Youth Programming

Somerville has over 5,000 students grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12.* The Somerville Museum has been working with various school groups for years. This collaboration is an important part of the Museum’s programming and we strive to continue to offer dynamic and thoughtful programs to the community.

*information from www.somerville.k12.ma.us website


The Basement Project

This project welcomes students from the local history club into the Somerville Museum’s historic collection, which began in 1897. The exhibition showcases the historical objects with which the students personally connect and demonstrates how the Somerville of the past resonates with young residents of the present day.

The Somerville High School’s (SHS) Local History Club is led by SHS teacher, Adda Santos, who is also a member of the Board of Trustees at the Somerville Museum. This project was conceptualized and coordinated by Adda Santos, Charan Devereaux, Advisory Council member, and Alison Drasner, Asst. Director at the Museum, along with the help of Museum staff and of course, the students. While the first exhibition, The Basement Project: Not Your Usual Basement Junk opened on February 27th 2020, it was unfortunately cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope to make this project bi-annual.

To learn more about this project and related events please visit The Basement Project Page.


The Art of Observation (related programs)

The Art of Observation exhibition is a Community Curator project. It is a major retrospective of the work of David Campbell, one of Somerville’s most beloved artists. The exhibition is curated by Debra Olin and opened in November 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic all events were held virtually. Olin and Campbell were steadfast in their various collaborations with school age children living in the community. With the help of Museum staff they were able to create programs that engaged local youth and showcased their work to the community at large. Below is a list of related youth programming.

Draw What You Know: Virtual Exhibit

Originally, this program was a call to art from the youth community. Unfortunately, that call coincided with a hectic and pandemic-ridden start to the new school year. Instead, this program has evolved into a collaboration with Emily Alcott’s 6th grade art class at the East Somerville Community School. These students have been invited to draw everyday scenes and objects of interests to them in and around their home. These pieces will be on display through a virtual exhibit on our website. Meanwhile, the original video is available in the link above.

Home is Where the Art is: Virtual Exhibit

This program invited Jessica Howard’s Somerville High School’s portfolio class to draw what is visually interesting or meaningful to them in their immediate environment. Their creations will be showcased at the Museum and on our website as a virtual exhibit.


Triple Decker Ecology (related program)

Triple Decker Ecology was the first official Community Curator project. Curated by Pennie Taylor, with David Buckley Borden, it opened in October 2018. The exhibition explored land use history, current environmental issues, and future possibilities. To learn more about the exhibition, related programming and curators visit the Triple Decker Ecology Page.

More Bats!: Children’s Book Reading

This was an event held at the Museum on Saturday, October 20th, 2018. It featured a children’s book reading with Somerville writer and 2018 Somerville Arts Council artist Jacob Kramer and Harvard bat biologist Jasmin Camacho


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