Melissa Proietti was born and raised in the city of Montreal. Since a young age she has been involved in different community organizations working with youth in sports and leisure programs. Working with children from preschool age until adulthood Proietti has facilitated and taught different subjects from English, to arts, film, sexual health and sports and physical education.
Having attended Under Pressure International Graffiti Convention in her youth, Proietti was drawn to the sense of community and belonging at the festival. Several years later, she became the head co-organizer of Under Pressure and wrote her Masters thesis about urban arts programs in school settings. Proietti started her PhD in September 2014 in education. Her research will be based around bringing the visual urban arts into the curriculum of an inner-city school in Montreal. This will be the first school in Canada to attempt a curricular focus on the urban arts. Recently Proietti also developed The Queens Creation festival, the first Montreal event to focus entirely on women in the urban arts. Currently Proietti works at a YMCA in Montreal as teen programs coordinator and continues to run Under Pressure as it heads into its 20th year.