Creative Somerville Series

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Update: The Creative Somerville Series has a new home! You can find it at

The Creative Somerville Series is a series of “fireside chats” with locals in design, tech, food, social impact and other fields–celebrating the creative and entrepreneurial energy that makes Somerville great. The Creative Somerville Series is not your typical power point and Q&A. Our free fireside chats are about getting to hear someone’s story, learning about how they think and create, and getting to share creative energy and ideas in an intimate setting. The free events are co-curated by designer and researcher Mia Scharphie and Somerville Beat Founder Elyse Andrews and held at Aeronaut Brewing Company. They are co-sponsored by Somerville Local First and have been featured in BostInno.

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Upcoming Events

It Ain’t Just Fluff: Co-Creating Great Places
A conversation with MaryCat Chaikin, co-founder of Relish Management
Wednesday, July 22, 7 p.m.
@ Aeronaut Brewing Company (14 Tyler St., Somerville)
Tickets are free, but space is limited, so get yours today.
Canteen & Co. will be back this month with Soba Noodle Bowls with Miso Curry Sauce for $10 (soba noodles with bok choy, ribboned carrots, pickled cabbage, avocado and a homemade miso curry sauce). Local. Whole. And made from Scratch. 🙂
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MaryCat Chaikin is the co-founder (with Mimi Graney) of Relish, a project management and consulting firm for place-making, food-based and creative economy initiatives. Relish partners with municipalities, developers and community organizations to plan, create and manage neighborhood activation projects including markets, collaborative work spaces and public art. From launching iconic local experiences such as the Fluff Festival to finding temporary uses for properties awaiting redevelopment, to running local farmers markets which generate over $2.5 M in economic impact, the team has its hands in many of the exciting projects around town and beyond that support local food systems and creative industries.

Past Events and Recaps

On the Fringe: Presses, People, Places
A conversation with Mike Dacey, founder of Repeat Press and Fringe Union
Wednesday, June 17, 7 p.m.
@ Aeronaut Brewing Company (14 Tyler St., Somerville)
Tickets are free, but space is limited, so get yours today.

Check-in, buy some dinner from Canteen & Co. 6:30, grab a beer in Aeronaut’s taproom and mingle from 6:30 p.m. on. Then get ready for the talk, which begins at 7:15 p.m.
Come early for a delicious bowl of local food from Canteen & Co. Menu details to come!
Read Mia Scharphie’s re-cap and watch the SCATV video of the event.

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With a background in graphic design, Mike Dacey was looking to get off the computer screen when he learned about letterpress printing in his no-rules liberal arts college in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. In 2003, Dacey founded Repeat Press, a full-scale contemporary letterpress studio, offering custom letterpress printing to designers, businesses, creative agencies and individuals, including local businesses and restaurants. While Repeat originally focused on traditional wood type posters for bands and events, the studio has expanded to work with photopolymer plates, and eventually found a niche in contemporary custom letterpress printing. Repeat Press is located at Fringe, a multidisciplinary co-working space in Union Square founded by Dacey, which hosts about 15 other small businesses and creative studios, and has established itself as a hub of talent and creativity on a local and national level.

Rebuilding the Local Food System
A conversation with Colin Davis, founder of Something Gud
Wednesday, May 20, 7 p.m.
@ Aeronaut Brewing Company (14 Tyler St., Somerville)
Tickets are free, but space is limited, so get yours today.
Read Mia Scharphie’s re-cap and watch the SCATV video of the event.

New this month: Local food purveyor Canteen will be selling a big bowl of local, fresh vegetarian goodness for dinner. Feast on wheatberries and quinoa with black beans, roasted carrots and sweet potatoes, rainbow swiss chard and bok choy topped with either classic tahini or red pepper romesco sauce for $8. Food starts at 6:30 p.m.

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Colin Davis is a founder, and the CEO of Something GUD, based out of the Aeronaut Foods Hub. GUD enables customers to opt out of the global, corporate food system with weekly home or office deliveries of groceries from local farms, fishermen, bakers and chefs. Colin is also launching an aquaponic (fish + hydroponic vegetable) farm called Redemption Fish Co. and previously started a software company to automate energy efficiency studies of buildings. All of Colin’s projects are based on the goal of using business to build a more sustainable world.

All These Hats: A Designers Wardrobe 
A conversation with Trevor Holmes, videographer at Wistia
Wednesday, April 29, 7 p.m.
@ Aeronaut Brewing Company (14 Tyler St., Somerville)
Tickets are free, but space is limited, so get yours today. April’s event is sold out!
Read Mia Scharphie’s re-cap.


Trevor Holmes is a designer and videographer at Wistia, a startup that offers video hosting with analytics and tools for video marketers. Holmes, who got his start as a web designer in Pennsylvania, can often be found around the office shooting video for Wistia’s marketing department, taking pictures for the Wistia blog or cuddling the office dog, Lenny. Holmes has helped build sites for creative agencies to real estate professionals, dabbled in wedding photography and video, designed logos and graphics for local brands, as well as made his dog an Instagram star. Through both freelance work and corporate jobs, he has learned the necessity of being a moldable and adaptable designer in today’s tech world.

A Florist’s Path: The Beauty & The Dirt
A Conversation with Rose Mattos and Erin Heath, Founders of Forêt Design Studio
Thursday, March 19, 7 p.m.
@ Aeronaut Brewing Company (14 Tyler St., Somerville)
Free, but space is limited, so reserve your spot now. The event is sold out!
Read Mia Scharphie’s recap.

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Forêt Design Studio is a floral & event styling company based in Somerville, MA founded by best friends Rose Mattos and Erin Heath. With their background in creating visual displays at Anthropologie, the ladies consider themselves “concept-driven” designers creating unique inspired events that are both cohesive and yet imaginative. Both are self-taught florists drawn to the natural elegance of seasonal flowers, fruiting branches, ripening berries and turning acorns. Each year, they work with local growers to choose the coming season’s bounty thus creating true “seed to table” arrangements. The ladies of Forêt have written for Design* Sponge and their clients include IDEO, MIT Media Lab, Society of Grownups, Style Me Pretty, BHLDN, and Anthropologie. Their work has been featured in Magnolia Rouge, Domino Magazine, Martha Stewart Weddings, Boston Wedding MagazineBoston Home Magazine, Design New England and on the Somerville Beat. In 2014, they were named Best Wedding Florist in Boston for both Boston Magazine and the Improper Bostonian.

Superpower Shenanigans & Public Space Playtime
A Conversation with Katarzyna Balug, Co-Founder, Department of Play
Wednesday, February 25, 7 p.m.
@ Aeronaut Brewing Company (14 Tyler St., Somerville)
Free, but space is limited.
Read Mia Scharphie’s recap and SCATV’s video of the February event.


Katarzyna Balug is an artist and urbanist whose practice flows from performance, installation, and sculpture to teaching, civic design and planning research. Inspired by science fiction worlds and informed by urban planning studies, Balug’s work addresses the urgent need for imagination in urbanism. Department of Play runs temporary play zones (TPZs) that bring people together to imagine collectively and share their visions of the future. Their recent BLOCK PARTY in Union Square invited Somervillians to “consider key built elements for the first Martian dwellers.” Their forthcoming installation for the Fairmount Corridor will take place on the train, a space that is “passed-through but unmemorable” as a starting point for imagining other forms of co-existing in a crowd. Balug’s work has been shown at venues including the Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz, Poland, at the Boston Arts Festival and at FARO Tláhuac in Mexico City.

About Creative Somerville’s Co-Curators

Elyse Andrews
Elyse!Elyse Andrews is a journalist, community builder and passionate Somerville resident. In 2012, Elyse founded the Somerville Beat, an online magazine that tells the story of Somerville from a local perspective through restaurant reviews, feature stories, event listings and community happenings. She’s the vice president of the Somerville Local First Board of Directors, a nonprofit network of local, independent businesses, nonprofits, artists and community members. Elyse is the co-curator of the Creative Somerville Series of fireside chats celebrating the creative, entrepreneurial energy of Somerville. She’s also a Somerville homeowner, volunteers with Community Cooks and is an avid runner.

Mia Scharphie
MiaScharphieMia Scharphie is a multidisciplinary designer, researcher and community advocate who works at the intersection of design, entrepreneurship and issues of social equity. Passionate about the potential of design to catalyze social change, in 2012 Mia cofounded Proactive Practices, a research collaborative that identifies and publicizes emerging business models of socially entrepreneurial design. Mia recently served as the Northeastern University Architecture Department’s first fellow, investigating emerging models of innovative design practice, and she is the founder of Build Yourself, a workshop that teaches action-based empowerment skills to female designers. Her past clients have included the Harvard Business School and Enterprise Community Partners, and past employers have included Public Architecture, and the SWA Group. Her writings on issues of equity in design have been published in the Christian Science Monitor and GOOD.

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