Cambridge and Somerville Local First - 2011 Coupon Book - Shift Your Shopping to Local First

CSArt: Collect the Beautiful Bounty!

Sep 09 10:11 am

You’ve heard of CSAs. And thanks to SLF, you’ve now heard of community supported fisheries. With Harvest Fest just around the corner, we here at SLF have shifted to a lot of food talk, so today I’d like to introduce you all to Community Supported Art, a collaborative venture with the Somerville Arts Council, Cambridge Arts Council, Somerville Local First, and Cambridge Local First. CSArt, the latest project from the Cambridge Center for Adult Education, aims to get Somervillians and Cantabrigians to think about their art purchases (and their other purchases, for that matter) in the same way as they do when buying their fresh veggies.


CSArtists: from left to right, rear: Bryan Smith, Christopher Poteet, Ed Tekeian, James Zall, Kate Martens. Front row, left to right: Anne Peramaki, Grace Durnford. Missing from photo: Richard Sabin

Instead of monthly selections of choice produce, the first round will provide the 50 lucky shareholders with three fall shares of one-of-a-kind works by local artists, making for nine pieces in total. Oh, and did I mention each art share pick-up is an event in itself? This type of CSA lets you join in the “harvest” at with CSArt’s Harvest Parties! These parties are designed to allow the buyers to connect with the artists creating the works they purchased. A work can take on a whole new meaning when you get to know the elements behind the scenes: the artist’s background, the meaning of the piece, the creation process.

Missed out on the first round of quality, limited edition artworks? Despair not! The pick-up events are open to the public, so you too can meet and greet with the artists and commission your own special piece. Or you can get on the waitlist for the next round of CSArt shareholders - if another 50 people sign up, the CCAE will offer another round of CSArt with a new crop of local artists! Round 2 is already halfway full, so sign up soon because only 50 shares will be offered again to keep the artwork unique.

Save the dates and learn about mediums from sculpture to woodcuts.



CPoteet: The 89, acrylic painting by Christopher Poteet, Somerville

Saturday, Sept. 10, 2-4 p.m. Bloc 11, Union Square, Somerville

James Zall - artist’s book

Kate Martens - sculpture

Christopher Poteet - paintings

Come early and check out the Farmer’s Market just around the corner, Sherman Market, the Taza Chocolate Factory and all the cool shops in Union Square. Enjoy lunch and coffee or tea at Bloc 11 before or after the pickup, and meet your fellow shareholders and the artists.



Blue House, mixed media on fabric, by Grace Durnford, Somerville

Sept. 22, 5-7 p.m. at Eastern Bank, One Broadway, Kendall Square, Cambridge

Richard Sabin - woodcuts

Grace Durnford - mixed media with paint and embroidery

Ed Tekeian - 3D model kits

Enjoy some food and drink provided by our sponsor, Eastern Bank, meet the artists, and check out the Venture Café upstairs and learn about innovative ideas in clean technology.


Oct. 18, 7-9 p.m. at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education, 56 Brattle St. courtyard

Anne Peramaki, paint on wood

Bryan Smith, etchings

Judy Motzkin, sculpture

 Enjoy bustling Harvard Square, explore CCAE’s historic home base, meet the artists, and sample some tasty treats.

Special thanks to the Massachusetts Cultural Council and Eastern Bank for their support in this project!


To learn more about CSArt, visit CCAE’s website or call the registration office 617-547-6789 x1.

6 Reasons You Should Clear Your Weekend for ArtBeat

Jul 14 4:01 pm



ArtBeat 2011: Red - This one's gonna be a scorcher!

ArtBeat 2011: Red - This one's gonna be a scorcher!

It’s that time of year again on the Somerville Arts Council calendar: ArtBeat! This annual festival held in Davis Square celebrates the innovative and inspired minds in just about every creative capacity of the dynamic Somerville arts scene. This year, SAC isn’t trying to (art!)beat that mid-July heat of the northeast, but is instead embracing it, with this year’s theme: RED. Alas, due to scheduling conflicts, SLF won’t be attending this year, but here are six reasons why you should:

  • Support local artists by buying a one-of-a-kind piece from one (or several!) of the 100+ craft vendors: Impress your Chihuly-crazed friends with a piece by a local glass artist
  • It’s fun for the whole family! Forgive us for the cliché, but it’s true – there are tons of kid-friendly events from storytelling to a puppet show
  • Catch up and coming folk/indie rock quartet Mean Creek: Recently deemed “Best Act in Boston” in the Boston Phoenix, these guys are going places, so see them while you can – for free!
  • Experience the diverse range of performance pieces and exhibits that the festival has to offer – there’s something for everyone!
  • Everyone loves a parade, so be sure to watch the Red Menace parade throughout the festival. Grab a red flag and join in if you like!
  • Engage in one of the many crafty interactive activities offered by local organizations. Even become a part of the festival by designing a scale for the traffic island Dragon Sculpture!

Bonus Reason: Food! C’mon, did you really need any other reason?

So, y’all best be there this weekend! Check out the website or Facebook page for more info, and make sure you tell us all about your ArtBeat shenanigans in the comments section below!

SomerFUN: A Rundown of Awesome-ness

Jun 07 12:53 pm

SomerFun is just a few days away (and the forecast looks great this year…YAY!), and we have lined up quite the day of fun for the community.  Here’s a lengthy rundown of all the fun (and mostly free) things to do at the event.  Needless to say, there’s something here for just about everyone!

And SLF would like to extend a VERY warm thank you to our event sponsors The Somerville Arts Council and ArtsUnion…you can thank them too at their table at the event!

See you THIS Saturday in Union Square Plaza from 3-7 pm

See you THIS Saturday in Union Square Plaza from 3-7 pm

Games, Activities & Demonstrations

A Tiki Hut with samples from Sponsor Polar Beverages

DUNK TANK - with our Executive Director, Joe Grafton, a special guest in a Gorilla Suit, Independent Bartenders and some surprises.

SomerMutt -  A Mixed Breed Dog Show with a guess the breed contest, sponsored by Riverdog, Canis Major Herbals and SomDog

Groundwork Somerville - butter churning, the food miles relay race, and the giant somerville puzzle map.

Mystic River Watershed Association - fish-based artwork - drawing

Mass Metta Massage - Free Chair Massage

Open Space Community Acupuncture - Community acupuncture demos

The Growing Center - An urban homesteading workshop

Shobu Akido - 20′ x 20′ demonstration area and a table with information about classes

OPENAIR Circus - Stilters rambling about the event


Abbie Barrett & the Last Date

Reverend Busker & Friends

Tall Enough

Riki Rocksteady


Balliro Vocal Studio - I will be promoting private vocal instruction with a video of various performances and instruction examples.

Beantown Franks ‘n Spuds - Gourmet Hot Dogs & Baked Potatoes

Canis major Herbals - Information on holistic dog health; herbal products for dogs will be available for sale, such as natural tick spray, herbal Lyme preventive, remedies for separation anxiety, etc.

Esoterica/ Smileybaby Hats - Handmade jewelry and baby hats.

ideaka - I am selling t-shirts, wallets, soap & maybe some lights. I have a pop up tent with a minimal display.

JoJo - Handmade design and one of a kind pieces that are seasonally appropriate. For the summer I have sundresses, skirts/pants, halter tops and one piece jumpsuits, lightweight cape-like tops plus some housewares like table runners and napkins, totes.
Mike’s Automotive - Information and swag from your local mechanic right across the street.

Monkey Chow - Irreverent illustrations rendered in bright popping colors and injected with heartfelt emotion.

Mystic River Watershed Association - Booth Set-up includes a map (on an easel if possible), reports, newsletters.

Picture Renewal - Sample books to view and 3-4 pairs of larger, framed samples and Swag:

Proxy Apparel - radical,  ethical fashion and accessories. With a raffle and fashion giveaways.

Swellr - The table will have a variety of individual activities designed to interest the public in Swellr. We will be handing out flyers and talking with the Somerville community and asking them about their favorite businesses and causes.

Rebecca J. D’Antonio - Handmade high quality one of a kind and limited edition jewelry. From now to the end of September, $1 from every sale will be donated to the Greater Boston Food Bank. I also offer “Creation Station” where people can pick beads to have custom pieces made

RESPOND, Inc - Brochures, trifolds presentations, people to answer questions.

RiverDog LLC - pet supplies for dogs and cats information on sevices and samples

Taza Chocolate - We have a sign to hang up behind us, as well as a 4″ table with chocolate samples and some pictures of our chocolate.

Thalia Tringo & Assoicates Real Estate, Inc. - We will display some marketing materials and Q&A on taking care of a home, buy v. rent, etc. We’ll give away some swag.

Two Little Monkeys - 1-2 rolling racks of childrens clothing, as well as a small selection of toys and books.

Truly Good - Info about my design business, as well as a few promo items from a few of our clients.

The Welcome Project - YUM restaurant cards and talking with people about our programs and volunteer opportunities.


The Somerville Arts Council and SLF present an ArtsUnion Event: SomerFun

May 20 1:34 pm

The Somerville Arts Council and Somerville Local First are excited to present an ArtsUnion Event, SomerFun:A Romp for Independents. Join us for our 2nd annual FREE street festival and market and sample local cuisine, take part in a square-wide scavenger hunt or send one of your favorite local celebs in the dunk tank. Whatever you choose, with a variety of participating businesses, artisans, musicians and activities, SomerFun has something for everyone!

Event Description:

Something fun for everyone!

Something fun for everyone!

SomerFun: A Romp for Independents is a celebration of local and independent businesses in Somerville and across New England with activities and games, local arts and musical performances and the culturally diverse performances that define the Somerville Community.

At SomerFun, you can:

  • Enjoy a wide variety of games and activities including a Mixed Breed Dog Show, Square-wide scavenger hunt, farm and food demonstrations, a selection of carnival games (i.e. dunk tank with local celebrities) and on-stage entertainment from local youth, dance and musical guests.
  • Peruse tables from great local retailers, food producers, artisans and nonprofits.
  • Enjoy an art installation curated by local arts nonprofit Artisans Asylum.

This event will engage all segments and demographics of our community: From entrepreneurs to teens. From seniors to families. SomerFun is for everyone and we look forward to seeing you there!!


Nibbles and Bits: Celebrating Somerville’s Cultural (and Culinary) Diversity

Feb 22 2:17 pm

(Ed. Note:  Today’s intro and repost is from the Nibble Blog, a new project of the Somerville Arts Council.  Be sure to tell us what you think or ideas you may have in the comments!)

Nibbles and Bits!

As part of its ArtsUnion Project, the Somerville Arts Council has launched a new blog about food and culture in Union Square and beyond. It’s called Nibble. To give folks an idea of what this blog is all about, let’s start with the definition…
Definition of “Nibble”

1) a small bite

2) an expression of interest in something

You may ask: Why is an Arts Council writing about food?

Several reasons. Food is a great common denominator; it gets people from different ethnic backgrounds talking. Through our ArtsUnion Market Tours of Union Square, we’ve found that food tells endless stories about cultural identity. We are also intrigued by the intersection of food and art—whether it’s a chef creating artful sushi or an artist using food as a subject or medium.

We invite you to join us on this gastronomic adventure. We hope you’ll leave comments, give feedback on recipes and initiate fiery discussions about esoteric foodie topics like which dried chilis work best in chili: ancho, guajillo or both?

“Nibble” is just an appetizer. We hope it inspires you to eat your way through Union Square—to shop at its numerous international markets and dine at its diverse eateries.

Here’s a recent post from the Nibble blog where Nibble guest blogger Alexis Kochka recounts a Saturday visit to the Somerville Winter Farmers Market and reflects on the culture of buying local.

Upon a recent visit to the Somerville Winter Farmers Market I was happy to see that New England’s farming heritage is strong and visible. Popping in to pick up a few things, I noticed that a lot of my Somerville neighbors had the same idea: to enjoy a Saturday morning among community and good food. The market is held in the old Armory—an expansive, unique piece of architecture that sticks out like a castle among Somerville’s double decker homes. Once a place for military drills, The Armory’s auditorium now hosts a bustling market on Saturdays.

Local Honey ~ just a bit sweeter

Local Honey ~ just a bit sweeter

The market includes a wonderful mix of local farmers and food artisans selling local and regional in-season produce and goods. Breads, root vegetables, fruit, preserves, meat, honey, cheese, wine, and even seafood fill the arena. Each vendor I met with was happy to entertain my questions. “Where’s your farm?” “How long have you been in business?” Consistently, their answers conveyed the time and mindfulness that goes into producing their goods.The cornucopia of staples and treats looked fresh, smelled tasty, and were fairly priced. I stocked up on winter carrots, apples, squash—and picked up a few treats, like a cider doughnut that I devoured then and there with the excitement of a squirrel feasting on his first acorn after months of hibernation. And I wasn’t the only one. Later I noticed that the doughnuts were sold out; apparently other squirrels at the market had sniffed out the cinnamon goodness.

Farmer's Markets = Community

Farmer's Markets = Community

Leaving the market, I felt pleased to have participated in the time-honored food culture of New England: eating what we grow, catch and store here—in a time of empty fields and stocked cupboards. It warms my heart that this tradition is alive and well in Somerville’s contemporary urban landscape. What’s more, I was thrilled to eschew a Saturday at a big grocery store buying produce that lacks the flavor—and the heritage—of a New England tradition. [Editor's note: There are also vendors at the market, like Taza Chocolate, who import produce from far away yet practice fair trade and environmental sustainability.]

The Somerville Winter Farmers Market is held at Arts at the Armory every Saturday from 10-2, from January 8-March 28; we suggest getting there early as certain items (like cider donuts and fish) can sell out early. Participating vendors include Enterprise Farm in South Deerfield, Winter Moon Farm in Hadley, Stillman’s Farm in Hardwick, Apex Orchards in Shelburne, Cook’s Farm in Brimfield, Austin Brothers Valley Farm in Belchertown, Globe Fish Company in Boston, Hi-Rise Bread Company in Cambridge, Great Cape Baking Company in Marstons Mills, 3 Little Figs in Boston, Seta’s Mediterranean Foods in West Newton, Q’s Nuts in Georgetown, Reseska Apiaries in Holliston, Elaine Hsieh, Chocolatier, in Somerville, Taza Chocolate in Somerville, Coastal Vineyards in South Dartmouth, Turtle Creek Winery in Lincoln and Zoll Cellars Winery in Shrewsbury.

The Union Square Farmers Market will begin June 4.

Nibble is part of the Somerville Arts Council’s ArtsUnion Project, which aims to spur the cultural economic development of Union Square, Somerville. Generous funding for the ArtsUnion initiative is provided by the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s John and Abigail Adams Program and the City of Somerville. ArtsUnion has numerous partners, such as SCATV, Union Square Main Streets, ArtSomerville and the Somerville Historic Preservation Commission.

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