Linda Matys O’Connell
Linda combines her passion for the arts and her passion for advocacy in her work for MIFA. As a violinist, Linda has raised her bow in both concert and theatrical pit orchestras. As a vocalist, her pleasure ranges from madrigal ensembles and symphony choruses to sacred choirs and soprano solo performance. As an advocacy journalist in Massachusetts, Linda founded the Advocate newspaper chain of alternative newsweeklies, with an emphasis on arts and culture in the Pioneer Valley. She subsequently owned and edited newspapers and magazines around the country and directed arts and entertainment coverage, including of the New York arts scene, for the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune companies.
Since returning to the Pioneer Valley, Linda has turned to social and political activism. A graduate of the Western Mass. Women’s Fund’s Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact and the Massachusetts Citizens Legislative Seminar, she has been active in politics at the local, state and national levels. As part of her work with MotherWoman, she led the coalition successfully advocating for the passage of the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act in 2017.
Linda currently pursues public policy advocacy as the convener of the League of Women Voters / Springfield. She has served on the board of directors of the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, the Mount Holyoke College Alumnae Association and the Society for Features Journalism. She has also served as President of the Mount Holyoke Club of the Pioneer Valley, and Social Action Chair of the United Methodist Women of Western Massachusetts & Connecticut. Linda holds degrees from Mount Holyoke College and Brown University.