Profiles

The YouTube Icon Next Door

The Creator of ‘Potter Puppet Pals’ Talks About Finding His Voice Online and In Somerville Thirty minutes into our conversation, Neil Cicierega politely suggests that he’s open to talking about his experience of living in Somerville for the past eight years. Between tales of phone calls with the Warner Bros. legal department over unlicensed merch […]


The Arts Council’s Rachel Strutt On the Language of Food

Rachel Strutt, program director at the Somerville Arts Council, has always been interested in helping to amplify marginalized voices. She got her master’s degree in medieval art history at Tufts, studying the “people on the margins.” She continued with her passion of promoting people’s stories as a journalist, and eventually carried that drive to the […]


The SheBoom Sisterhood

They have many names for themselves. “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Drums.” “The Rolling Crones.” A “post-menopausal percussion and vocal ensemble.” They are many things—women, activists, mothers. One was a realtor, another’s a former professor, and a third has written five books about Halloween. They came together haphazardly. “It’s a small world in Somerville and […]


Ellie Tiglao Brings ‘Narrative Cuisine’ to the Table With Tanám

“It’s important to tell your own food story.” That’s the driving force behind what Ellie Tiglao, one of Boston’s rising culinary talents, describes as “narrative cuisine.” Her new restaurant, Tanám—slated to open in Bow Market in late summer—blends artistic inspiration and historical awareness to create intimate and memorable dining experiences. A career scientist with a […]


Meet Fluffy, Creator of Community at the Mystic Learning Center

You matter, and your community has your back. That’s the fundamental message Florence Bergmann has tried to impart to thousands of East Somerville children over the past 45 years through her work at the Mystic Learning Center (MLC). MLC works to break the cycle of poverty by providing a safe, low-cost space for kids and […]


How the Bicycle Committee Is Making Our Streets Safer

A recurring theme in our conversation with Ken Carlson, the chair of the Somerville Bicycle Committee, is the championing of “good frustration.” “People who aren’t used to biking in a place that has decent bike facilities will come and say to me, ‘Wow, I really love biking in Somerville,’” Carlson says. “My response is yeah, […]


Lee Erica Palmer Inspires State Legislation

While most elected officials can vividly recall the blood, sweat, and tear-soaked path to completing their first campaign for office, Lee Erica Palmer couldn’t have been more prepared for her initial run as school committee representative for Ward 3 in 2015. “Unlike a lot of first-time candidates who can be surprised by what it takes […]


Ben Ewen-Campen Helps Usher In a New Era of Local Politics

Progressive candidates backed by the local chapter of Our Revolution ushered the city into a new political era in November, when all nine candidates who were endorsed by the Bernie Sanders-inspired group took seats on the board of aldermen and the school committee. Ben Ewen-Campen brought to the table a platform rooted in creating affordable […]



Artist Spotlight: Jen Epervary

Articulating struggles with mental health through art can seem like a daunting task, but illustrator Jen Epervary broaches the subject with warmth—and occasional references to the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures.” “It’s about this super buff Hot Topic cashier that yells at ghosts, but [it’s] this idea that there is a different world living within our […]



Artist Spotlight: Ian Berg

When you Google Ian Berg, the first video result shows a circle of 20- and 30-somethings gripping Solo cups and cheering loudly over his tap dancing. Berg’s long curly hair bobs seconds after the rest of his body as his feet move at hummingbird speed. I tell him the crowd is so energetic and youthful, […]