Malden Reads Grand Opening Kicks-off 2013 Events
Malden Reads kicked-off its 2013 series of events with a grand opening celebration that drew more than 200 people to the Malden Public Library on Feb. 21. Organized by the local grassroots group Malden Reads, the free evening of culture and community featured music, dance and cultural exhibits from area performers and local groups.
Malden Reads co-facilitator Anne D’Urso-Rose said it was a great start for Malden Reads 2013, adding it was very much a team effort.
“We have over 20 people on the Malden Reads planning committee and we do a great deal of outreach and involve many organizations, businesses, and residents," she said. “It's so amazing to see it all coming together during the Opening Celebration...it's pretty magical.”
Malden Reads promotes both literacy and community by inviting the community to share a good book and then participate in community events based on its themes. The featured selection for Malden Reads 2013 is the “Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie. Told with humor and wit, the book tells of a young Native American who lives on an Indian reservation, but transfers to the mostly-white school nearby in search of a better life.
D’Urso-Rose said the book’s focus on straddling a traditional culture with a contemporary American culture made it a good fit for Malden, which is one the most diverse communities in the state, with a high percentage of recent immigrants. The cultural exhibits, food, and performances at the Opening Celebration reflected that diversity.
Malden Reads is hosting a movie series, community meals at local eateries, book discussions and more in coming weeks. A calendar of events is now available on www.maldenreads.org or you can pick up a copy at the Malden Public Library, MATV, or City Hall.
“We're so excited to offer a substantial series of events and activities lined up for the coming months,” D’Urso-Rose states. “Hopefully, there's something for everyone, no matter your age, background, or area of interest.
Now in its third year, the program is organized by local residents, community groups, city leaders, and school representatives, in collaboration with the Malden Public Library and Malden Access Television.
Co-facilitator Jodie Zalk states, “The way that this project has brought people together has just been a joy to watch, and to see how it's evolved and how many people made a strong connection--it's been amazing.”
The featured performer for the grand opening was Native American flutist and storyteller Joseph Firecrow, who had two performances at the packed Ryder Gallery. Firecrow is a Grammy-nominated artist who has won numerous awards for his recordings and performances.
Among those enjoying the show was local resident Karen Hayes, who opined that Malden Reads was off to a good start for 2013. “Malden Reads did us all a favor tonight…Joseph Firecrow’s performance was powerful, both musically and spiritually,” she said. “I could have listened to him all night—it was a pleasure just to be in his presence.”
For more information about Malden Reads and upcoming events, visit www.maldenreads.org.
Link to photos from the opening celebration: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.350223428425087.80977.100003122980070&type=1&l=bb68cbbcd7