Jean Mineo – 2017 Medfield Foundation Volunteer of the Year
Jean Mineo was selected as the 2017 Medfield Foundation volunteer of the year just last month by the judges. Jean was nominated by both Chris McCue Potts and Minta Hissong, a first having the same person nominated more than once in one year. Jean and all the remarkable eight other Medfield volunteers who were nominated this year will be celebrated at the reception next Sunday, March 19 at 3PM at The Center. The public is invited to attend.
Brothers Marketplace generously sponsored the 2017 Medfield Foundation volunteer awards and support was also received from the Rockland Trust Charitable Foundation.
Below in the order they were received are the nominations first by Chris McCue Potts, and then the one by Minta Hissong.
It is no secret that Jean Mineo is the “chief cultural Officer” for the town of Medfield — past, present and future! Her past work includes making possible innovative and visually interesting community art, including a sculpture trail at MSH site, power boxes painted with historical or other images relative to Medfield, and outdoor pianos for all to enjoy. Additionally, Jean founded the Cultural Alliance of Medfield so that the town would have an active cultural projects/events/advocacy organization to supplement the grant-making role of the Medfield Cultural Council. Her current work involves a number of initiatives, from making the vision of the Straw Hat Park and Holiday Stroll both a reality — and highly successful ones indeed evidenced by Town Meeting support for park funding, and the enormous turnout and positive feedback on the 2nd annual Stroll! For both endeavors, Jean had to oversee all aspects — from fundraising, volunteer and partner recruitment, political navigation, logistical details, publicity and so much more. Through it all, Jean always does it thoughtfully, with a calm and focused demeanor, and in a way that inspires others to get involved. Rarely does Jean get frustrated when confronted with a hurdle or challenge (which is sure to happen) — she just focuses on what needs to get done to keep things moving forward.
A hugely beneficial initiative that Jean led was the town matching initiative for Medfield Cultural Council funding for local nonprofits. For very little money (but big impact), Jean successfully made the case for the match, rallied residents to turn out for the Town Meeting vote (and speak up), and then played a role in making sure residents knew what kind of impact the doubling of available funding could have on local cultural groups and projects, including Zullo Gallery, Gazebo Players, Medfield Music Association, Medfield Public Library, and others.
Jean’s current efforts serving on the Medfield State Hospital Master Planning Committee, have the potential to provide future payoff with expansion of the town’s cultural offerings. She has spent countless hours pulling together local cultural groups and representatives who have a shared vision for the huge impact cultural initiatives/a cultural focus could have at the MSH site. Her work has required endless meetings, bringing in unpaid expertise for a visioning session, rallying the community to support the hiring of a paid consultant to conduct and report back on a feasibility study, and building relationships and navigating all levels of town politics, and the work is ongoing. Jean even launched an artistic competition for the creative reuse of the old waterworks gears from the MSH site!
Jean’s commitment to Medfield’s cultural vitality and overall town character, and the impact her time and energy has made on our community, is nothing short of amazing.
In terms of impact and results, consider this:
1) The thousands of people who have visited and enjoyed the Straw Hat Park so far…including all of the attractions that were in place prior to the official ribbon-cutting in the fall of 2016. This includes piano players, sidewalk chalk art viewers, and so many others wanting to envision the possibilities!
2) The thousands of people who have taken part in the Holiday Stroll for the past two years – whether volunteers, residents, out of town visitors, or artisans selling their works or providing services. The Stroll helped deepen the sense of community that is so strong in Medfield, and helped to lift so many spirits. The community-wide event also helps to support the livelihood of many artists, and also showcase Medfield’s own
artistic talents, including visual and musical.
3) The thousands of people who drive or walk by and appreciate all of the various community art Jean has made possible through the Art in Public Places initiative (via Medfield Foundation).
4) The tens of thousands of people who will benefit if MSH redevelopment includes one or more cultural components – this would include residents, visitors and contributing artists.
As a testament to Jean’s work as former head of the Medfield Cultural Council, the Massachusetts Cultural Council awarded her with a Leadership Circle Award in 2015, and the town recognized her contributions with a special event at the Zullo Gallery. https://www.mass-culture.org/lca_honorees.aspx
In addition to all of Jean’s cultural work, she served on the MAP board (including president) and has also been actively volunteering with community projects sponsored by United Church of Christ in Medfield (prior to and separate from working there).
Jean Mineo is long overdue for the Volunteer of the Year Award. Let’s make 2017 her year!
I am nominating Jean Mineo for the volunteer of the year award. Jean serves on many boards, organizations, and donates hours of her time to our town. I will focus on one of her big accomplishments of 2016, the Straw Hat Park. This park would not have been created but for Jean’s vision, drive, patience, knowledge and fortitude. I was lucky enough to be on the Straw Hat Park committee with Jean from the beginning when we first started meeting in December of 2013! Jean worked tirelessly from the beginning when in the summer of 2013 she started gathering ideas for the park with public art in the space. From there the selectman gave her permission to gather a team and see what could be done with the pocket park. Jean spent hours and hours on administration, attending meetings, meeting with key players in town, surveys, PR, social media guru, fundraising, speaking at town meetings, and finally working with the tradesman to get the work done. It was her project and she kept plugging away when politics and obstacles got in the way. I watched her work from behind the scenes and her dedication to our town is second to none. She always had a way to make it work. The Straw Hat Park is a beautiful new space in our town that is already getting a lot of use. This creation of this space from dirt/grass to our new park is because of Jean’s work and she deserves to be formally recognized. Thank you for the consideration.