The Rev. Elaine Mendez Receives Grant at Mystic Feast

The Rev. Elaine Mendez was the recipient of a grant award at the first-ever Mystic Feast March 31 at the Polish Political Club.

The Rev. Mendez, pastor of the Revival Center church on Broadway, made the winning presentation for a project that will showcase photographs by Chelsea photographer Darlene DeVita at the Revival Center. The photos of Chelsea landmarks and residents will be displayed on the walls of the church and help to further beautify the church’s interior.

“She [the Rev. Mendez] wants to show the joy of people and faces and children and the Tobin Bridge,” said DeVita, a dynamic photojournalist whose photo features and stories appear regularly in the Chelsea Record.

The Rev. Mendez received $830 in funding for her project.

“I feel very happy and it’s a pleasure to win the award at the first Mystic Feast,” said the Rev. Mendez. “But I’m a winner just by being here and being part of such a wonderful event that helps the community.”

The Mystic Feast was founded by Mimi Graney, who serves as the civic design and engagement specialist for the City of Chelsea. The Mystic Feast is a dinner-event intended to support local projects, according to Planning Committee member Karyn Alzayer.

Each guest at the dinner contributes $20, with all funds being awarded to the person whose project presentation receives the most votes on the individual ballots cast by the attendees.

“I just thought the idea was really cool,” said Alzayer, a 13-year resident of Everett who is originally from northern Ohio and moved here to attend Boston University where she received a Master’s degree in Music Education.

Other Presenters

Everett residents Katy Rogers, Martha Chason-Sokol, and Samantha Lambert were the other project presenters at the Mystic Feast.

An award-winning photographer and owner of Katy Rogers Art, Rogers presented an exciting proposal for an outdoor movie trellis, modeled after the one she had created in her backyard as a response to social distancing in 2020.

“By day, it is an ordinary trellis for growing vertical plants, but by night it can be transformed into an outdoor theater experience, creating a relationship between nature and technology,” related Rogers. “The goal is to attract people to outdoor spaces who may not ordinarily have access to them.”

Chason-Sokol of Art Lab Everett proposed the creation of a storytelling festival in Everett. Her enthusiastic presentation was well-received by the audience.

Lambert, a member of the Everett School Committee, made an outstanding presentation for a photography project in coordination with Everett Community Growers.

Praise for the Organizers

Rogers praised the organizers of the Mystic Feast, including Graney, Alzayer, and the other members of the planning committee.

 “It was exciting to see so many creative people in one place,” said Rogers. “I have worked on several projects with Mimi Graney in Chelsea and Karyn Alzayer in Everett. Their collaboration beyond city borders is a huge step in the right direction for the art community.”

Graney said the Mystic Feast was modeled after Feast Mass and Brooklyn Feast.

“We just thought it was a good idea that we would bring here,” said Graney.

Judging by the sizable turnout and camaraderie enjoyed among the attendees and presenters, the Mystic Feast has a very bright future. “I think our first Mystic Feast was a success for sure,” said Alzayer. “I’m definitely energized for the next one.”

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