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“Words on the Water” & “Project Misik” on the Malden River

September 24, 2022 @ 10:00 am 5:00 pm

Heavy Sky

Join us for a special community day to remember!
“Words on the Water” (10am – 2pm) & “Project Misik” (12pm – 5pm)
“The Boat Yard” behind the Malden DPW City Yard
356 Commercial St. Malden

Malden Reads & Project Misik collaborate on a day-long community event celebrating nature, community and cultural expression in a “hidden” spot along the Malden River that will someday be transformed into a climate resilient waterfront park accessible to all.

“Words on the Water” (10am – 2pm)

Malden Reads, the Friends of the Malden River, and Malden River Works, with support from the City of Malden, invite participants to celebrate themes from the 2022 Malden Reads book selection, An American Sunrise by former US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo. The event will feature:

  • Blessing of the water & opening ceremony
  • Free canoe rides
  • Storytelling & poetry
  • Family activities & games led by local Native American tribe members
  • Demo of a Native American canoe & more
  • Native arts & crafts for sale
  • Join in traditional dancing

Featured Guest: Annawon Weeden
With a great many miles on his moccasins, Annawon has travelled extensively throughout Turtle Island & beyond.  Blistering cold trips to remote Alaskan villages, workshops within the desert of the southwest, performing on tropical islands such as Hawaii or Bermuda, Annawon has witnessed firsthand how other tribes maintain their sovereignty, which has reinforced his pride within his own New England native tribal roots.  With ancestry representing his Pequot & Narragansett lineage, Annawon is also an enrolled member of his mother’s Mashpee Wampanoag community of Cape Cod.  As sole proprietor, much of his free time is spent creating indigenous art such as his wampum jewelry fashion line (First Light Fashion) or representing the indigenous voice while conducting educational and environmental programming under the label of First Light Fun. All of the work Annawon does falls under the umbrella of his organization, the First Light Foundation firstlightfoundation.net

Andre StrongBearHeart Gaines, Jr.
Andre StrongBearHeart is a citizen of the Nipmuc people. He serves as a cultural steward for his Tribe, is a father, public speaker, traditional dancer, Indigenous Activist for Indigenous rights, carpenter by trade and educator. With 15 years in recovery from drugs and alcohol, Andre is a recovery sponsor and integrated life coach for those in need. Andres work focuses on bringing traditional knowledge back to Indigenous Peoples. Some of this consists of how to flesh and brain tan hides to make items such as drums, buckskin, and blankets. This work is focused on cultural revitalization and preservation. Andre is a resident artist for the Ohketeau Cultural Center based in Ashfield Massachusetts. (Www.ohketeau.org) he is also the creative director of (@No_Loose_Braids) and http://www.andrestrongbearheart.com

Andre’s work is grounded in restoring balance between everyday life and traditional values while navigating the colonial systems we live in. Cultural revitalization, family, and traditions values are the driving force that keeps Andre ever diligent on his daily journey.

Save the date for a day of poetry readings by local authors, free canoe rides on the river, art, community, and more! This is a free, family-friendly event sponsored by Malden Reads and Friends of the Malden River.

Project Misik (1pm – 5pm)

Project Misik brings the voices of the African diaspora and celebrates the power of inclusive community. Founded in Haiti in 2010, Project Misik is led by Kera Washington, features members of Zili Misik, and strives to bring visibility to, and love for, the work of BIPOC artists in the area — including the performing & visual arts. Their events invite the entire community to participate in music, dance and the sharing of food in celebration.

  • Free food
  • Drumming & dance workshops
  • Participatory music/dance performance

This event is held at the site of Malden’s Department of Public Works (DPW) where a proposed park will transform the area into a 1.25 to include a new boathouse, new public dock, flexible lawn area, rain gardens and a shared-use path that is part of the Malden River Greenway. This is part of the larger Malden River Vision Plan being led by the Mystic River Watershed Association, resulting in 3.5 miles of continuous paths around the river.

Through this interactive event, Project Misik will help demonstrate how this proposed waterfront park can serve as an inclusive cultural hub for Malden and plant the seed for a tradition of multicultural celebrations to enliven and activate this area along the Malden River. 

“Words on the Water” and “Project Misik” is supported in part by grants from the Malden Cultural Council, a local agency, supported through the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

City of Malden, Eastern Bank, Mass Cultural Council, NEFA (New England Foundation for the Arts), Malden Cultural Council, Mystic River Watershed Association, Malden River Works, Friends of the Malden River, Urban Media Arts

Malden Reads

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Friends of the Malden River

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