Julia Talbot, a 2018 graduate of Medford High, painted four large-scale murals cross the school. The murals in classrooms incorporate the curriculum into the image to bring the material to life. The largest of the four murals can be found in English classroom C309, featuring about 73 influential authors and characters from across the literary canon; another WIP stars Beowulf with an electric guitar.
The efforts of Jenny Lu and Antonia Collins in CCSR for the 2017-2018 school year were dedicated to the creation and publication of a book called The Coloring Book. The book features poems written by Jenny and short stories based on interviews conducted by Antonia. The theme of The Coloring Book is racial justice, and in it readers can find the struggles, successes, and inspirational perseverance of people of color in and around the Medford community. Those featured in the book represent a variety of ages, races, ethnicities, orientations, beliefs, and experiences, but have in common a factor of themselves that makes aspects of their journeys similar yet very unique. Through The Coloring Book, the authors hope to provide comfort and hope, a sense of community and confidence, for people of color.
Jessica Dossantos, Jennifer Dossantos, and Lauren Brown focused their efforts for their 2017-2018 CCSR project at the Brooks Elementary School, creating a social space in the courtyard. The theme of the social space is the solar system. The three, along with other helpers, painted all the planets, as well as the sun and the moon, around the playground area. This project is beneficial to the students as well as to the teachers because the students will be more interactive and the teachers will have a way to encourage their students to learn about our world in a more creative way.
Jennifer, Jessica, and Sarah decided to do something that would give back to their community at their roots. All three attended the Brooks Elementary School for six years and that is where their friendship began. They wanted to help beautify the school and make it a place where students would feel welcome and inspired. They painted trees on poster boards and placed an inspirational quote in the middle of the tree. On the sides of the tree, they intend to have students from the school paint their fingerprints on it, leaving their mark so that every time they pass by the poster, they can read the quote and remember that they were a part of it.
For their project, Jenny Lu and Antonia Collins painted a mural at the Andrews Middle School. With the rainbow flag, it displays their message, “love is love and that unity wins”. It is a visual representation that gives hope for those who walk by it. A different design of the same mural was painted at Medford High School last year and they hope to expand this franchise to all public schools in Medford. Especially in times like these, it is important that our community stands by each other as family. Although they are just a few stripes and colors, they depict how as a city, we are supportive of any kind of love
Last year, CCSR members Matt Carroll and Jack Egan were upset by the lack of artistic opportunities in the Medford public elementary schools. In particular, they thought that there was a lack of theatrical opportunities. With the help of the Brooks school PTO and art teacher Ms. Susan Keefe, they performed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. They did two musical numbers, The Candy Man and Pure Imagination. This year, their show is the Wizard of Oz. They sang Over the Rainbow, Ding Dong the Witch is Dead, and Over the Yellow Brick Road.
Duncan, Chris, and Michael’s marching band’s project focuses on recruiting Medford middle school students for a small scale marching band. As members of the Medford High School Marching Band, the group witnesses the decline of young students’ interest in music, first hand. They believe that if they can spark the interests of young students, they can spark a flaming passion and curiosity for the ever expanding world of music.
This year, the CCSR members at the Curtis Tufts wanted to find a way to assist the elderly within the Medford community. Students made decorative Easter Egg baskets with the help of their art teacher, filled them with plastic eggs containing chocolates, candies, and little notes. The baskets were then delivered to the local elderly center in Medford Square.
This year, Hannah Rogers wrote a play that focused on transgender visibility. "My goal for this project is to spread awareness about transgender people in an entertaining way. After having a conversation with my friend, I realized that the transgender community is often not discussed and misunderstood." Hannah's primary focus was to work with transgender people to tell a story that will eliminate part of that confusion. Auditions were held in the winter and the play was put on in April.
Last year, seniors Jennifer Dossantos, Jessica Dossantos, Lauren Brown, and junior Isabella DeSouza set out to paint the Brooks Elementary School playground using the theme of the solar system. Because of the great success and the fantastic feedback they received, they decided to expand upon their project. This year, the group took their painting project to the Columbus School with the intention to make the playground into a more interactive space where the students could both learn and play together.
Seniors Shubhecchha Dhaurali and Niamh Keane were intrigued by artist Fells Day Artist who makes beautiful art pieces and sculptures out of trash people throw away on an everyday basis. To spread awareness of Medford’s carbon footprint and how we are fighting it, they made a Public Service Announcement which included an interview with the artist, their art, and also highlighted other environmental initiatives of Medford.
This year, Gabrielle Yamamoto and Tenzin Dhesel sought out to capture just who Medford was, is, and will be through a series of murals that express Medford’s history, culture, and most importantly, the people. "Our mission statement is to bring Medford into a new age through public beautification."
This year, Amine Nazih, Lucy Grehan, and Nicolas DaSilva set out to create a program at the McGlynn Elementary School that helped promote proper ways to approach a problem. The three painted a problem solving wheel at the Elementary School which serves as a reference for the students on on how to solve everyday problems.
This year, musically talented students Isabelle and Arielle Bezerra held community concerts in Medford. "When we were looking for a way to give back to our community, we thought about what we were truly passionate about." Following their passion of music, they performed for the elderly at the local nursing homes and hospitals in Medford Square. "We want to share the gift of live music and fun with them, but also just spend time and interact with the people and bring them joy as well."
This year, Medford Calling students collaborated with the CCSR to host an event focused on music that addresses social issues. Students and teachers from both groups met weekly to research songs from the present and past that address social issues and compile them into playlists. Students partook in songwriting sessions focused on social justice issues with a focus on incorporating other creations inspired by artists or songs that focus on social justice issues. The students also learned to play songs by other artists that focus on social issues and performed them for the student body. "We hope to shine light on key issues that are highlighted in pop culture and bring them to the student population."
This group's goal was to have students' artwork portrayed on the school banner so that they are always encouraged to fulfill the Mustang Way. They ended up using a W.I.N. block to have the students and some staff decorate an index card that shows what the Mustang Way means to them. They added a Mustang head and a quote saying, “Mustang Way...every day!” Mrs. Fee, the art teacher, helped them finalize the banner. This project was made possible by grants from the Cummings Foundation and the Krystle Campbell Betterment Project.
In what we hope will be an ongoing partnership between McGlynn CCSR and Northeast Animal Shelter, the Volunteer Coordinator at the shelter enlisted the help of these five artistic 2nd-graders to design a new mural to hang up in the shelter. The shelter walls are covered with art by a variety of local artists, and we were honored to be asked to contribute our own work of art. The students came up with their own designs featuring dogs and cats and centered around the theme of community. Over the weeks, they sketched, transferred, and finally painted their beautiful scene of a neighborhood for cats and dogs. They hope that their mural will be a cheerful addition to the walls of the shelter!
This group of first graders was happy to take a paintbrush in hand and create a way in order to provide happiness for someone else. The goal of this group was to paint on canvases provided by the nonprofit group Art for Hospice. They first decided on where their art would be donated. Most students quickly chose to honor veterans at the Soldier’s Home in Chelsea, MA. A few students made it known that their preference was to have their artwork given to ill residents at a local hospice center. The students worked hard over many weeks designing, sketching and finally painting on the 11x14 canvases, with the help of PTG volunteer moms Renee Hanley and Vanessa Amero. Additionally, students created cards to accompany their artwork telling about themselves and the inspiration for their work.
The students in this group wanted to make someone’s day brighter by providing painted canvases for residents at either a hospice center or the Soldier’s Home for veterans in Chelsea, MA. They worked hard designing, sketching, and finally painting canvases provided by the nonprofit group Art for Hospice. The completed 11x14 canvases had uplifting, happy pictures that would be provided to brighten up rooms for residents. This group also provided cards to accompany their canvases and explain their inspiration for the art.