Tag Archives: Somerville Arts Council

Nibble ! Culinary Art—and Architecture—at Casa B

 From the Somerville Arts Council’s Nibble Blog

Nibble scribe Raleigh Strott chats with Alberto Cabré, co-owner and head chef of Casa B, about dessert, produce and the intersection of architecture and culinary arts. Photos by Rachel Blumenthal.

In many restaurants you often find the “Dessert Divide,” where chefs shy away from baking and focus on the main event: entrées. Not so with Alberto Cabré, head chef and co-owner of Casa B in the heart of Union Square. “I love baking,” he says. “It comes from my background in architecture; the careful measuring comes easily to me.” In fact, the owners of Casa B—Alberto and his wife Angelina Jockovich—are both trained architects.

This background in architecture proved invaluable in opening their restaurant, which serves up creative Spanish and Caribbean food. Upstairs, the feel is light, airy, elegant yet homey. Yet the real transformation is downstairs. In what was once a dingy basement, there is now a modern kitchen (on view to diners), stylish upholstered stools and loveseats and a “living wall”—a vertical garden packed with leafy green plants that cover an entire wall. Casa B’s square footage is modest, yet Alberto and Angelina have created a sense of effortless spaciousness.

In the kitchen Alberto combines his two passions: architecture and cooking.

Read more here.

Hey Kids, Let’s Put On A Show !

Those wacky and wonderful festivals that take place in Union Square each summer, while some are produced directly by the Somerville Arts Council and by Union Square Main Streets, most are developed by can-do, inventive folks right in the community.  Ever want to produce your own cultural festival?  If you’re selected to present your event in Union Square you’ll get the support of the Somerville Arts Council’s ArtsUnion you make your creative dream a reality.

Now in its eighth year, the Somerville Arts Council’s ArtsUnion Project is an initiative designed to boost the cultural economic development of Union Square, Somerville. ArtsUnion presents numerous events and markets, develops and leads cultural and historical tours, commissions street furniture and public art, and has revised zoning to incentivize arts related development in the Square.  The Arts Council brings in numerous community partners, including Union Square Main Streets, in this effort.

For this Producer Call we’re  looking for creative individuals to create, produce and manage cultural events that will take place in Union Square, Somerville from June through early October, 2012. We seek producers who will develop 2-4 hour cultural events/performances, or public art initiatives around a certain theme. Working with the Somerville Arts Council, producers will be responsible for the following: selecting a theme, lining up talent and/or vendors, creating activities, submitting a budget, planning and managing the event, and helping to promote the event. Themes can be broad or specific, ranging from dance, food, or performance art to film and multimedia work. Past ArtsUnion events include the well-known Fluff Festival, a Haitian Film Festival at Somerville Community Access Television, and the Hungry Tiger Street Festival celebrating food in Union Square.

Programming that reflects and include the diverse Union Square community is particularly encouraged. We also urge you to find ways to work with area businesses. For example, several area restaurants and food markets have participated in recent events and we have a good relationship with them. Most events take place in Union Square Plaza, but we are open to other ideas. In general, we encourage you to discuss any ideas with us.

The goal of the ArtsUnion event series is to increase the visibility of our strong local artist population; increasing economic activity for participating vendors and the area in general; and cultivating the square’s artistic, diverse and unique ambiance. For the series we’re  looking for events and markets that are: centered on a theme, are unusual and creative, and will garner good press and attendance.

Get the application here.

Adventures in Kimchee

From the Somerville Arts Council’s Nibble! blog.

An afternoon with Cheolhyeon “James” Jeong, Arts Council Volunteer Extraordinaire, Rachel Strutt, and new Nibble Scribe Raleigh Strott, on a mini-tour of Korean eats in Union Square.

It was a crisp and wintery afternoon when Rachel and Raleigh met James at Buk Kyung for some hot tea, outstanding food and a primer on Korean cuisine.

Upon arriving, we were seated quickly and brought tall steaming glasses of tea, a very welcome respite from the cold. While we perused the menu, James clarified for us that many of the dishes served come from the southern-most areas of South Korea, where there is a strong Chinese influence. He explained to us that about 80% of the Korean vocabulary comes from China, and is also present in the food. For example Jajangmyun, a noodle dish served with pork, onion, potatoes, and zucchini in a sweet black bean sauce, is one such entrée; in Korea it is considered “Chinese food”, although such a dish is not common in China. It makes sense for such a delicious treat to be on the menu at Buk Kyung, the “Buk”, pronounced with a long “oo” sound, translates to “Beijing” in Korean and signifies the specialty dishes at this establishment.

Read the rest of the article on Nibble.

Saturday Dance Matinee for the Somerville Arts Council

Saturday, February 4, 2012 from 2 pm to 7 pm. stop on over to PA’s Lounge for an afternoon of  electronic dance music as five local DJs fundraise for the Somerville Arts Council.

The event is 18+ with valid ID and admission is $10.

Featuring one hour sets with, D-Lux (Re:Set, Boston); Fuse (GLOW, Boston); MetalKT (Vermin Street, Boston); DJ Cousin John (Blend Boston, Boston); batwings (Blend Boston, Boston). Coordination by batwings (blend boston).

Ginger Explosion Returns To Tingle Taste Buds

Ginger Explosion number 3 is coming February 6 to PA’s Lounge in Somerville. You’ll be able to sample delicious ginger dishes from area restaurants all in support of ArtsUnion. (ArtsUnion is the initiative presented by the Somerville Arts Council with local partners including Union Square Main Streets to advance the creative economy of Union Square. ) With your ticket, you’ll also receive a complimentary ginger cocktail courtesy of Domaine de Canton. No redheads will be exploded at this event.

The event has shockingly already sold out. (We just got notice about it only a couple hours ago!) Seems like that $13 ticket is too much of a steal.

You’re missing food from Petit Robert Bistro, Dosa Temple, Bambara and Herb Lyceum.

ArtsUnion Public Art

From the Somerville Arts Council:

Our ArtsUnion street furniture work was quiet for while; but starting this past fall, it started to percolate and has been flowing like a stream ever since.

Last winter, during the barrage of winter storms, we incurred some damage to a number of Union Square pieces. But now two of these pieces have been repaired and installed. With the physical prowess of Hilary Scot, we reinstalled one of Aaron Binkley’s V-shaped glass benches that had been “glassless” since last winter. Of the four benches, this piece features a flowing river of poems engraved on the glass.

Also, David Tonnesen recently fixed and reinstalled his sculptural tree, which was first installed 12 years ago outside where Eat restaurant used to be (home of new Casa B restaurant). The piece had broken into two parts, in part because it was completely consumed by a tangled trumpet vine. Ironically, this elegant faux tree was built after a real tree came down during the April Fool’s Day blizzard of ’97. Charlie Robinson, owner of Eat restaurant, wanted to plant a new tree but was advised against it due to an underground gas pipe. So Robinson and sculptor Tonneson came up with the idea of a metal tree that could support a trumpet vine. We hope the newly planted version of this tree will last at least another 12 years.

And after two years of a temporary home in the square, Bevan Weisman’s “RippleRun” sculpture was permanently purchased and installed, thanks to generous funding from the New England Foundation for the Arts Public Art grant. Weisman’s piece is particularly dynamic when it rains, as rain ripples on the glass pains and cascades from one pain to another and down the central stainless core. As we turn to spring and summer, another flow of productive ArtsUnion work will emerge with our outdoor event and market series.

A ribbon cutting with the Bevan, the Mayor and representatives of NEFA and the Council will be on Thursday, Dec. 22nd at 2 p.m. Please join us in the square.