.

Preotle, Lane & Associates (“PLA”) have generously offered the beautiful conference room overlooking the Malden River as the site for this Arts & Culture Summit. “This magnificent 30-acre mixed-use project developed by Preotle, Lane & Associates (“PLA”) including “green” office/lab buildings, luxury housing, retail, including a specialty food market and a restaurant, fronting on a spectacular river park, minutes from Boston and Cambridge just north of the Wellington MBTA station in Medford, MA.”

Daniel Koff, Regional Arts and Culture Planning, Metropolitan Area Planning Council and member of Board of Directors for Jean Appolon Expressions.
Daniel Solomon Koff is a design consultant who creates shared social, cultural, and multi-sensory experiences. His work ranges from urban placemaking to interactive installations, from the downtowns of old industrial cities, to the galleries of contemporary art museums. Koff has a Masters in Design Studies with a concentration in Art, Design, and the Public Domain from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. In college he earned a dual bachelor’s degree in Social Design and History with a minor in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis.

Elena Martinez — Designer-Founder of Artfort Design Studio, Malden
20+ years of experience working in a wide range of environments, that include large-small consulting firms, single-startups, personal brands, and product companies. Our design approach includes proven methods such as UX (User Experience), IA (Information Architecture) and CD (Circular Design) to clarify the needs of users / usages and the nature of your project.
Every request that comes to the studio . . . branding for a new business, developing corporate materials, websites, flyers, business cards, event branding or just idea visioning . . . is received with the intention of designing a piece that uncovers extraordinary possibility for IMPACT and ACTION toward building the healthy and valuable future for your product or service.

Arts & Culture Summit Planning Team
Anne D’Urso-Rose, Associate Director of MATV, Malden’s Media Center
Ron Cox, Executive Director of MATV, Malden’s Media Center
Shikha Vyas, Diwali Festival Malden Event Coordinator
Ose Schwab, Owner of Malden Creates, LLC and Director of The Gallery

Dan Koff, Lead Facilitator
Bob Greene, Coach & Consultant,
Felicia Ryan, Writer, MATV Board Member,
Marcel Schwab, Analyst Consultant, The Gallery CFO
Janette Santos, Artist
Natasha Kayulu, Consultant
Ose Schwab

Coffee & Snacks generously donated by
Freerange Café
325 Rivers Edge Dr. Medford

Lauretta James
Christine DeRosa

Media Production
James Mudge, Director of Programming & Production
Hailey Hao, Educational Access Coordinator
Claire Foley, Emerson College Student

Audio Visual
Guillermo Hamlin, MATV Membership & Outreach Coordinator
Terlonzo Amos, MATV Director of Operations
Emily Goldhammer, Still photography

Video/Photo Documentation
Masio Dotson
Ansie Similien
Josephine Royal, MATV Office Manager

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