Tag Archives: Cambridge Arts Council

Our Streets Come Alive Through Poetry

Our streets come alive through poetry. If you’re looking for inspiration in Cambridge, you might want to look down. There are 20 poems by Cambridge residents imprinted in our sidewalks! Since 2015, Cambridge’s annual Sidewalk Poetry Contest has invited residents to submit poetry for the chance to get their words stamped in concrete as part of the city’s sidewalk repair program. The collaborative project from Cambridge’s Department of Public Works, Cambridge Arts, and the Cambridge Public Library uses the city’s regular infrastructure maintenance efforts to put poetry out into the world, in every neighborhood of our community. An average of 150 poems are submitted from people ages 3 to 95 each year and five winners are selected and stamped throughout city. (The 2020 review committee is presently examining this year’s poems.) Winning poems have spoken about hibernating mice and voles, a spring thaw, scullers on the river, the songs of birds, memories stirred by passing an old lover’s address.  This is just a little example of the cultural richness we love in Cambridge. Find all our city’s sidewalk poetry on this interactive map.

Cambridge 2000 Records Are Now Available

A scrapbook page chronicling some of the events in 2000, available in the Cambridge 2000 Records.

We are pleased to announce that the Cambridge 2000 Records, 1999-2001 are now available for research in the Cambridge Room.

The Cambridge Arts Council coordinated a series of activities and events to celebrate the millennium in 2000. It held a series of four light celebrations created by Spectaire, a collaborative of light artists. The celebrations were The Beaconing (January 22, 2000), Light Parade (May 13, 2000), Skyward Light (September 23, 2000), and Illuminated Word (December 7, 2000). An additional event was “Curious Doings in Cambridge Crosswalks,” which featured performers from Behind the Mask Theatre and volunteers from city departments and sought to raise awareness about public safety. It produced a series of quarterly calendars under the title “2 thousand things to do in Cambridge in 2 thousand.”

Collection Overview
The collection consists of calendars, images, magnets, media coverage, slides of words and poetry used as outdoor library wall projections in the “Illuminated Word” event, T-shirts and other promotional materials, the City’s 2000 Annual Report featuring the celebration, and a cassette tape of two interviews of light artists that appeared on WBUR and WRK

Magazine Beach Memory Party

Our friends at the Magazine Beach Committee of the Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association have asked us to spread the word about an upcoming event they’re hosting that will give past and present users and fans of Magazine Beach Park a chance to reminisce, share photographs and stories, and enjoy a complimentary lunch at the same time. It will take place on Saturday, January 31, from noon to 3:00 p.m. at 344 Broadway. Those who attend will also have a chance to view the exhibit the group created titled Magazine Beach — A Place Apart, which is on display at Cambridge Arts through the end of February. More information about these and other Magazine Beach-related events is available on their website at http://magazinebeach.org/events/.

Invitation for Magazine Beach Memory Party

Alyssa has previously written about some of the history of Magazine Beach and an exhibit she mounted here at the library in 2013 of some relevant items from our collections. One of those items is the Key to the Old Magazine, pictured below.


According to Alyssa’s exhibit labels, this key was used to enter the room in the powder magazine (building) where the gunpowder and ammunition were stored. Probably not the first image that comes to mind when one thinks of a relaxing day at Magazine Beach Park, but a wonderful reminder of its history nonetheless!

Creative Journaling Exhibition


Putnum Avenue Upper School Creative Journaling Project

Exhibition Location: throughout the library

In the 2012-13 school year 6th grade students at Putnum Avenue Upper School partnered with the Cambridge Creativity Commons to construct their own hand-bound journals inspired by Cambridge artist Dorothy Arnold’s legacy of art journals.  The students’ journals are filled with pages that creatively express their knowledge through image and text across the disciplines of English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies.

Dorothy Arnold, known as “Doffie,” turned to her passion of art full-time, around the age of 40 after raising her family.  She received training at the Museum School in Boston and painted at her studio locally in East Cambridge for over 15 years.  She began writting and drawing in journals in the early 1940s, documenting her life and travels.  Her journals, spanning over 60 years, have been donated to the Cambridge Room, the Library’s Archives and Special Collections.

The Cambridge Creativity Commons aims to engage students and teachers in Cambridge in exploration of meaningful ideas to enrich learning through the arts.  It is a collaboration of the Cambridge Community Foundation, Cambridge Arts Council, Cambridge Public Schools, Lesley University College of Art and Design and Creativity Commons, and the David Arnold Family.


Be a Part of Cambridge’s Art History

MOVE ME is a “pop up” public art project that will take place in Cambridge in the spring of 2012. Inspired by artist Roberta Paul’s travels to the Serengeti this multifaceted event investigates themes of immigration, national identity, and life transitions through the metaphor of animal migration. It will include a four-week gallery exhibition at the Cambridge Arts Council, an installation at the Cambridge Public Library, a two-week continuous “performance” in the streets with shrink-wrapped vehicles with Paul’s animal images.

As part of this project, the artist will be gathering stories from people who live/work in Cambridge. Boundaries and borders, real and perceived, are the focus of the interviews.  This week the MOVE ME will be conducting interviews with Cambridge residents at the Cambridge Public Library.

Stop by the library and tell your story.  Interviews will be videotaped and recorded and may be included in an artist catalog.

Interviews will be held on:
Wednesday, November 30: 10 am – 1pm
Thursday, December 1: 5 pm– 8pm
Wednesday, December 7: 10 am – 1 pm
Thursday, December 8: 5 pm – 8 pm

To arrange for your interview please email: