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Somerville: All-America City 2015

In June 2015, the National Civic League named the City of Somerville one of ten national winners of its annual All-America City Awards, making it the third time in the City's history that Somerville has won the award since its inception in 1949.

Dance, Learn, Play at All-America City Grooversity Festival Dec. 5!

Youth Activity Fair, live entertainment, workshops with renowned percussion ensembles take over ESCS – FREE for residents of all agest!
1-5 p.m., East Somerville Community School

Join the All-America City of Somerville, MA for an afternoon of live music, games and crafts for young residents, interactive workshops, networking and more at the City's All-America City Grooversity Festival on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 1 p.m., at the East Somerville Community School.

The fourth annual Grooversity Festival will feature renowned drumming and percussion masters, a community drum circle, and performances by Somerville Public Schools' World Percussion Ensembles from 1 to 5 p.m. A two-hour Youth Activity Fair to begin the afternoon will feature exhibitions, games and activities for children by some of the City's top-serving youth agencies, including community garden tours, trivia and scavenger hunt games, giveaways, raffles, and more. The festival will also celebrate the City's third All-America City Award, focusing on youth engagement and youth leadership.

Events and activities include:

  • School garden tour and activities with Groundwork Somerville;
  • Early childhood and literacy activities with The Beautiful Stuff Project, CAAS, and others;
  • Teen Empowerment: Find Your Voice workshop for teens;

About the All-America City Award

The All-America City Award is widely considered one of the most prestigious awards bestowed upon cities. The annual award (aka "the Academy Award for cities") celebrates and recognizes communities that engage residents in innovative, inclusive and effective efforts to tackle critical challenges. Somerville is one of only ten winners nationwide, and the only community from New England, to have been selected as a finalist in 2015. Somerville previously won the award in 2009, and 1972.

This 2015 award recognized cities that support vulnerable youth, and during a four-day competition beginning June 11, delegations of community activists and leaders (more than 500 in total) presented their stories of positive civic change to a jury of 13 leaders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors. To empower the city's youth to speak for themselves, Somerville's City-organized delegation of 32 community members was led by 15 young people from the Somerville Center for Teen Empowerment, and the Somerville Public Schools' World Percussion Ensemble and Somerville High School Chorus, each of which were met with wide acclaim from a panel of judges, event organizers, and fellow finalists.

Somerville's presentation highlighted how youth and community leaders, including police, collaborate to create positive change, foster stronger relationships between young people and police officers, and use music and art to celebrate and promote diversity and inclusiveness.