Community Curator Grant

The Somerville Museum invites applications for public exhibits at the museum. Two Community Curators will be selected and will receive a seed grant of $2,500 and exhibit space in the galleries at One Westwood Road, Somerville, MA. This program is supported by membership donations.

This deadline has passed. Stay up to date on the next round by joining our mailing list.

All applications are to be submitted digitally to

Application form can be found HERE.

The Somerville Museum is the City of Somerville’s mirror, playing a central role in preserving the past, reflecting the present, and helping to shape the future of this diverse urban community. Through its innovative programming, the Museum seeks to engage our audience in an on-going dialogue with local artists, scholars, and educators, with the larger aim of fostering cultural education and understanding.

The Museum welcomes proposals from those with extensive resumes as well as those with little experience yet ample vision. We encourage applicants to visit both the Museum and its website ( in order to learn more about the Museum’s wide-ranging exhibition history. 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.

Selection criteria:

  • Proposals can be on any topic, but preference is given to exhibits that incorporate a connection to the City of Somerville, past, present or future, and serve to enhance understanding and appreciation of the history, arts and culture of the City. All submissions are welcome and will be judged on the quality of the proposal.
  • Creative use of artifacts and engaging exhibit design is important. Use of the Museum’s collections is encouraged but not required.
  • Collaboration with other artists, scholars and like-minded local organizations is strongly encouraged.
  • Exhibits should foster dialogue among local artists, historians and educators and the broader community to enrich understanding and lifelong learning. Innovative programming that engages diverse, if not new, audiences is therefore sought as part of every exhibition. Examples of programming include concerts, lectures, readings, film screenings, gallery tours, workshops and talks at area schools.
  • Selected exhibits must be installed by the winning applicants within two years of receiving the award.

Somerville Museum floor plan: [Click to download a floor plan of the galleries]

Additional Information:

Exhibition Information: Duration of exhibits is typically for 8-12 weeks.

The Somerville Museum’s main gallery includes six (6) moveable walls, which can be rearranged to create additional space for seating during programs, talks and concerts. Exhibit materials should be securely affixed to these walls.

Promotion: Curators are responsible for additional outreach and the design of promotional material, but all material must be approved by the Museum’s Graphic Designer.

Programming: Curators are expected to organize at least three (3) related public programs at the Museum to take place during exhibit; past examples have included talks by scholars, panel discussions and concerts. Curators might be asked to lead additional tours of their exhibits for local schools, senior and non-profit groups.

Meetings: Curators are invited to attend monthly Program Committee Meetings to discuss exhibition progress and design.


Selected curators will receive seed grants of $2,500 from the Somerville Museum to assist with the costs of presenting the exhibit.

Winning applicants will also be encouraged to apply for additional grants in order to help with both installation and programming expenses.

Curators are responsible for additional fundraising as well as sponsorship from local sources to help offset costs of events.


Selected curators will be guided by the Museum Director, Asst. Director and the Programming Committee. They will also have assistance from the Museum’s Graphic Designer.

For More Information Contact: 

Alison Drasner, Asst. Director

[Application Form]

For more information and notes from our last information session: Virtual Presentation + Notes

Current Community Curators

Debra Olin + David Campbell

Santiago Montoya + José Falconi

Past Community Curators

Pennie Taylor

Bess Paupeck