By Frank Santangelo
Meet this week’s “Special Person of the Week:Rachel Strutt
Rachel is a Magoun Square resident who has worked at the Somerville Arts Council for the past fifteen years, curating and producing large-scale public events like ArtBeat and the Ignite Global Street Food and Fire Festival and running cultural economic initiatives like the ArtsUnion Project.
Rachel is committed to supporting and promoting Somerville’s vibrant arts landscape and has a special interest in working with the city’s culturally rich immigrant communities.
Whenever possible, she loves putting her Spanish to good use! During her tenure she has has launched new programs, including Intercambio, a language and culture exchange and Nibble, an culinary economic initiative that includes cooking classes, market tours and an entrepreneurship program with a focus on immigrant communities.
After receiving her masters in art history from Tufts University, Rachel worked in journalism for many years. Before coming to the Arts Council, she worked as an editor at various magazines and more recently, as a freelance writer, writing about art, architecture, travel and food for publications such as The Boston Globe and Boston Magazine. At the Council, she has edited and co-written two books: Somerville: City of Light and Nibble: Food and Culture in Union Square and Beyond.
Of all the events Rachel has helped curate, some of her favorites include the recent Festival del Maîz & Salsa Dance Party and a sold-out cat video festival that ran a few years ago at the Armory. Rachel is happiest when collaborating— with local businesses, the SomerViva Department, SCATV, to name just a few—and is proud to be part of the overall city team. When not watching cat videos or wrestling with Spanish verbs, Rachel is often taking photographs—Somerville being a favorite subject.
Our hats are off to her true Somerville spirit!
We here at the Somerville News Weekly salute you for everything that you do to make Somerville a better place.