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COVID-19 Recovery Funds, Community Curators Sought, and More!


Capuano-Dwan Debate at SCATV Centers on Somerville Transportation Priorities and Public Input

Syndicated from the Somerville Wire to DigBoston
“When people are using them, they’re not doing it where people can see it, and they’re doing it in a place where they definitely can’t die.”



COVID-19 Recovery Funds Offered

Small businesses impacted by COVID-19 can apply for forgivable loans worth up to $15,000 via Somerville’s Small Business Recovery Program.

Loans are available for both brick-and-mortar and home-based businesses located within Somerville recovering from financial losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic and its far-reaching impacts. Applications will open online starting on Nov. 15.

To qualify, businesses must be located in Somerville, have 20 or fewer full-time employees, and be able to demonstrate a decline in revenue during the past two years. Home-based businesses can apply online for up to $5,000 for net revenue loss, and businesses with a physical location can apply for up to $15,000 for net revenue loss.

“Our initial waves of business support were designed to address the immediate crisis, but these funds aim to help shift applicants from crisis to recovery mode, so they can better get back on track,” said Mayor Katjana Ballantyne. “The program aims to be sure especially that these local establishments and independent contractors who may not have been able to easily access support through broader programs have an opportunity to better move forward.”


Be a Curator in Your Community

The Somerville Museum has announced its annual Call for Community Curators. This program is open to everyone: artists, historians, collectors, curators, students, and others interested in local history, art, and culture. The museum welcomes proposals from those with extensive resumes as well as those with little experience yet ample vision. All are encouraged to apply.

The Somerville Museum seeks to engage its audience in an ongoing dialogue with local artists, scholars, and educators, with the larger aim of fostering cultural education and understanding.

Proposal ideas can be on any topic but the most successful applications include some combination of history, art, and culture. Chosen applications will receive a seed grant of $2,500 towards exhibition costs. Strong proposals should be clear and concise, presenting innovative and engaging ideas, along with an active programming agenda that will attract a diverse group of participants and visitors.

The museum will host a virtual information session on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. to review the application process and expectations, and provide a view of the current Community Curator exhibition, Sanctuary City by Julia Csekö, which will end this Saturday.

To mark the end of Sanctuary City, the museum will host an in-person, informal conversation with featured artists from the group show on Saturday, Nov. 19 from 5-6 p.m. The event will be mediated by current Community Curator Julia Csekö, and followed by a Q&A. Admission is $10 for the general public, free to museum members. Space is limited so they recommend purchasing tickets in advance.

Open visiting hours this week are Thursday from 2-7 p.m., Friday from 2-5 p.m., and Saturday from noon-3 p.m.  


Your Leaves This Fall

You can help stop pollution and flooding by keeping leaves out of storm drains, streams, rivers, and lakes. The City is encouraging everyone to compost, mulch, or bag leaves for curbside pick-up. 

But do not rake leaves into the street or down storm drains. Blocking storm drains can cause flooding, and large amounts of leaves can lead to an excess of decaying organic material in our waterways. These elevated levels of nutrients cause “blue-green algae,” or cyanobacteria blooms, which are toxic to both humans and wildlife.  

If you don’t want to bag your leaves for curbside pick-up, you can mix your leaves into your compost pile, creating a nutrient-rich fertilizer for your plants. Or use a mulching mower and create mulch from your leaves to use in flower beds.

Yard waste collection ends on Friday, Dec. 9. The Environmental Service Guide has all the details about waste management in Somerville.  

Photo credit: City of Somerville Traffic & Parking Department, November 2022. Photo by Jason Pramas. Copyright 2022 Jason Pramas.

This article is syndicated by the Somerville Wire municipal news service of the Somerville News Garden project of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism.

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Linda Pinkow is a reporter for the Somerville Wire. She is also a development consultant for the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism.

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