May 21, 2011
Somerville has always had a reputation for appealing to the artist community in Boston. Whether it’s a live act to watch after dinner, or an art gallery to browse during the day, there’s enough creative energy here to satisfy every taste.
When I first moved to Somerville, I became enamored of the “Open Studios”, an annual event where resident artists literally “open up their studios” to interested neighbors and local art enthusiasts. Now, the Somerville Arts Council has added another warm-weather event to their calendar, Porchfest.
Porchfest is not new, but it’s slowly gaining popularity across the country. Local musicians take center stage on the front porches of willing volunteers. It’s all about giving the local community a free show, outside, in a safe, neighborhood environment. It could not have been a better day for live music.
Starting in Union Square around noon, over 75 acts of eclectic musical variety made waves throughout the residential heart of Somerville. Almost by accident, my friend and I caught the end of a roots rock quartet in Prospect Hill. There was a sizable group on the sidewalk with drinks and focaccia topped with pesto in their hands (provided by the porch’s owner). We stood there, along the periphery, enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells of it all. Everyone was happy, smiling, enjoying the music, chatting like neighbors do. I only imagine these sentiments were shared all afternoon across town.
Porchfest has found a good home in Somerville. There will always be a community of local musicians ready to volunteer their time, and there will always be a neighborhood of enthusiasts ready to hear them out on what promises to be a perfect spring day.
Porchfest was on Saturday, May 21st from 12-6pm. It’s sure to come back around the same time next year, so keep your ears ready. You can find out more by going to http://www.somervilleartscouncil.org.