Washington Street Art Center 321 Washington St, Somerville, MA02143 Boasting a fully operational dark room and a large gallery, the Washington Street Art Center hosts studio space for…More roughly 20 local artists. This non-profit hosts monthly exhibitions and maintains gallery hours on Saturday afternoons. Located between Union and Inman squares in the 321 Washington St industrial complex, the Art Center also has a fabulously detailed website that gives sneak previews for current and future events.
In some towns, the Local Cultural Council (LCC) restricts itself to one important task: they award state grant money…More to local arts and culture organizations for worthy projects. But in Somerville, our LCC blossomed into the Somerville Arts Council, a full-fledged arts organization that programs community events year-round. They are best-known for ArtBeat, a two-day summer arts festival that fills Davis Square with live music, dance, arts, crafts, food stands—and the occasional electric-guitar-wielding mummy. But that's not all they do.
Their Art Without Walls initiative brings art activities directly to youths in their neighborhoods. Via their Switchbox Project, they are transforming Somerville utility boxes into public works of art. And all summer long, their ArtsUnion initiative presents numerous cultural events in Union Square that range from Haitian or Punjabi cultural festivals to movies screened in Smell-o-Vision and an annual techno dance party under the McGrath Highway overpass.
With Union Square Main Streets, ArtsUnion also hosts the rather unusual fall Fluff Fest, which celebrates the Somerville-born snack food Marshmallow Fluff. Finally, special Arts Council events throughout the year include the popular holiday lights Illumination Tour.
In short, this is an organization bubbling over with creative ideas, and lucky for us, they tend to make them happen.
Shobu Aikido of Boston 34 Allen St, Somerville, MA02143 This martial arts studio ("dojo") is tucked on a quiet stretch of Allen Street off of Somerville Avenue -- between…More Merriam and Prospect streets -- near Union Square. It's affiliated with 5 other dojos in New England and the Midwest. Shobu Aikido of Boston was founded by William Gleason (Gleason Sensei, to students) who is a celebrated author on the topic of non-violent martial arts and studied in Japan from 1970 to 1980. All levels are welcomed, and the curious are encouraged to take off their shoes and observe.