Arts and Culture Summit

The Medford Arts & Culture Summit was huge success! We look forward to continuing the public conversation about future opportunities.

The Medford Arts & Culture Summit was huge success! We look forward to continuing the public conversation about future opportunities.

What does the future of our arts and culture landscape look like? What is changing in Medford’s creative community? How can we form new collaborations, undertake innovative projects on a larger scale, and build capacity among our arts and cultural organizations?

To engage the public in these questions and others, the Medford Arts Council convened a citywide ‘Arts and Culture Summit’ on Saturday, November 14, 2015, in the Adlen Memorial Chambers of Medford City Hall. This special forum brought together more than 70 interested individuals and community stakeholders, who together represented more than 40 local organizations, for a collaborative visioning process focused on the arts, humanities, and creative economy.

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The event, the first of a series, was a huge success in creating new knowledge and new relationships that will be broadly useful to participants and those served by their programs and projects.

Said one participant: “I am totally energized by the ideas and capacity of these fabulous people in our fabulous city.”

Another participant commented that: “The possibilities and opportunities are endless—can’t wait to see where all of the energy leads!”

You can download our first report about the findings of our community summit here: Medford Arts and Culture Report.

The afternoon’s program was organized around small group discussions and open exchange seeking to identify common needs, overlapping goals, and shared aspirations for enhancing a wide array of cultural activities throughout the community. Members of the Medford Arts Council facilitated conversations among summit participants in order to generate and collect information that will be shared afterwards with the entire community as part of a grassroots cultural planning process.

Input derived from recent community outreach suggests that many residents believe Medford is poised to take a significant step forward in realizing the great potential here to create an even more vibrant and diverse cultural scene. The City’s decision to double its funding for the Medford Arts Council and the voter adoption of the Community Preservation Act are just two indicators of a new level of commitment to a shared future.

Ongoing public participation is critical to the success of our grassroots cultural planning process, and the Medford Arts Council invites residents to continue contributing ideas and inspiration to this important effort. Use the hashtag #MedfordArts to share you thoughts. The summit was also among the first events in Medford Conversations project, which aims “to include and actively engage a multiplicity of voices in our community. Through conversations, the project hopes to encourage people to create and act on visions for a sustainable, just, and thriving Medford.” You can learn more about the project at this link: Medford Conversations.

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Summit participants included members of a great variety of community groups:

  • Brooks Elementary School
  • The Medford–Brooks Estate Land Trust
  • CACHE—The Coalition for Arts, Culture, and a Healthy Economy in Medford
  • The Chevalier Theatre
  • The Friends of the Chevalier Auditorium and Gene Mack Gymnasium
  • The Chevalier Theatre Organ Society
  • The Chevalier Commission
  • Medford Chamber of Commerce
  • The City of Medford Department of Community Development
  • The City of Medford Department of Energy and Environment
  • The City of Medford Department of Human Rights and Diversity
  • Medford Human Rights Commission
  • Medford Conservation Commission
  • Medford Historical Commission
  • Medford City Council
  • Columbus Elementary School PTO
  • Dance Caliente
  • The Earthos Institute of Somerville
  • Grace Episcopal Church
  • Green Street Studios of Cambridge
  • Haitian Artists Assembly of Massachusetts
  • Jerome Street Studios
  • The Massachusetts Cultural Council
  • Medford Arts Center, Inc. (MACI)
  • Medford Community Coalition
  • Medford Conversations Initiative
  • Medford Education Foundation
  • Medford Farmers Market
  • Medford Film Collaborative
  • Medford Historical Society and Museum
  • Medford Garden Club
  • Medford High School
  • Medford Public Library
  • Friends of the Medford Public Library
  • Monkey House dance company
  • Mystic River Watershed Association
  • Plein Air in the Square
  • The Royall House and Slave Quarters
  • Sanctuary UCC
  • The Thursday Fortnightly Club
  • Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University
  • Tufts University department of Drama & Dance
  • Tufts University department of Music
  • The Urban Culture Institute of Boston
  • West Medford Community Center
  • West Medford Open Studios
  • West Medford Reading Club
  • Works in Progress Artists Group