Over the last 7 years, Aaron Cohen has started several businesses all loosely tied to people having a good time. He spoke to us in May about everything he’s up to, including owning Gracie’s Ice Cream shop, producing food/drink events such as the Bacon and Beer Festival and Whiskey Rebellion, founding an online art gallery, managing wedding bands, and producing a series of toddler dance parties.
Doing Everything All the Time....
With Ice Cream on Top
GRACIE'S ICE CREAM
Jessie Banhazl spoke in April on her transition from reality TV, working on shows like Wife Swap and The Hills, to her newfound profession in urban agriculture. Green City Growers, the organization Jessie co-founded in 2008, installs and maintains organic urban farms in unconventional spaces. They boast a list of clients
From Reality TV to Urban Farming
GREEN CITY GROWERS
The Unexpected Dance Party: Transforming Public Spaces with Subway DJ
Naveh Halperin spoke at the series in December about his process of becoming ‘Subway DJ‘ a full time busker making spontaneous dance parties near public transit stations. Halperin spoke movingly about the courage it takes to put yourself out there every time he starts to play, and the magical moments that arise when, through his work, public space is transformed.
HEIDI SHALEK &
THE TRAINING ROOM
Small is Strong: Building a Local Fitness Studio & Brand
Heidi Shalek & Maren Kravitz spoke in January about founding their fitness studio The Training Room. They covered the largely DIY process of rehabbing their building, designing a brand, and building a culture that has raving fans (many were in the audience). They spoke about the impact locally owned businesses can have in a city, the overlap between work and life (Training Room wedding?), and their obsession with kettlebells.
Justin Kang spoke to us in March about the Impact Economy and its increasing importance for today’s Millennials. His organization, City Awake, is a non-profit focused on building the ecosystem of civic engagement and social innovation for the Greater Boston region. Missed the event? Check out his talk here.
THE MOMENT IT HAPPENED
CREATIVE CAREER WINS & FAILS
A Story Slam Event based off "The Moth Radio Hour"
In October, multiple members of the Somerville community shared stories from their professional careers that made us laugh, cry and be inspired. We heard from a female Architect who braved the macho world of construction; a Photographer who dropped his camera off a cliff during a shoot; an Events Manager who hosted a fundraiser to keep Keytar Bear (a local street performer legend) afloat financially, among other amazing storytellers. Thank you to everyone who shared! We hope to have another moth-radio style event in the future.
FOR THE LOVE OF PRINT
EXPLORING THE ART OF LETTERPRESS
Our three panelists came together in December to discuss, describe, and demonstrate the art of letterpress printing. Each of our speakers came to letterpress printing from somewhere different - advertising, graphic design, and architecture - and they all shared their unique take on this historic technique. We explored the ins-and-outs of running a studio that combines 19th century technology with 21st century style. Our panel concluded with a field trip over to Union Press where audience members got to try their hand at printmaking!
Building the Impact Economy
Food and Architecture: A Parallel Process
In February, Alberto Cabre walked us through what he finds to be similar prcoesses: cooking and architecture. Alberto is chef at Casa B, a tapas restaurant and bar known for bringing to life the warmth and romance of Latin America. He is also a professor of architecture at Wentworth University. He spoke to the process of shifting from one creative pursuit into another, and the ups and downs of building a restaurant that reflects one's values. You can find his talk here.