Apollinaire Theatre Company announced this week it has received a $45,000 grant from the Boston Foundation to launch a Resident Artist Program at the Chelsea Theatre Works, through the Foundation’s Open Door Grants program. Apollinaire Theatre built the new Black Box Theatre at the Chelsea Theatre Works to address the facilities crisis that Boston area performing artists face, a crisis which came to a head with the closure of the Factory Theatre in the South End in 2014. Apollinaire held meetings with Boston theatre artists to determine what their needs and desires were for a theater space, and together they drew up plans for a new theater that would do more than replace the Factory Theatre, it would offer amenities historically out of the reach of Boston’s small theatre community, including on-site rehearsal and shop space.
But theatre companies need more than a home, they need support and resources, said Apollinaire. Now with the Resident Artist Program, Apollinaire will address another issue: Boston is a difficult place for theatre artists to call home. Many talented, hard-working performing artists in Boston can barely scrape by. They have day jobs and families and somehow find time and resources to make their art, but it is not a sustainable model for an individual artist, a small theatre company, or a community. With the Open Door Grant, Apollinaire will be able to better serve Boston’s performing arts community, which will in turn expand Chelsea’s burgeoning arts scene and bring new opportunities to the local community. Resident companies will be awarded free rent in the Black Box Theatre, rehearsal space for their productions, and shop space to build their sets, along with a project stipend. This will free up the companies’ budgets to reallocate funds where they feel they need it most, be it increased artist compensation, increased marketing efforts to build a stronger audience base, or the ability for resident artists to take on more ambitious productions that carry greater costs. Companies will also meet together to share ideas, brainstorm challenges, and leverage shared resources, working to create a multi-purpose incubation space where artists and companies can collaborate and share resources at every phase of their work. Companies will also be asked to give back to the community of Chelsea, and one resident spot will be reserved for a Chelsea artist or group. “At a time when our research has shown both the need for greater support for artists and the benefits of artists’ involvement in the community, we are pleased to be able to support Apollinare Theatre’s Resident Artist program with an Open Door Grant,” said Orlando Watkins, Vice President for Program at the Boston Foundation. “We look forward to seeing how this program builds and strengthens the network of artists who call Chelsea home.” •Information Sessions will be held at the Chelsea Theatre Works on Tuesday July 16 at 7:30 p.m., Thursday July 18 at 1 p.m., and Monday July 22 at 7:30 p.m., and all interested artists are encouraged to attend.
Fashion designed by Joan Cromwell, president of Chelsea Black Community, is modeled by the designer herself. It was just one part of the epic talent show last Thursday, Feb. 21, that has become an annual tradition of the Chelsea Black Community’s Black History Month celebration.
Around 20 members of the local community
gathered at City Hall on Monday, Feb. 25, for the meeting of the Chelsea City
On the agenda for Monday night’s meeting was
a ceremony to honor individuals in the Chelsea who have made a difference to
The first to be recognized Dr. Alfred
Donatelli, the chair of the Chemical Engineering Department at UMass/Lowell.
The City Council chose to honor Dr. Donatelli for “his many contributions in
the world of Science and Engineering.”
Dr. Donatelli is a proponent of STEM education,
which focuses on educating students in science, technology, engineering and
mathematics. He was featured in the
Record earlier in the week for a STEM education demonstration he gave at the
Chelsea Public Library.
A group of six individuals were also given
the Chelsea Trailblazer 2019 Award: Bruce Mauch, Grace Muwina, Saritin Rizzuto,
Lisa Santagate, Record Editor Cary Shuman and Leroy Tyler. In celebration of
Black History Month, the annual Chelsea Trailblazer award is bestowed on
individuals who have made positive contributions to their local community
through demonstrated commitment and service. Shuman was out of town, but the
remaining five recipients received awards from City Council and also posed for
photos with family and City Council members.
City Council Clerk Paul Casino called award
recipients “a beacon of light for all those who want to follow in their
When the floor was opened to members of the
public to speak, Joan Cromwell, the President of Chelsea Black Community (CBC),
shared her thoughts about Black History Month.
“Black History is not only for Blacks. It’s
American history and it’s a part of our history right here in the city,” said
Cromwell. “We’re all dealing with the same issues every day, so it’s a shared
month that we should all be celebrating together as a community.”
Longtime Chelsea resident Beverly Martin
Ross spoke next, adding, “We really appreciate our City Manager as well as our
newly appointed [Representative] Ayanna Pressley, who came out to serve the homeless
in honor of Black History Month.”
“I just want to give all the praise to the
Chelsea Black Community for the work they put in every year creating events all
month long,” said City Council President Damali. “There’s a lot of history here
in the community that’s rich and I appreciate all the work that goes into
keeping the black history alive here in the community. You guys are the real
A final Black History Month event was hosted
on Thursday, February 28, at the Williams Middle School, where keynote speaker
Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins honored the Chelsea Trailblazers.
The next City
Council meetings will be held at Chelsea City Hall on March 11 and March 25 at
Dr. Alfred Donatelli, chair of the Chemical
Engineering Department at UMass/Lowell, will lead an interactive, hands-on STEM
demonstration for parents and children on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 11 a.m. at the
Chelsea Public Library.
The demonstration is part of the Black
History Month series of events put together by the Lewis Latimer Society and
Museum, led by Co-Directors Ronald Robinson and Leo Robinson, and the Chelsea
Balck Community, led by President Joan Cromwell.
The event is being held to promote the
importance of STEM education to youth, who are the future engineers and
Dr. Al will demonstrate how to make
super-cool, homemade ice cream with nitrogen, how Slime and Super balls are
made from every-day materials and ingredients that we find in our homes.
Dr. Al and his team of assistant, which
include Ken Umemba, members of the Lewis Latimer Society and Museum, Chelsea
Black Community, and Bunker Hill Community College, will explore the
application of these benign experiments in chemical engineering reaction
kinetics and reaction design, mechanical engineering thermodynamics and heat
transfers, emulsion polymerization in plastics engineering, and in
weightlessness when astronauts land in space.
The Chelsea Cultural Council has announced
the awarding of grants totalling $20,809 to 18 local artists, schools and
The grants were awarded from a pool of funds
distributed to Chelsea by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency
that supports public programs and educational activities in the arts, sciences,
“We are very grateful to Governor Baker and
the Legislature for their continued support of the Massachusetts Cultural
Council and the funding that directly benefits cultural activities here in
Chelsea, said Marlene Jennings Chair. Our city has its own unique identity and
in these sponsored events we get to really experience the spirit of
Awardees for this year are:
•Browne Middle School: Speaker – Lost
Boy of Sudan, $250
•Chelsea Black Community: Black
History Month, $1,800
•Chelsea Community Connections:
Chelsea Fun Bus, $1,000
•Chelsea Public Library: A Universe of
•Veronica Robles: Serenara a Chelsea
by Veronica Robles Female Mariachi, $1,500
•Walnut Street Synagogue: A Photo
Documentary of Chelsea Life in the 1970’s, $1,800
The Chelsea Cultural Council (CCC) has also
set aside an additional $3,121 to complete a public mural project in
collaboration with Chelsea Public School Art Department that began in the fall
of 2018. The CCC is one of 329 local councils that serve every city and town in
the state. The state legislature provides an annual appropriation to the
Massachusetts Cultural Council, which then allocates funds to each local
council. Decisions, about which activities to support, are made at the
community level by the council.
The members of the Chelsea Cultural Council
are: Marlene Jennings, Chair; Dakeya Christmas, Co-Chair; Devra Sari Zabot,
Recorder; Juliana Borgiani, Treasurer; Sharlene McLean, Angelina McCoy, and
Carolina Anzola. The CCC will seek applications again this fall. CCC
Guidelines will be available online as well as the 2020 application beginning
Sept. 1, 2019 at
February 1st Friday 6pm. Kick Off for Chelsea Black History Month Activities
456 – Store Front Exhibit of Black
Historical Figures of Chelsea
456 Broadway, Chelsea, MA
of Exhibit at Chelsea Public Library:
Black Migration, WWI,
Chelsea Fire. 569 Broadway, Chelsea, MA
February 5th Tuesday
5 – 7pm. City Hall Art Reception.
Art, Poetry, African and African
American Artifacts. Chelsea City Hall, 500
Broadway, Chelsea, MA
February 7thThursday 12pm and 6pm. Bunker
Hill Community College, “Tuskeegee
and Discussion. 70 Everett Avenue,
5pm. Iglesia la Luz de Cristo. The Councilors Cook Off
Dinner. 738 Broadway, Chelsea, MA
February 21st Thursday 12pm.
Senior Center – Maya Angelou – Poet and Civil Rights
Figure. Celebration of Phenominal Women
10 Riley Way, Chelsea, MA
February 22nd Friday
6 – 8pm. Evening of Performing Arts,
Clark Avenue School
8 Clark Avenue, Chelsea, MA
February 23rd Saturday 11 – 12:30pm. STEM, Chelsea
569 Broadway, Chelsea, MA (parent and
6 – 8pm. New England Gospel Ensemble
Bunker Hill Community College, Charlestown
Campus A300 Auditorium
February 28th Wednesday 5 – 8pm. Black
History Month Celebration
Speaker – Suffolk District Attorney Rachael
Special Recognition Honoring – “Chelsea Trailblazers”
Williams Middle School. 180 Walnut Street,
ALL EVENTS PLANNED IN COLLABORATION WITH CHELSEA
BLACK COMMUNITY, BLACK HISTORY MONTH PLANNING COMMITTEE, LEWIS H. LATIMER
SOCIETY, BUNKER HILL COMMUNITY COLLEGE, CHELSEA SENIOR CENTER, CHELSEA PUBLIC
SCHOOLS, CITY OF CHELSEA.
This program is supported in part by a grant
from the Chelsea Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the
Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.
The Chelsea Traffic Commission voted 4-1 on Tuesday night to recommend that the Broadway business corridor be changed from a one-way, to a two-way street – the culmination of more than a year of planning.
Carolyn Vega was the lone vote on the Commission against the two-way plan. She wasn’t opposed to the overall plan, but desired to recommend a six-month trial period.
The remaining Commissioners preferred to simply recommend the two-way plan.
The plan will now go to the City Council for a final vote at the Sept. 10 meeting, though it could be put off until the Sept. 24 meeting.
Many people were for it and many were against the plan, but in the end City Manager Tom Ambrosino said that if it didn’t work out, it would easily be able to be changed back to a one-way.
Business owner Rick Gordon said he would prefer a one-way configuration because it would be more inviting for businesses.
Fire Chief Leonard Albanese said he believed in the two-way configuration and thought it would lead to a much safer pedestrian and driving experience. He also said he believed it would enhance the Fire Department’s operations.
Councillor Roy Avellaneda said he didn’t see the need for a two-way and didn’t believe it would be safer. He asked for data to show whether or not people are being hit by cars.
Resident Bruck Black said it would be a shame to study the issue for two years with an award-winning consultant team, and then not make the changes they recommend.
Consultant Kevin Dandrade, of TEC, said they believed Chelsea could successfully make the change.
The Traffic Commission also recommended sweeping circulation changes to Fay Square, Chelsea Square, Bellingham Square and the City Hall front area – where Broadway will also become a two-way street.
The changes also include new smart traffic lights which will be at all Broadway intersections and will work via Wi-Fi to help control and time the traffic lights in real time.
The Chelsea Black Community (CBC) has become a highly visible and active organization since its inception four years ago under the direction of President Joan Cromwell.
The CBC has drawn large crowds to its events and it has assumed a major leadership role in the city’s celebration of Black History Month in February.
Now Cromwell and the CBC are entering the election arena as the sponsor of a Candidates Forum to be held Weds., June 27, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Chelsea Senior Center. The five candidates for the Democratic nomination for Suffolk County District Attorney, EvandroCarvalho, Linda Champion, Gregory Henning, Shannon McAuliffe, and Rachael Rollins have all accepted the CBC’s invitation to participate in a panel discussion and question-and-answer forum with the audience.
Congressman Michael Capuano and Boston City Councilor-at-Large Ayanna Pressley, candidate for the Seventh Congressional Seat, were invited to participate in the Congressional Candidates’ portion of the forum.
Cromwell stated that Pressley will participate, while Capuano informed the CBC that he will be in session in Washington and unable to attend the forum.
Sharon McAuliffe, associate dean at Bunker Hill Community College, will serve as moderator of the forum.
Cromwell said the CBC decided to hold the forum after some of the candidates for the DA position reached out to the organization. Sensing a heightened interest in the contest due to DA Dan Conley’s decision not to run for re-election, the CBC opted to invite all five candidates to the city.
“We wanted to be fair and unbiased, so we said, ‘why don’t we just host a candidates’ forum’ so they can all have equal time with the community to get their points across,” said Cromwell.
The CBC president, a member of a long-time and well-known Chelsea family, said there are many issues in the news including immigration, the legalization of recreational marijuana in Massachusetts, and substance abuse.
“There are so many things affecting our community that we felt it was important to educate and inform the voter that there are many candidates that are running for district attorney,” said Cromwell. “It’s a perfect opportunity for the people of Chelsea to have a conversation with the candidates, as well as to become knowledgeable about the election before they go in to the voting booth.”
Questions for the forum are being sent to the CBC by local organizations such as Roca, the Youth Commission, the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, and the Jordan Girls and Boys Club, among other groups.
Caulfield will have three questions for each of the candidates. The second half of the forum will be pre-selected questions from the audience.
If past CBC events are an indication, the Candidates Forum will be professionally done and well attended – and yes, Joan Cromwell said there will be great refreshments, something else for which the CBC has also become known.
“We need the public to be a part of the forum and meet the candidates,” said Cromwell. “We encourage the whole community to be there on June 27 at the Chelsea Senior Center.”
Chelsea residents Michael Albano and Eden Edwards have been supporting the Apollinaire Theatre for seven years by throwing a dinner party in their beautiful eclectic home to raise money to support the theatre’s free, outdoor, summer Apollinaire in the Park productions. “Of all the things Apollinaire does, it’s their best service to the community,” says Michael.
Michael, a Somerville native, first moved to Chelsea in 1995 and soon began looking for ways to get involved in the city. “My father was always a community activist,” says Michael. “It was just what you did in my family.” He was a part of the Chelsea Collaborative and Green Space (now GreenRoots), and was the chairman of the Chelsea Planning Board for four years. After the downturn in the economy, Michael turned his focus to his business. When he was ready to serve the community again, he found Apollinaire Theatre Company.
Michael joined the Apollinaire in the Park committee, after a decline in funding forced the cancellation on the 2011 show. He and Eden’s generous support of the theatre has grown into an exceptionally fun and memorable annual dinner in their home featuring Michael’s cooking, and performances from the Apollinaire in the Park cast. This summer Apollinaire is producing Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Cast members will be performing “Pyramus and Thisbe,” Midsummer’s play within a play, at the party.
On making Chelsea their home, Michael says, “Chelsea found me.” Eden, a Nebraska native who moved to Chelsea in 2001 adds that she feels “lucky to have found Chelsea.” The couple describes their home as a “Victorian beach house.” The Victorian details have a nautical flair, such as the banisters with waves carved into them. It was built in 1895 by a shipping captain from Beacon Hill as his second home and was the first home built in its Chelsea neighborhood. At the time it was constructed, the captain would have had an unobstructed view of the beach he could walk to.
-Michael’s journey as a cook began when he was just eight and made his first pizza. His father, who dabbled in the restaurant business, was the cook in the home. Michael’s culinary style is influenced French, American, and of course Italian cuisine (he lived in Italy for a number of years). He worked in the famed Ciro’s restaurant in Boston and enthusiastically describes himself as a food-lover.
Michael will be serving up a variety of hors d’oeuvres, vegetables, ravioli, New York strip steak, and his popular roasted Tuscan chicken and au gratin potatoes with wine, beer, and soft drinks. (Eden looks out for the vegetarians!) Apollinaire actor Ann Carpenter is known for contributing her famous vegetarian lasagna. There will also be desserts from Pan y Café. For wine enthusiasts, there will be a mini wine tasting/pairing offered from Eden and Michael’s reserve as an add-on for partygoers.
While hosting the dinner is big undertaking—Eden’s sister, agents from Michael’s real estate office, and friends often help them prepare—Michael and Eden are very happy that it has become a tradition in the community as well as in their home. “When people involved with the Chelsea community are in my house, it’s the most fun nights here apart from having family,” says Eden. The party always happens in June, not just to poise it to best serve fund-raising efforts for the theatre’s July performances, but also because Michael’s birthday is in June. The party doubles as a celebration for him where he can get friends who are not from Chelsea involved in supporting Apollinaire.
This year’s party is on June 15th at 7:00pm at the couple’s home: 32 Crest Ave., Chelsea. Tickets can be purchased through the theatre’s website: www.apollinairetheatre.com, at the door, or by calling 617-887-2336.
Apollinaire’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs July 11 – 29 at 7:30pm in Chelsea’s waterfront PORT Park, 99 Marginal Street. ALL performances are FREE. Contact the theatre to learn about opportunities to get involved with the show!
Apollinaire in the Park is a program of Apollinaire Theatre Company (ATC), Chelsea’s award-winning professional theatre. ATC produces adventurous contemporary theatre, and free outdoor summer shows. The ATC’s home is the Chelsea Theatre Works in Chelsea Square, which houses their three theatres: the Apollinaire Theatre; the Riseman Family Theatre, home of their youth program, the Apollinaire Play Lab; and the Black Box—a co-working rental theatre for Boston Area performing artists. Visit them on the web at www.apollinairetheatre.com.
The fashion show during Friday night’s Night of Performing Arts Celebration – part of the ambitious Black History Month calendar was presented by designer Seneeca Wilson (second from left) of Khy Alexander Bridal by Eclas. Modeling her designs were Khy Alexander (from whom the fashion line was named), Denise Wilson, and Chanyce Kane.