Mary Jo Rossetti's Response to the Arts & Culture Questionnaire

I have a heartfelt belief of the importance of all forms of art in our lives. When I served on the School Committee I was an advocate of increased funding for our school department's music and art programs. Our district now provides free access for all students, unlike any other district in the Commonwealth.

Future development in our community must take notice of the need to include our starving artists in the plan. I was elated to play a role in working with the community during the discussions with the developers of the Powder House Community School site. They were forward thinking in this regard. Some of their plans are noted below:

"Artist Community:

The Maker's Space amenity fulfills the work part of the live/work equation and will be a collaborative space for our onsite artist community, as well as visiting artists. The Maker's amenity space shall include a 400 square foot art patio open to the sky and a makers' garden space (4,940 sf) outdoor terrace that is thickly vegetated.

Artists will be invited in the community to participate in a number of arts including performance art, live arts and installations. Spaces for installations are included throughout including:

Live Mural - This "artscape" is open to anyone who seeks a large canvas to express themselves in the community context. No artist will feel ownership here and the retaining wall for the live mural changes week to week, and month to month.

Amphitheater - This seating area will carve into the landscape, and is oriented to the "Artist Hall" commercial space. It will be constructed to accommodate a large audience and landscape to provide a soft seating area.

Freedom Wall - The Freedom Wall is a platform for open expression from local artists. Once a year, one artist, or a group of artists will   be selected to create a piece of art that is a symbol of the freedom of expression that exemplifies the Somerville community. This piece will be displayed along Broadway for the community to enjoy as they pass by.

MarKa is actively seeking additional community partners who wish to collaborate in this progressive community."

Additionally, I barely ever miss an Arts Council event in our community. My family and I are proud to host a band on our front porch during Porch Fest (one of my very favorite events) and are also one of the "chosen homes" on the Holiday trolley tour. Jazz Fest is another comforting community event. Who can forget Art Beat, Honk, Open Studios, the list goes on and on.


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