Union Square Somerville Playlist

Celebrate and Support Local Music with 20 Somerville Bands and Musicians

An experiment in supporting local music, the Union Square Somerville Playlist is a CD/digital download of 20 tracks from 20 Union Square bands and musicians. 

"Beer in the Great War" with historian Dan Breen and WWI-era music by Matt Glaser and Sonny Barbato at Aeronaut
Oct
25
6:30pm 6:30pm

"Beer in the Great War" with historian Dan Breen and WWI-era music by Matt Glaser and Sonny Barbato at Aeronaut

A night of history and historical music with two wonderful Somerville residents!

2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I. As the U.S. joined the conflict, breweries strove to stay in business even as the tide towards Prohibition grew and the supplies of needed grain began to diminish. Rising anti-German sentiment further reduced the demand for beer. Come join us at Aeronaut Brewing Company to learn more about and how these dynamics impacted businesses in Somerville and across the country with historian and Somerville resident Dan Breen of Brandeis University.

The talk will be followed by a special performance by celebrated jazz and bluegrass violinist Matt Glaser performing WWI and early Prohibition-era music. Glaser, a 20-year Somerville resident, served as head of the Berklee School of Music string department for more than 25 years and is founder and artistic director of the Berklee American Roots Music Program. Glaser's vast knowledge and experience in music has fueled collaborations with a wide range of artists, from cellist Yo-Yo Ma to filmmaker Ken Burns. Glaser will be joined by Joe "Sonny" Barbato, a pioneering voice in jazz accordion.

A special opportunity to enjoy the talents of two Somerville residents, this event is free! Many thanks to support form Mass Humanities. Beer will be available for purchase, as well as meat and/or veggie Venezuelan arepas from Somerville residents Las Carolinas. Las Carolinas is part of the Somerville Arts Council's Nibble Culinary Entrepreneurs project.

Talk begins at 6:30 pm

Music from 8 - 10 pm

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Bolivia Canta at the 27th annual Mystic Service Providers Picnic
Aug
15
2:30pm 2:30pm

Bolivia Canta at the 27th annual Mystic Service Providers Picnic

  • 530 Mystic Avenue Somerville, MA, 02145 United States (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

On Tuesday, August 15th, the Union Square Playlist's Bolivia Canta plays the 27th annual Mystic Service Providers Picnic for the residents of the Mystic Apartments! There will be a BBQ, dance performances, .and a bouncy house. Kids can also climb aboard a Somerville Fire Truck or inside a Somerville Police vehicle. Many thanks to the Mystic Learning Center The Welcome Project and all of the picnic organizers and volunteers for letting us be a part of the fun. Special thanks to the Somerville Arts Council for its support!

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Make Music Boston and the Union Square Playlist present Josh Lederman and the Be Nice or Leave Brass Band
Jun
21
8:00pm 8:00pm

Make Music Boston and the Union Square Playlist present Josh Lederman and the Be Nice or Leave Brass Band

On Wednesday June 21st from 8-10 pm, Aeronaut Brewing Co.'s Duck Village Stage Series hosts a night of great music, attitude and fun with the Be NICE or LEAVE Brass Band, presented by Make Music Boston and the Union Square Playlist. Band leader and Union Square resident Josh Lederman fronts a collection of immensely talented horn players for your listening pleasure. Local beer, local music, local food. This super-fun show is free! 

Make Music Boston is a live, free musical celebration on June 21, the longest day of the year! Enjoy and participate in concerts on streets, sidewalks, and parks across the city.

Many thanks to Bill Miller for the concert poster.

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A History of Somerville's Oldest Commercial District: Union Square
Jun
21
6:00pm 6:00pm

A History of Somerville's Oldest Commercial District: Union Square

On Wednesday, June 21st, Aeronaut Brewing Co. and the Duck Village Stage series host a slideshow and discussion with Charan Devereaux about the economic history of Somerville’s oldest commercial district, Union Square. The discussion will profile some of the Square’s biggest employers beginning in the 1800's, including the meat-packing, glass-blowing, and textile finishing industries. How did the advent of railroads impact the local economy? How does the city’s economic past affect Somerville’s identity today? This free event is sponsored by Mass Humanities.

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A History of Somerville's Oldest Commercial District at the Somerville Council on Aging
May
31
10:30am10:30am

A History of Somerville's Oldest Commercial District at the Somerville Council on Aging

On Wednesday May 31st, the Somerville Council on Aging will host a slideshow and discussion about the economic history of Somerville’s oldest commercial district, Union Square. The discussion will profile some of the Square’s biggest employers beginning in the 1800's, including the meat-packing, glass-blowing, and textile finishing industries. How did the advent of railroads impact the local economy? How does the city’s economic past affect Somerville’s identity today? This event is sponsored by Mass Humanities.

The Somerville Council on Aging supports older adults in their efforts to maintain independence by enhancing growth, dignity, and a sense of belonging in mind, body, and spirit while aging in place. This event is free. Do you have a relative or Somerville neighbor who might enjoy being part of the welcoming community at the Somerville Council on Aging? If you would like to bring them to the event, just call Debby Higgins at (617) 625-6600 x2321 to reserve seats. 

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Bolivia Canta at Aeronaut Brewing Co.'s Duck Village Stage Series
May
24
8:00pm 8:00pm

Bolivia Canta at Aeronaut Brewing Co.'s Duck Village Stage Series

The Union Square Playlist presents Bolivia Canta at Aeronaut Brewing Co.'s Duck Village Stage Series. Bolivia Canta formed over 15 years ago to showcase music from the Andes in the Boston area. The band  combines traditional Bolivian instruments (zampona, charango,quenas, bombos) with electroacustic guitars, drums and synthesizers. Their music is based in Bolivian, Peruvian, Ecuadorian and Colombian rhythms. Members of Bolivia Canta have played at Union Square's Machu Picchu Restaurante Turistico every Friday night for the last ten years.

This event is free!

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Immigration and Somerville’s Economy: A Historical Perspective at Aeronaut Brewing Co.
May
24
6:30pm 6:30pm

Immigration and Somerville’s Economy: A Historical Perspective at Aeronaut Brewing Co.

Somerville is the most densely populated city in New England, and about a third of the city’s 80,000 residents were born outside the United States. On Wednesday, May 24th, 6:30-8 pm, please join us for an encore presentaation of a panel discussion on the historical role of immigration in Somerville’s economy.  Moderated by the Massachusetts Historical Society's Director of Programs Gavin W. Kleespies, the panel includes public historian Edward Gordon, The Welcome Project's Executive Director Ben Echevarria and members of Somerville's business community. How did immigrants from Ireland, Italy, Greece, Portugal and other countries participate in the local economy and shape early Somerville? Since the 1980's, immigrants have come to the city from all over the world including Central and South America, Haiti, and Cape Verde. How is Somerville’s history of immigration significant to the city’s identity? What can we learn from stories from Somerville’s business community? This panel discussion is supported by Mass Humanities, whose grants inspire considered thought, conversation, and action through the humanities. We’re happy to participate in their mission to improve civic life in Massachusetts. See more about what Mass Humanities does here: http://masshumanities.org/

The panel discussion will be followed by a performance by Bolivia Canta at 8 pm.

The panel discussion and concert are free!

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Photograph from "Union Square at Work" at Boston City Hall
May
19
to Jun 27

Photograph from "Union Square at Work" at Boston City Hall

Charan Devereaux's photograph "American Legion Post #447, Somerville, Ma" is part of the Boston City Hall exhibition STARE curated by the Boston MFA's Karen E. Haas, Lane Collection Curator of Photographs, Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Join us for the exhibit reception on May 25th 6-8 pm at the Scollay Square Gallery. The exhibit is inspired by the Walker Evans quote "Stare. It is the way to educate your eye and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop.” 

 

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Encore presentation of An Economic History of Somerville, Massachusetts
May
13
12:00pm12:00pm

Encore presentation of An Economic History of Somerville, Massachusetts

The Somerville Historic Preservation Commission, the Somerville Museum and the Union Square Playlist present "An Economic History of Somerville, Massachusetts" on Saturday, May 13th at noon at Aeronaut Brewing Co. This is a repeat of historian Edward Gordon's sold-out March 15th discussion event at Aeronaut. (Many thanks to our wonderful audience!)  The talk and Q&A ends at 1:30 with plenty of time to take in the Somerville Arts Council's Porchfest 2017, which runs until 6 pm. Panels and talks at Aeronaut Brewing Co. are welcome to all ages (21+ to sample the brewery's craft beers). Edward Gordon's talk is supported in part by Mass Humanities

Before the talk, consider joining the Somerville Historic Preservation Commission at 9:30 am at Conway Park fora walking tour of Somerville's "Innovation Row." (The tour will end at Aeronaut Brewery at 11:30.) 

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The Loft @Somerville Porchfest: Audrey Ryan with Will Dailey and Dietrich Strause
May
13
12:00pm12:00pm

The Loft @Somerville Porchfest: Audrey Ryan with Will Dailey and Dietrich Strause

  • 11 Cambria Street Somerville, MA, 02143 United States (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The fantastic annual Somerville Arts Council Porchfest 2017 is coming up on Saturday, May 13th! Be sure to check out multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and Union Square Playlist artist Audrey Ryan with friends Will Dailey and Dietrich Strause just around the corner from the Somerville Museum. More details available at TheLoft@Porchfest: Will Dailey, Audrey Ryan & Dietrich Strause.

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Immigration and Somerville's Economy: A Historical Perspective
May
10
6:30pm 6:30pm

Immigration and Somerville's Economy: A Historical Perspective

Somerville is the most densely populated city in New England, and about a third of the city’s 80,000 residents were born outside the United States. On Wednesday, May 10th, 6:30-8 pm, the Somerville MuseumThe Welcome Project and the Union Square Playlist present a panel discussion on the historical role of immigration in Somerville’s economy.  Moderated by the Massachusetts Historical Society's Director of Programs Gavin W. Kleespies, the panel includes public historian Edward Gordon, The Welcome Project's Executive Director Ben Echevarria and members of Somerville's business community. How did immigrants from Ireland, Italy, Greece, Portugal and other countries participate in the local economy and shape early Somerville? Since the 1980's, immigrants have come to the city from all over the world including Central and South America, Haiti, and Cape Verde. How is Somerville’s history of immigration significant to the city’s identity? What can we learn from stories from Somerville’s business community?

This event is free! The panel discussion is supported by Mass Humanities, whose grants inspire considered thought, conversation, and action through the humanities. We’re happy to participate in their mission to improve civic life in Massachusetts. See more about what Mass Humanities does here: http://masshumanities.org/

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The Johnny Come Latelies at the Somerville Council on Aging
Mar
30
10:30am10:30am

The Johnny Come Latelies at the Somerville Council on Aging

The Union Square Playlist presents fiddle-driven Irish-roots music from The Johnny Come Latelies at the Somerville Council on Aging on Thursday, March 30th at 10:30 am. The Somerville Council on Aging supports older adults in their efforts to maintain their independence by enhancing growth, dignity, and a sense of belonging in mind, body, and spirit while aging in place. This event is free. If you would like to attend, just call (617) 625-6600 x2321 to reserve a seat. Aimed at bringing live, local music to Somerville non-profits and high school students, this concert is part of a series supported by the Somerville Arts Council/Massachusetts Cultural Council.

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Shepherdess at Aeronaut Brewing Co.
Mar
15
8:00pm 8:00pm

Shepherdess at Aeronaut Brewing Co.

Following the discussion event on Somerville's Economic History, the Union Square Playlist is excited to present the band Shepherdess at Aeronaut Brewing Co. on Wednesday, March 15th, 8-10 pm.  Post-punk/slack-psych band Shepherdess practices at Compound 440R in the former American Tube Works building in Somerville. The band’s most recent album is I’m Saving Myself for Shepherdess. Singer/guitarist Hilken Mancini is formerly of the band Fuzzy. Fuzzy's single “Flashlight” was recently named one of Rolling Stone’s 50 Best Songs of Nineties. Baritone guitar/violinist Emily Arkin has performed in Somerville–based bands for over 15 years and chaired the Somerville Arts Council Board. Drummer Alison Murray met her band-mates via Girls Rock Campaign Boston.  Mancini, Murray, and Arkin are leaders of GRCB, helping girls foster self-expression, confidence and collaboration through music education and performance. This is a free show!

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An Economic History of Somerville, Massachusetts at Aeronaut Brewing Co.
Mar
15
6:30pm 6:30pm

An Economic History of Somerville, Massachusetts at Aeronaut Brewing Co.

NOTE: This event is expected to sell out -- please arrive early to ensure you get a seat.

The Somerville Museum and the Union Square Somerville Playlist present public historian Edward Gordon at Aeronaut Brewing Company's Duck Village Stage. On Wednesday, March 15th, 6:30-8 pm, Edward Gordon will present a talk and discussion on Somerville’s economic history. Why did people first come to the city--what were their goals and how were they employed? How did railways change Somerville? How has the city's history as an industrial center contribute to its identity? How does Somerville’s economic history fit into the story of New England’s development? The talk is supported by Mass Humanities, whose grants inspire considered thought, conversation, and action through the humanities. We’re happy to participate in their mission to improve civic life in Massachusetts. See more about what Mass Humanities does here: http://masshumanities.org/

This is a free event!

If you are hungry, tasty Venezuelan arepas filled with meat and/or veggies will be available from Carolicious, a cooking duo originally from Caracas, Venezuela. Business owners and Somervillians Carolina Salinas and Carolina Garcia work with the Somerville Arts Council's Nibble Culinary Entrepreneurship Program, which helps local immigrant food entrepreneurs develop their business plans. Aeronaut hosts Carolicious every Wednesday night.

Edward Gordon's talk will be followed by a performance by the band Shepherdess, which practices in the old American Tube Works building on Somerville Avenue. (8-10 pm).

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Sean Staples and Friends at Aeronaut Brewing Co.
Feb
15
8:00pm 8:00pm

Sean Staples and Friends at Aeronaut Brewing Co.

The Union Square Playlist is excited to present multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and 20 year Union Square resident Sean Staples. Sean has produced numerous records from his Somerville studio and can be seen performing regularly at many clubs in the Somerville/Cambridge area. He is a consummate musical collaborator, supporting dozens of local artists in their concerts and albums. His band the Resophonics has released four studio records of original music and received a Boston Music Award as “Outstanding Folk Act.” Sean will be joined by Eric Royer on banjo and dobro. 

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The Johnny Come Latelies at Sally O'Brien's
Feb
10
6:00pm 6:00pm

The Johnny Come Latelies at Sally O'Brien's

Join the Irish roots-rock band The Johnny Come Latelies at Sally O'Brien's on Friday, February 10th from 6-9 pm. The Johnny Come Latelies formed in 1999 with strong ties to Somerville. Award-winning fiddler and Union Square resident Damon Leibert ran Bluetone Studio in Boynton Yards for 13 years and served on the Union Square Main Streets Board. Today, he is director of The Rockwell, formerly the Davis Square Theater. Songwriter and guitarist Robert Elliott is formerly the co-owner of the Tir na nOg and current bartender at Sally O’Brien’s. Bass player Jeremy Drydn lives just outside Union Square, and drummer Neal Cadogan co-owns Hemlock Ink in Ames Business Park.

Called "a special hangout for local roots musicians" by Steve Morse, Sally O'Brien's Bar & Grill is in the heart of Union Square. Sally's was established in 2003. This is a free show!

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Audrey Ryan at Aeronaut Brewing Co. with Somerville History Trivia
Jan
18
7:00pm 7:00pm

Audrey Ryan at Aeronaut Brewing Co. with Somerville History Trivia

7 - 8 pm -- Test your knowledge of Somerville's past (or just hang out and enjoy the fun) at Somerville History Trivia Night, co-sponsored with the Somerville Museum. Win history-related prizes! 

8 - 10 pm -- The Union Square Playlist presents Audrey Ryan at Aeronaut Brewing Co.'s Duck Village Stage Series. Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Audrey Ryan has practiced in the former American Tube Works building at 440 Somerville Avenue since 2004. She also produces a series of concerts by local and touring musicians in her practice space. Ryan’s most recent EP is Let’s Go to the Vamp and her music has been heard on a variety of television shows including Glee and Teen Mom. The Pittsburgh City Paper says, “Because Audrey Ryan’s songwriting is so good, even if she is pulling and tugging on an accordion or picking on a banjo and stomping her tambourine adorned foot, the music is just as moving live as it is on her phenomenal album.” For more information visit  www.audreyryan.com

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Damn Tall Buildings at Sally O'Brien's
Jan
6
6:00pm 6:00pm

Damn Tall Buildings at Sally O'Brien's

Damn Tall Buildings draws on early 20th-century Americana and bluegrass music to create songs for a modern audience. Dubbed “the Carter Family for the millennial generation” (The Boston Globe), the band has recently appeared at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, the GreyFox Bluegrass Festival, and the FreshGrass Festival, where they were awarded 2nd place in the 2016 band competition. Damn Tall Buildings sold out Club Passim and Thunder Road -- this is your chance to see them!  Band co-founder Avery Ballotta, a Berklee alumnus, lives and scores films in Union Square.

Called "a special hangout for local roots musicians" by Steve Morse, Sally O'Brien's Bar & Grill is in the heart of Union Square. Sally's was established in 2003. This is a free show!

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Dub Apocalypse at Aeronaut Brewing Co.
Dec
22
8:30pm 8:30pm

Dub Apocalypse at Aeronaut Brewing Co.

Be sure to catch Dub Apocalypse at Aeronaut Brewing Company on Thursday, December 22nd at 8:30 pm! Dub Apocalypse was named “One of 10 Local Acts You Need to Hear Now” by Improper Bostonian Magazine -- and Aeronaut keeps winning awards for its beer. Its a great destination to bring relatives who are in town for the holidays!

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Avery Ballotta and Damn Tall Buildings at Aeronaut Brewing Co. with Somerville History Trivia
Nov
9
8:00pm 8:00pm

Avery Ballotta and Damn Tall Buildings at Aeronaut Brewing Co. with Somerville History Trivia

7 pm -- Test your knowledge of Somerville's past (or just hang out and enjoy the fun) at Somerville History Trivia Night, co-sponsored with the Somerville Museum. Win history-related prizes! 
8 -10 pm -- The wonderful Damn Tall Buildings draws on early 20th-century Americana and bluegrass music to create songs for a modern audience. Dubbed “the Carter Family for the millennial generation” (The Boston Globe), Damn Tall Buildings has recently appeared at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, the GreyFox Bluegrass Festival, and the FreshGrass Festival, where they were awarded 2nd place in the 2016 band competition. Damn Tall Buildings sold out Club Passim and Thunder Road -- this is your chance to see them!  Band co-founder Avery Ballotta, a Berklee alumnus, lives and scores films in Union Square.

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Session Americana's Ry Cavanaugh at Aeronaut Brewing Co.
Oct
26
8:00pm 8:00pm

Session Americana's Ry Cavanaugh at Aeronaut Brewing Co.

Son of a Honky Tonk singer from Stamford, Connecticut, long-time Union Square resident  Ry Cavanaugh has been a central figure in the Somerville/Cambridge roots music scene for the last 15 years. A multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter, Cavanaugh co-founded Session Americana, the "ultra-gifted, rotating collective" which "expertly blends vintage American roots music styles — from country to jazz to rock — in a rowdy but deft fashion" (Rolling Stone). The band's most recent album with Jefferson Hammer is Great Shakes. 


Cavanaugh, who began his career performing at Union Square's Tir na nOg in 1997, will play a rare solo show at AERONAUT Brewery. With thanks to AERONAUT, this is a free performance!

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Somerville Arts Council's Somerstreets Festival in Union Square
Oct
23
2:00pm 2:00pm

Somerville Arts Council's Somerstreets Festival in Union Square

The October 23rd Somerville Arts Council's Annual Somerstreets festival on Somerville Avenue features three Union Square Somerville Playlist acts! Be sure to check out Dub Apocalypse, The Johnny Come Latelies, and Bolivia Canta. Special congratulations to Dub Apocalypse -- just nominated for a 2016 Boston Music Award as Best International Artist!

Bolivia Canta plays from 2-3 pm at the Conway Stage on Somerville Avenue

The Johnny Come Latelies plays from 4-5 pm at the Conway Stage on Somerville Avenue

Dub Apocalypse plays from 5-6 pm at the Mass Ave Music Stage on Somerville Avenue

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Libana and Bolivia Canta at Club Passim
Oct
22
3:00pm 3:00pm

Libana and Bolivia Canta at Club Passim

Come celebrate the Union Square Somervlille Playlist CD release with contributing acts Bolivia Canta and Libana at the legendary Club Passim in Harvard Square, Cambridge on Saturday October 22 from 3-5 pm! Tickets are $13/$15.


Libana illuminates the creativity, vision and spirit of women worldwide. Group founder and Artistic Director Susan Robbins also operates Third Life Studio in the heart of Union Square. Libana has released nine albums, most recently Instrument of PeaceThe Boston Globe calls them "World Class! . . . a globe-circling sound . . . The music brings universal understanding across borders."


Bolivia Canta formed over 15 years ago to showcase music from the Andes in the Boston area. The band has played at Union Square's Machu Picchu Restaurante Turistico every Friday night for the last ten years. The band combines traditional Bolivian instruments (zampona, charango,quenas, bombos) with electroacustic guitars, drums and synthesizers. Their music is based in Bolivian, Peruvian, Ecuadorian and Colombian rhythms but they also play American music with some Latino bits like Cumbia and Rumba as well. 
 

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M&S Records artist Bad Superstar at Somerville ArtBeat 2016
Jul
16
4:00pm 4:00pm

M&S Records artist Bad Superstar at Somerville ArtBeat 2016

Somerville's annual ArtBeat weekend is one of the area's largest and most innovative arts festivals, with over a dozen bands, dance troupes, 75 craft vendors, food, and all-age activities. The theme for ArtBeat 2016 is "roots," a celebration of all things that have roots, are grounded, that tie people and place together.  The Union Square Somerville Playlist is excited to present M&S Records artist Bad Superstar at ArtBeat 2016. Located on Somerville Avenue, M&S Records produces, distributes, and promotes Haitian and Haitian-American artists.  From the Somervile Arts Council : "Featuring the powerful vocals of Haitian native Renel Tarte, Bad Superstar melds sunny reggae with kompa beats. Moving back and forth between melodic song and occasional raps, Tarte leads his band as it improvises yet always keeps the rhythm section steady.  Bad Superstar is the perfect summer soundtrack and we're thrilled to have headline ArtBeat."

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"Union Square at Work" reception at the Massachusetts State House
May
13
12:00pm12:00pm

"Union Square at Work" reception at the Massachusetts State House

The Somerville Museum and State Representative Denise Provost present selections from Charan Devereaux's "Union Square at Work," photographs and stories from Somerville's oldest commercial district. Please join us for a reception with State Representative Denise Provost on Friday, May 13, noon-2 pm at the Massachusetts State House, Fourth Floor, Hearing Room 437. Refreshments provided!

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Jennifer Kimball live in concert at the Somerville Museum
Nov
15
3:00pm 3:00pm

Jennifer Kimball live in concert at the Somerville Museum

Come watch the sun set and enjoy the music with the Union Square Somerville Playlist live at the Somerville Museum! Join us for a concert featuring the gorgeous, open-hearted vocals of critically acclaimed, Boston Music Award-winning singer-songwriter Jennifer Kimball, a Playlist contributor. (Kimball is also a long-time Union Square resident).

Tickets: $15 general admission/$12 for students, seniors and Somerville Museum members.

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Metal, Cars & Meat: Stories from Boynton Yards
Nov
4
6:30pm 6:30pm

Metal, Cars & Meat: Stories from Boynton Yards

Join us on November 4th at the Somervlile Museum for a panel discussion about Somerville's Boynton Yards neighborhood moderated by Charan Devereaux with Joe Nissenbaum of Nissenbaum’s Used Auto Parts, local historian and retired Somerville firefighter Bob “Monty” Doherty, and Allen Talewsky from Talwesky’s/J&A Auto Parts. Explore the area’s history of slaughterhouses, salvage yards, auto recyclers, and other industries. Nissenbaum’s and Talewsky’s have each been owned and operated by the same family since the early 1900’s. Refreshments include sandwiches from Boynton Yards restaurant La Hacienda, founded 1939. This is a free event!

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