Category Archives: Cultural

Cultural & arts at MSH

There has been a lot of information developed about possible inclusion of arts and/or cultural aspects at the MSH site.  Early on there was a highly polished, thoughtful, and well developed Cultural Visioning Presentation made to the MSH-MPC (see copy here).  There is also the nearby example of the Hopkinton Center for the Arts, which seems to be doing extremely interesting things in a town with similar demographics.

Earlier this month I asked one of the foremost proponents of integrating cultural and arts at the MSH site, Jean Mineo, about the issues, and she shared with me the following email:

Hi Pete,

Thanks for asking!

Louise Stevens, the consultant who met with us in December suggested the following to support our efforts considering where we were at the time:

  • Work with the Medfield and surrounding arts and cultural organizations and individual creative sector entrepreneurs to determine the ways in which the facility(ies) can meet needs and growth plans/opportunities:
  • Review of other prospective users from the creative sector within New England, done through on-line surveying distributed broadly to the cultural sector through available list serves, to determine if organizations and entrepreneurs from outside the Medfield area might potentially move to the campus.
  • Review of the facility in the context of space needs to determine viability and fit.
  • Comparison analysis of similar facilities (adaptive reuse of church buildings) and campuses (historic campuses) for the purpose of developing budgetary models as well as models of annual visitation/use, revenue sources, programming, and impacts on tourism and local economy.
  • Market analysis and competitive analysis to determine the geographic service area and niche for the proposed cultural center.
  • Gap analysis within a market area (size to be determined) to evaluate what could best fit into the facilities/grounds.
  • Partnership analysis to determine other potential synergistic user groups/uses.
  • Programming, financial, operating, staffing and governance modeling.
  • (Potentially) essential cost estimates for capital planning purposes.

This estimate at the time was $24,000 but she already did part of this when she met with us for the full day, and we’ve done some of this on our own. In addition, we’d now collaborate with VHB who could be helpful in the cost estimates. I’ve had follow up conversations with Louise about our progress. That’s where my estimate of $10-20k comes from. I think we’d be closer to the $10k if we are able to coordinate with VHB. If this happens after they are done with their analysis part, the price may get closer to the $15-20 range.

Gil and I read her work / plan she completed with the Hopkinton Center for the Arts and were both very impressed. The plan is the reason why they were able to raise $450k from the MA Cultural Facilities Fund. I’d say that’s a sound investment. The issue with funders (I’ve spoken to three about funding this) is that they have no commitment that culture will be included at this time.

If the preferred plan indicates SOME area / portion of MSH for culture, we (or the town) could apply for a grant from MA Cultural Facilities Fund (2014 deadline was Nov. 21), grants are announced the following March. Timing is definitely an issue when working with funding agencies. I’m not entirely comfortable with that strategy however, without some back up like the proposed market analysis. Louise also has a track record of finding partners on these projects – a valuable skill for us. However, I am open to using another consultant.

I know it’s not chump change – but it also seems like a small investment if we sincerely want something different from the MSH project and for our town.

I appreciate your helping to think about this and I’m happy to talk to anyone or present to anyone –





Cultural Alliance newsletter

You should subscribe to the Cultural Alliance’s monthly newsletter, which came out today.

Cultural Alliance of Medfield

Cultural Alliance of Medfield

May 15, 2015
of Medfield

Dear Medfield Board of Selectmen (and Town Departments),

We wanted to bring to your attention, the current initiative of the Cultural Alliance of Medfield.  We are reaching out to multiple organizations throughout town as a way of understanding how best to connect with these groups as integral members in the Cultural Alliance of Medfield.

This new organization grew out of an initiative of the Medfield Cultural District when the committee chose to adopt a larger vision of including all of Medfield’s cultural activities in a comprehensive platform, not just the ones defined by the District’s downtown boundaries.  Thus, the Alliance welcomes under its umbrella many organizations and its town-wide public programs while the District continues a more localized approach.

How can local organizations benefit fully in the new Cultural Alliance of Medfield?
• Regularly email program calendars including graphics to
•Submit newsworthy articles by the 20th of each month for publication in the Alliance’s free monthly newsletter
•Subscribe to the Alliance’s newsletter (Keep up with Medfield Culture!)
•Adopt a link to the Cultural Alliance in other organization’s newsletter and promotions

Please share this information about inclusion in the Cultural Alliance of Medfield with the various Town departments as we all develop a stronger and more dynamic community presence.

Diane Borrelli
Kristen Chin
Kirtsen D’ Abate
Rob Gregg
Jean Mineo
Bill Pope
Sarah Raposa
(Steering Committee)

The Alliance has applied to the IRS for Section 501 © (3) status as a charitable organization; approval is pending.

Cultrual Council honors Jean Mineo 5/7

From Ron Gustavson –


On Thursday May 7, please join the Massachusetts Cultural Council in presenting Jean Mineo with their Leadership Circle Award. The presentation and reception will take place at Zullo Gallery from 6 to 7 p.m., followed by Zullo Gallery’s First Thursday from 7 to 10 p.m.

Please join us, officials of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, State Legislators, the Medfield Selectmen, and other dignitaries as we celebrate Jean Mineo’s activism in support of Arts and Culture in our community. Jean has been the moving force behind all of Medfield’s recent public art installations– the current example being Catherine Evans’ “Thistle” installation which is soon to open at the former Medfield State Hospital site.

In her last two years as Medfield Cultural Council Chair, Jean led the effort to secure funds from the town to match the MA Cultural Council allocation, creating documentation for other Councils to follow. She also created the volunteer-led Art in Public Places, to enhance Medfield’s public spaces through temporary or permanent art works, installations and programs. Her Council-supported public art project Vision and Voices was one of four winners of a national competition in the CommunityMatters “Successful Communities Contest.” Mineo serves on the steering committee to create a Cultural District, and the new Medfield Cultural Alliance to support, nurture, and promote arts and cultural organizations and artists across disciplines and levels of expertise. In her consulting, Jean has managed seven permanent public art installations in Boston and beyond in recent years. She currently manages the Boston Sculptors Gallery (since 2006), and previously led the JP Open Studios and the New Art Center in Newton.

“The MCC is pleased to honor Jean Mineo for her exceptional service to Medfield,” said Anita Walker, MCC Executive Director. “Jean embodies all the best qualities of our local cultural council volunteers: a passion for the arts, civic spirit, and a willingness to work hard to make her community a better place.”

Leadership Circle Awards are nominated by Local Cultural Council members and are evaluated by a Massachusetts Cultural Council-appointed panel. The LCC Program is the largest volunteer-run, grassroots arts funding program in the nation, supporting thousands of community-based projects in the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences annually.

Please join us on May 7th to honor our Medfield neighbor and cultural force, Jean Mineo!

Cultural Alliance email

Everyone should sign up to get the emails from the Cultural Alliance – too much good information to miss – see the one today here.



Make art this Sat. at 2PM

The Thistle project is community made art that will be installed this spring at the former Medfield State Hospital site.  A thistle is the pink prickly thing on the table in the photo, which are easily made with simple instructions.  The thistles will be wrapped around trees at the MSH site.

Jean Mineo invited you to her event
Thistle Making Workshop
Saturday, March 28 at 2:00pm
Medfield Public Library in Medfield, Massachusetts
Free and open to the public, drop in for as long as you like. All materials provided. “Thistles” is an art installation made from plastic cable ties, wrapped around trees. You are invited to learn how

Thistle coming to MSH

Thistle: a temporary art project at Medfield State Hospital
Submitted by Jean Mineo, Art in Public Places, a Medfield Foundation Inc. initiative

Exhibition dates: May – October, 2015


Thistle is a temporary outdoor exhibition of plastic “collars”, installed around tree trunks as a tribute to trees. It is based on a piece the artist created for an ancient apple tree in her backyard. The project first became public in 2011 with nine bands installed as part of Art in the Park, in historic Elm Park (Worcester).

Evans realized the celebratory appropriateness of both the bright pink color and form. The Long Horned Beetle infestation had forced the removal of 28,000 trees, leaving both parks and people devastated. These bands of “Thistles” gave the trees a very distinct look of celebration as victors of the blight. Other installations have occurred in Concord, Stockbridge, Providence, RI and Stowe,

Each Thistle band is customized in size to the tree, made of plastic hardware cloth and ties, and affixed around the tree by tying the ends of the band together. The tree is not harmed and the bands are easily removed at the end.

An installation of up to 24 Thistles is proposed for the trees lining Hospital Road and within the adjacent open space. Volunteers will be asked to adopt and assemble a Thistle (with instruction from Evans). The artist will run a workshop at Zullo Gallery in March, installation is proposed for May – October.

The goal is to draw attention to the open space at the front of the property and engage people in thinking about the property in a new way (other than a hospital). Funding will be sought from the Cultural Council and sponsors. No additional insurance is needed.

Catherine Evans is a Boston based artist. Her art deals with the repurposing of common objects; transforming everyday materials into the powerful, and the unordinary; stretching preconceived notions about that object. Multiples and repetition are an important part of her work.