Two recently published articles highlight the ways that the Somerville Arts Council helps build community and boost the local economy.
Commonwealth Magazine talked to Arts Council Executive Director Greg Jenkins about how the Arts Council has grown since he started in 2001. Over the past 17 years events like the Illuminations Tours have expanded and Arts Council staff and residents have dreamed up all kinds of new festivals and celebrations including the Fluff Festival, SomerStreets, market tours, and the Big Gay Dance Party. Along with bringing fun and a sense of community to Somerville, these events also have a positive economic effect. The Arts Council found that for ever $1 they spent on arts activities in Union Square, $4 was spent there.
If you pick up the latest edition of Scout Somerville, you can also read about Program Director Rachel Strutt’s work on the Nibble program. Nibble began with a tour of Union Square’s international markets as a way to support the immigrant business community, but it’s been growing ever since. Now Nibble includes cooking classes in cuisines from around the world, support for culinary entrepreneurs, and pop-up restaurants. This year the program will also be opening a kitchen space in Bow Market.