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Somerville Stock Exchange report #7, for August 15th, 2012

The Somerville Stock Exchange, or "SSE" for short, is a community forum. It's also a fundraiser—and a different take on what a stock market can be!

Hi there. Welcome to the seventh 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.

“Somerville Stocks”

So how did “Somerville stocks” do recently?

Community stocks had a rough time last period, diving over a dollar due to a report that 15% of Somerville residents live below the poverty line. Stocks finished in last place again, but they did bounce back a little this period, rising $0.51 to end at $6.20. This gain due to three things.

First, Jacy E. told us about a fundraiser she’s planning for the Welcome Project (which is a nonprofit that "builds the collective power of Somerville immigrants to participate in and shape community decisions"). The fundraiser will be a benefit bike ride on Sept. 8th, in conjunction with the Spokes festival in Union Square.

We also found out about Sprout & Co.’s proposal for an alternative high school in Somerville, one that focuses on technology, engineering, and mathematics. The proposal met with an initial approval by a steering committee; Sprout will now have to flush out the plan a bit. For those that don’t know it, Sprout & Co. is a "community education and research organization devoted to creating and supporting the community-driven learning, teaching, and investigation of science"; their studio is just outside of Davis Square.

Finally, the bike-sharing company Hubway expanded into 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 Community Stocks, click here.)

Environment stocks rose $0.43 to $6.44, which left them firmly in second place. This rise was also because of Hubway’s expansion. (To read more about Environment Stocks, click here.)

Creative stocks were the big winner again this period. They jumped up a whopping 17%, or $1.03, to finish at $7.01, which cemented their lead. There were a whole number of reasons for this rise.

Annette M., for instance, made a donation to the Somerville Arts Council. David M. told us that he attends Bagel Bards, which is a weekly get-together for poets at the Au Bon Pain in Davis Square. Well-known Brazilian street artists, Os Gemeos, collaborated with local artists to create a mural in Union Square; while the Somerville Arts Council released a book called “Nibble” about local food culture.

Finally, a huge boost came from Gui C., who told us about the Artisan’s Asylum, which he’s run since he helped found it in 2010. The Asylum is a community workshop that brings access to high end manufacturing equipment to the public; it houses 143 rental studios, offers 20 to 25 classes a month, and has more than 250 members. (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.

Hope to hear from you! To contact us, click here. We're also on Facebook.

And check back on September 1st for the next Somerville Stock Report.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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