Like a lot of good ideas, ZUMIX started in someone’s living room. Co-Founders Bob Grove
and current Executive Director Madeleine Steczynski began with a simple principal – every
child needs something to feel passionate about, and for many teens their passion is music. In
the summer of 1991 they recruited 24 youth ages 8-18 to participate in a song-writing and performance program. In
1993, ZUMIX began serving the broader community with the establishment of Music in Maverick Square.

The move to their current facility in 1996 enabled ZUMIX to launch Community
Arts programs, welcoming local residents to intimate artsrelated
gatherings in a small, but vital arts space. In 1994, a community needs and resource assessment
conducted by the East Boston Healthy Boston Coalition listed
increased arts activity as one of its main priorities. In 1997,
ZUMIX was chosen to lead Cultural Connections- a three-year,
multi-agency, Neighborhood Preservation Initiative funded by
the Pew Charitable Trust.
In 2005, ZUMIX received the “Best Practice Award for Teen
Centered Environment” from The Boston Foundation & Greater
Boston After-School for All partnership. In 2006 ZUMIX was
selected as a semi-finalist for the competitive Federal Coming-
Up Taller Award, and was chosen as a 2006 Social Innovator for
the Social Innovation Forum at MIT.