Guidelines & FAQ

Booking Procedures

  • Submit an event request form through our website.
  • Receive confirmation email from the Democracy Center Coordinator.
  • Complete a one time, 15 minute walkthrough and receive a doorcode from the Democracy Center Coordinator (door codes reset January 1 annually).
  • Hold your event! Clean up, lock up, and donate (within your means) to keep our doors open. 

Further Details

  • Recurring event bookings are confirmed from:
    • January 1 - June 30 and July 1 - December 31. E.g., if you schedule a weekly meeting starting in March, the booking is confirmed until June 30.
    • Recurring bookings will be reconfirmed at the end of May and November
  • One-off bookings are taken on a first-come, first-serve basis. Bookings are taken no more than 6 months in advance, except for extraordinary, infrequent/one time events. A point person for every event or event series is required to attend a walkthrough in order to confirm the booking and receive a door code. Door codes are reset on January 1 annually.
  • All events must be cancelled with 24 hours notice OR by Friday at 4 pm for weekend events. Failure to do so will be taken into account for future bookings.
    • No call/no show or frequent cancellations will be taken into consideration when confirming future bookings, at the discretion of the Democracy Center Coordinator.
  • Recurring events, especially more frequent events, should contribute to the community by being flexible with their bookings and communicating proactively with other Meetinghouse Program organizers
  • The Meetinghouse Program is supported significantly by users like you who make donations on  a sliding scale basis. No one is turned away due to inability to make a donation. The suggested rates, per event, are as follows:
    • Malala Yousafzai Library (max 8-10 people): $10-$20
    • Cesar Chavez Room (max 12 people): $10-$30
    • Rosa Parks room (max 30 people): $30-$75
    • Nelson Mandela room (max 60 people): $50-$100
    • Rosa Parks + Cesar Chavez: $40-$75
    • Nelson Mandela + Rosa Parks: $75-$150
    • Entire First Floor (max 150 people): $100-$200
  • Groups with funding/budgets are encouraged to donate more to support the work of un(der)funded groups that also use the DC.
  • There are many ways to contribute to the DC instead of or in addition to monetary donations:
    • Daily, weekly, and seasonal cleaning projects
    • Donations of tea, coffee, art supplies, office supplies, etc.
    • Offering skills trainings to other groups and resident organizations at the DC
    • Intentionally connecting with other groups using the space and groups who could use the space (networking & publicity)
    • And more!

    Building Rules


    • Share door codes only with other event organizers.
    • All groups should include the fact the DC is not wheelchair accessible on all event publicity (emails, flyers, social media, eventbrite, etc.)
    • Leave the space as clean as, or cleaner, than you found it.
    • Sweep the floor, wash dishes, stack chairs, and put away tables after your event.
    • Close and lock windows and draw the blinds at the end of your event.
    • Put trash, compost, and recycling in the appropriate bins in the kitchen. If the recycling or trash is full, empty the bin into the dumpsters provided outside.
    • Do not leave any food behind after your event.
    • No alcohol or smoking in the building or on the grounds.
    • Do not use tacks on the walls.
    • Return furniture to its original position at the end of your event. When possible, lift and carry furniture rather than dragging it.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can my organization use the Democracy Center?
    • The most important factor that we consider when reviewing an application for space is how a group is in line with our mission. We further non-profit, charitable, educational, and cultural activities.
  • Is the building wheelchair accessible?
    • No, unfortunately the building is not wheelchair accessible. However, accessibility is very important to us and we are working to raise the funds to have the necessary renovations made. If you have some mobility, there are six stairs leading into the building, and although the bathroom is not accessible, all of the main rooms and doorways are large enough to accommodate a wheelchair.
    • All groups should include the fact the DC is not wheelchair accessible on all event publicity (emails, flyers, social media, eventbrite, etc.)
  • Can we bring food?
    • Yes, you can bring food. But you MUST clean up after yourselves, including washing all of your dishes and throwing out all of the trash in the building, and moving food trash to the outdoor trash space. Please clean up completely and do not leave any food or food waste at the Center.
    • Alcohol is not allowed at the Center. This is an all-ages venue, all the time. Please make sure your event participants are aware of this policy as well.
  • Is there a kitchen?
    • Yes, there is a kitchen with a working sink, microwave, coffee maker, hot water kettle, and tiny (cube) refrigerator.
    • Can I have a party at the Democracy Center?
      • Parties, and other private, personal social events, are not allowed at the Center.
    • Can my band play a show at the Democracy Center?
      • All music events held at the Center must be booked through the Show Booking Collective and have a charitable (including educational) purpose. To book, please visit http://democracycentershows.tumblr.com
    • What kind of A/V equipment do you have?
      • We have a pull-down screen in the Nelson Mandela room, along with a projector (VGA/Mac hook-up). If you would like to use the projector, please let us know ahead of time so we can give you instructions on how to access it for your event. We have a television with that we allow groups to use, and a separate VCR. To play DVDs, you need to bring your own laptop computer.
    • Is there wifi?
      • Yes, there is publicly accessible wifi. Login information is posted on the wall in each meeting room.
    • Is there parking available?
      • There is metered parking in the front of the building on Mount Auburn Street, as well as behind the building on Bow Street. Plan to park in a garage, just in case - parking in and around the square is unpredictable at best. Check out this site for more parking information. The #1 bus stops just outside the Democracy Center, Harvard Square Station on the Red Line is a 5 minute walk away, serviced by many bus routes. Major ones include: 1, 66, 86, and 77.