Hi there. Welcome to the eleventh Somerville Stock report.
Twice a month, I’ve been writing about my community art project, the Somerville Stock Exchange (SSE). The project involves giving people “Somerville Stocks” based on what they’re doing to make Somerville’s community, creative life, and environment better. The idea is to document all of the wonderful things our neighbors are doing—and to get people talking about being involved in their community.
All of the things people tell us are included in the project’s printed and online forum. And all of these things affect the “worth” of the different types of Somerville Stocks.
Just like a regular stock market. And just like with a regular stock market, someone writes about why the stocks have changed in value. And that’s what this column is about.
So how did “Somerville stocks” do recently?
Community stocks bounced back a bit, after a terrible showing last period, when they dropped 25%. This week, they rose 16%, to end at $5.75.
This rise was due to a number of reasons. First, Suzanne L. told us about how she collects the plastic bags that her newspapers come in, and leaves them in a box she built at the dog park at the corner of Summer and Vinyl; she does this so people can have plastic bags to pick up their dogs’ waste. “No, I don't have a dog,” she told us. “I went with a friend once and think it's the craziest thing in the world to take a brand new plastic baggie from the stand for a two second poop pick up duty. These newspaper bags are the perfect size, clean and even come in pretty colors.”
There were a couple other positive things that happened. First, the Somerville Homeless Coalition had its annual 5k fundraiser race. Second, a number of Davis Square commuters created a shrine inthe Davis Square T station to commemorate David Tagliaferro, who recently passed away. David had distributed newspapers in the station for years, and was very popular with commuters. (To read more about Community Stocks, click here.)
Environment stocks continued to soar, up 14% to end at $8.87.
First, an anonymous person told us that he doesn’t own a car; instead, he walks or takes public transit everywhere. Suzanne L.’s reuse of plastic bags (see above) also helped.
ACEEE (the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economey) named Massachusetts the number one state for energy efficiency. And, to top things off, the bike-sharing company Hubway installed four more stations in Somerville. By letting people rent bikes easily, the company provides a healthy, environmentally-friendly way for people to get around town. (To read more about Environment Stocks, click here.)
Creative stocks had a pretty good period too. They climbed 8%, to finish at $7.38.
Rajiv Ramaiah told us about the subway-map themed public art piece he’d created for Artbeat. He then donated it to the Somerville Library. It's now on display at the Davis Square branch. Then, there was the 7th annual Honk festival, which took place on the weekend of October 6th. Over 35 marching bands took part, drawing thousands of visitors. (To read more about Creative Stocks, click here.)
To read more about why Somerville Stocks are “worth” what they’re “worth,” take a look at our online forum.
Get invested in your community!
If you’d like to earn yourself some Stocks, get in touch! You can earn stocks by making a donation to one of our partner nonprofits (Somerville Homeless Coalition; Somerville Arts Council; Somerville Climate Action) and then letting us know about it. Or by sharing something that you’ve done for Somerville in our forum.
We wrote a short piece about this project for Shareable, which is an online news source that features articles on sharing, community, and alternative approaches to consumer culture.
If you missed it, we put together a report showing all of the information we’ve gathered so far. It includes all of the material from the forum (news stories about things that have impacted life in town; stories from locals about what they’re doing to make Somerville a better place), as well as charts and graphs showing how stock values have changed. Here’s the PDF of the report, free for the reading.
And check back on November 1st for the next Somerville Stock Report.