News

The Amador Family will be performing a benefit concert at the Democracy Center, now on August 8th instead of July 25th! Mark your calendars, and be prepared to hear both Sol y Canto, a staple of the Cambridge music scene, perform original songs alongside Alisa Amador!

7:30 pm, all ages welcome!

You can buy tickets here, and follow the event on the Facebook page here.

Hope to see you there!

Zarzuela! Spain’s unique brand of opera filled with music, dance, comedy and passion is coming to the Democracy Center in Cambridge on Saturday, September 28th. Be part of the production by singing the fiery choruses and clapping to the rhythmic palmas of flamenco, while lovers woo and men duel over their señoritas, and come early for a tour of the Democracy Center to hear about the storied past of this over 200-year-old building. The Boston Arts Consort performers include Elizabeth Leehey, clarinet; Eva Lorca, flamenco artist; Donal O’Sullivan, actor; Linda Papatopoli, pianist and director; Roberto Rios, flamenco guitar; Clara Sandler, mezzo-soprano; and Gary Tucker, baritone.

Tours of the history and space of the Democracy Center begin at 7 pm, free of charge.

At 8 pm the music event begins with lecture by Margarita Campos, Professor of Communications, Barcelona University. Tickets for “Zarzuela” are free to students with ID and 2 for $20 for the general public, and can be purchased at the door.

Refreshments will be served.
Hope to see you there!

This fall, we're featuring events focusing on women war veterans, permaculture, solidarity economies, and more--and they're all FREE, including the film premier this Saturday!:

Women account for roughly 14 percent of the active-duty U.S. military and more than 24 percent of the National Guard, yet they often receive less than a hero's welcome upon their return to civilian life. Many face poverty, homelessness and joblessness; deal with the psychological and physiological effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from military sexual trauma and combat-related injuries; and often receive poor service from a Veterans Administration ill-equipped and, in some cases, unwilling to help them. The Emmy®-nominated documentary WAR ZONE/COMFORT ZONE uncovers the plight of these veterans through the intense and personal stories of four women veterans coping with life after their military service. Each seeks a sense of normalcy and peace without the benefit of a comprehensive support system. WAR ZONE/COMFORT ZONE weaves together intimate interviews with the story of two women — Shalini Madaras and Joy Kiss — struggling to establish transitional housing for homeless female veterans in Bridgeport, Connecticut, despite virulent community opposition.

Then join us on Sat, Nov. 2nd for a talk with permaculturist Jan Spencer on how he transformed his yard into a sustainable haven, and his neighborhood along with it!

Hope to see you there!

The Democracy Center is thrilled to introduce our first ever Artist in Residence, Pampi

Over the next 6 months, Pampi will lead a meditative dance series called AbunDANCE. It is a modern form of temple dance, done in silence, that heals the body and can eventually be developed into a choreographed dance to be used at public actions and protests. The spring series will run through May, then resume in July.

Pampi is also leading workshops on accountable and for-real self care and community care. Learn more about the #XplicitCare series at bit.ly/xplicitcare.

See Pampi's xplicit bio here:

"A near-20 year settler-resident of Massachuset and Wompanoag territories - the so-called greater Boston area - Pampi is a darker skinned gender non-conforming second genx casteD Bengali (S. Asian) person who acknowledges their complicity in erasing people who may identify as Afro and Asian and continued participation in anti-black anti-Dalit and anti-indigenous infrastructures, benefiting from so-called US birth privileges and a middle class upbringing, which allowed them access to matriculation from a recognized magnet public HS and an elite engineering school, among much other support. They have protectionist living parents who adore them and therefore struggle to understand and support them. They have endured childhood and workplace bullying, domestic and sexual violence, and struggle with mental and physical illness. Pampi is committed to channeling whatever resources they have access to for visioning with communities in love and liberation, breaking the numbing isolation that too is genocide. As a culture worker who flourishes the intersection of culture, social justice, healing and education, they help develop community-centered art that aims to release creative potential and drive collective change-making."

Dear community,

We have some very exciting news. Many of you, especially disabled organizers, have written in, called, posted, and talked with us about the fact that we are not wheelchair accessible. 

The Democracy Center, founded in 2001 has been a focal point of non-profit social justice meeting space in Cambridge and the Greater Boston area. It has remained however, inaccessible to those with physical, intellectual, developmental, neurological and psychiatric disabilities for a variety of reasons. Our inaccessibility is and has been a pervasive and inexcusable example of ableism within progressive spaces.

Since January, a team of four (4) disabled consultants, representing a variety of disabilities has joined the DC to assist in bringing down those barriers. The first of these actions has been to ensure an access ramp is built.

We are overjoyed to announce that by the end of July, we will add a code-compliant wheelchair access ramp to the DeWolfe St side of the building, using the door into the Nelson Mandela room. We will also remove that rickety deck from the 3rd story. 

The variable in timing right now is acquiring the necessary permits (which is being handled by our contractor); the application was submitted May 19. Cambridge has 30 days to approve the permit, though we expect it to be approved sooner. Deck demolition begins the week after the permit is approved, and after that ramp construction begins. 

As always with construction projects, it is possible that delays we cannot foresee will arise - we will keep you updated. We also always welcome your encouragement and suggestions!

The ramp will provide access to the Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks, and Cesar Chavez rooms which are all connected by wide sets of double doors. The Malala Yousafzai Library door is 30 inches wide. The internal hallways vary between 27-35 inches wide. We will purchase small, portable ramps to cover the half-steps between the older side of the building and the main meeting rooms.

Our bathroom will remain inaccessible, though we are working on options for creating accessible facilities on a separate timeline, and to provide alternatives for handwashing, toilets, and drinking water in the interim. The current bathroom door is 29 inches wide, the toilet is about 6 feet from the door. We will keep you all updated on those plans as they unfold.

Our next moves include bathroom accessibility, event organizer outreach and education when booking space, and other concerns as brought up by the consultants’ team. Event organizers will be required to maintain an accessible path through their events, and put details of our accessibility in all publicity. If you have questions or would like to suggest a need the team could look into further, please email info@democracycenter.org

Further, we are using this journey of improving our physical accessibility to figure out ways we can further dismantle ableism within organizing communities, radical/DIY spaces, and more. If you have ideas about how that could take shape, please be in touch. info@democracycenter.org

2013 was an amazing year for The Democracy Center and our supporters, allies and friends--and we're hosting a party to celebrate making 2014 even better!

Have you used the Democracy Center (ever)? Have you (ever) wanted to? Come hang out with fellow activists, organizers, and artists, listen to awesome live music, and participate in our clothing swap!

This is a potluck, so please bring a dish to share! And our library yearns for books like Bostonians yearn for above-freezing temperatures, so bring any books you'd like to donate to a radical space!

Potluck and clothing swap begins at 7 pm
  MANICITY will be playing at 7:30
The fun continues until 10 pm

Come on down, bring a friend, and hang out with generally rad people. We'll see you there!

We know many of you have been following along on instagram, and we want to give a fuller update here! As planned, we began construction of a wheelchair access ramp to the DeWolfe St side of the building last month. As of today, the bulk of the project is completed! We must still install galvanized steel handrails and the automatic door opener with lock system. Those key pieces should be completed, and the entire apparatus functional, by the end of August 2017

The Mandela, Parks, and Chavez rooms and foyer are most easily accessed by wheelchair users through the French doors between rooms. The Malala Yousafzai Library door is 30” wide, and furniture arrangement will be improved soon. Sadly, the bathroom is not wheelchair accessible. The internal hallways vary between 27” to 31” wide. The bathroom door is 30” wide and there is not sufficient clearance to turn around for many users. As of this writing, there are no grabrails or other aids. We are working on plans for improvement and will keep the community updated through this blog, social media, and email. In the meantime, our gracious neighbors at Daedalus welcome wheelchair users at our events to use their accessible bathroom. This can be accessed by exiting the wheelchair, turning left onto Bow St, and then left into the next building past the DC. The accessible bathroom will be on your right. We recognize this option is not sufficient or in line with our values, and we hope it meets disabled community members' needs in this interim period.

You can also check out the page on accessibility on this website. As always, feel free to contact info@democracycenter.org or 617 492 8855 to discuss your accessibility needs, our plans for improvement, or more detailed information. Please keep in mind that we do not handle event logistics beyond booking, and do not handle ticketing unless we are specifically co-sponsoring that event.

Join the Democracy Center and all of the amazing people who use the Democracy Center for a holiday party Friday, December 18 5-7pm at the Democracy Center. Just bring yourself and a friend! Snacks, music and other cool people provided. FB event.

We are sad to say good-bye to Alliance for Climate Education (ACE), as they restructure their organization nationally to focus on key areas of digital organizing against climate change and build staff capacity in other parts of the country. AND we're simultaneously excited to announce an open application process for their vacated office space. Want to join our resident organization incubator program? We offer low cost space to progressive organizations who want to build more sustainable, united communities of action. Apply today! Full details below.

We will accept applications on a rolling basis, and aim to make a decision by the end of the summer.

Low Cost Office Space - Incubator Program for Progressive Org

Available: Sept 1, flexible for the right organization as early as July 1

 

Apply here: bit.ly/DCofficespace

  • Please read ad fully before applying

  • Pictures attached to the bottom of this post (sorry about the orientation, we're having website issues)

Location: The Democracy Center, 45 Mt Auburn St, Cambridge, MA 02138

  • 2nd floor office, not wheelchair accessible

  • No air conditioning, heat included with rent

    • Building is well shaded and ventilated

Dimensions: 13 ft x 10 ft, included raised counter in L shape that is approximately 6 feet by (long side) and 5 feet (short side) and 2 feet deep.

  • Office has 2 medium sized, south facing windows

  • Space for 1-3 full time staff people in open office environment

Rent Range:

  • $135/month to $660/month

    • Flexible, based on financial need as determined by budget documents, interviews, etc and/or applicant 990 (if applicable)

Amenities:

  • Access to up to 1,500 sq ft free public event/meeting space on 1st floor (in building), pending availability (ideal for running programming like workshops and trainings)

  • Access to phone room on 2nd floor for conference call, private meetings, pumping for nursing parents, etc (pending availability, scheduled collaboratively)

  • Support from Democracy Center Coordinator, full time staff person, to handle room reservations, maintenance requests, and manage resident organization relationships. Pending availability, event/programming co-sponsorship is possible!

  • Cabinets above the counter and below, small closet (in office)

  • Access to storage space in the hallway and basement

  • WiFi

  • Access to professional grade copier/scanner (in building), 400 black and white copies per month included with rent (beyond that, paid at cost)

  • 4 gender-neutral bathrooms in building

  • Access to shared kitchenette (toaster, microwave, refrigerator) on 2nd floor

  • Biannual professional cleaning

Building Culture:

  • The Democracy Center is a 21st century meetinghouse that provides low cost office and event space to 501(c)3, 501(c)4, fiscally sponsored, and new grassroots organizations.

  • Become part of the tradition of many organizations that have launched from our space to have local, regional, and national impact on progressive movement building!

  • Currently home to 6 nonprofits in the upper floors

  • Our space was built in the 1850s (with an addition to the 1st floor in the 1920s), and since 2001 we have slowly been restoring and upgrading the space; it’s an old building with all the attendant charm and quirks.

  • Since we charge well below market rate for space, Democracy Center staff and resident organization staff take responsibility for some cost sharing (for example, paper for the copier) and chores (keeping common spaces and office spaces tidy, taking out the trash, etc)

  • We host optional monthly building socials, usually in Harvard Sq

  • Each organization is required to have 1 point person attend a 1 hour long monthly building meeting to facilitate communication and cohesion

 

Preferred Candidates:

  • Align with our mission - http://democracycenter.org/about

  • Are a small organization that would demonstrably benefit from our low cost

  • All organization’s applications will be reviewed regardless of tax status (none, 501(c)3, 501(c)4, or fiscal sponsorship)

  • Are a progressive organization that supports the development of next generation, student, and/or youth leadership and organizing, particularly those from underserved communities

    • We specifically encourage organizations led by and representing LGBTQIA2&+ people, people of color, women, neurodivergent folks, poor and working class people, undocumented immigrants, formerly incarcerated people, and youth to apply. We do not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), immigration status, education, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, housing status, prior conviction record, or military status.

    • Unfortunately, at this time, all office spaces are not wheelchair accessible nor air conditioned (though the offices have windows and are mostly shaded and well ventilated)

  • Have use for our 1st floor space for public events and/or programming for organizations members/participants (e.g., fellowship trainings, staff retreats, etc)

  • Have a workplace culture that values a collaborative work environment, flexibility, accountability, and humor (because you need it in a 160 year old building!)

 

To Apply:

  • We hope to make this decision by the end of the summer (August 31)

  • We will accept applications and conduct initial interviews and tours on a rolling basis until we find the right fit, interviews likely starting mid-July

  • Successful organizations will participate in at least 2 rounds of interviews

  • Email info@democracycenter.org a copy of your organization’s budget document showing overall budget with allocation for staff and rent as applicable and/or your most recently filed 990, and the number of people who would regularly work out of the space (subject line: Organization Name Application)

  • Reach out by phone at 617 492 8855, please respect our office hours by calling between 9 am - 4 pm Mon-Fri only. If you would like to schedule a tour before applying, that is possible but not required.

The Musical Aperitif Series Presents *Music, Poetry an Prose from Ireland*

A delightful way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day or just enjoy the richness of Irish culture. Featuring readings from the works of some of Ireland's greatest writers: William Butler Yeats, James Joyce and Seamus Heaney. With theatrical performers Donal O'Sullivan and Cahal Stephens, and musicians Tony Keegan on bodhran, Lidia Chang on flute, and Sean Connor, fiddle.

Friday, March 18, 6-7PM
The Democracy Center
45 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge

$10 donation at the door
More information at www.hce-players.org

Do you enjoy Downton Abbey? Then be sure to attend our Musical Apertif series Friday, January 15 6-7pm, which will feature music inspired by the era and tv show. Soprano Jean Danton, baritone Mark Morgan and pianist Linda Papatopoli will bring you back in time.

There will be an English tea reception to follow. 

Suggested donation: $10

Check it out! Oh wait, you already are :)

Our spiffy new website comes courtesy of the multitudes of feedback on our old site from users like you, so thanks! It also comes courtesy of Oren and Miles, our two fantastic web developers.  Thanks you two!

Join the Democracy Center for the Musical Apertif Series. This month, the program features Voci Angelica Trio, a group that is enjoying a widening audience nationally and internationally. The performers are multi-national and have a huge repertoire of music from around the globe that they have ingeniously arranged for voice, cello and percussion. Listen to their music: http://vociangelicatrio.com/media/

The program will begin at 6pm with a reception afterwards. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

6-7pm

Suggested donation: $10

More about Voci Angelica Trio: 

Re-imagining the boundaries of traditional folk music, Voci Angelica Trio’s riveting arrangements of global songs from every continent leave audiences mesmerized.  Shimmering vocal harmonies intertwine with lush cello lines and vibrant percussion to create a musical fusion that transcends cultural divisions.

What started as a side project building on its members’ diverse ethnic backgrounds has become a musical mission.  More than just a performance group, Voci Angelica Trio promotes the humanitarian goals of social justice and cultural understanding.  “We believe that one of the best ways to pursue peace is to sing one another’s songs,” says Jodi Hitzhusen.  Meena Malik adds, “We see ourselves as musical ambassadors, using our performances to raise public awareness of diverse cultures and the issues they face.”

The name “Voci Angelica” is a mix of romance languages and Latin, just as the trio explores and blends the music of many cultures.  It roughly translates to mean “voices of angels.”  Aristides Rivas concludes, “Music goes beyond language, religion, and politics.  It connects us to our humanity.”

The next few days are jam-packed with radness here at the Center!  Check out tomorrow's experimental adult puppet show, and Friday's festival of DIY collectives--
TOMORROW!:

SUMMER PUPPET TOUR 2013

Jawbone Puppet Theater is a quirky, potty-mouthed, father-son act from
Brooklyn, NY, by way of Taiwan.  Poncili Company is a mysterious
experimental art collective from Puerto Rico.  After the success of
our winter tour, "Dinosaur Saints & Humble Robots," which you can
check out here:

http://www.facebook.com/DinosaurSaintsHumbleRobots

we have joined forces once again, to bring you:
        SACRED CANDY:  an adult puppet extravaganza

Puppets.  Big masks.  Physical theater.

Including the short masterpiece "Fire Hydrant Woman gets Tooken Away," written, designed and directed by the 5-year-old, which culminates in a disemboweled t-rex spewing guts and candies, the show quickly spirals into madness, as a clueless girl meets the world through the eyes of Candywoot, a schizophrenic clown obsessed with the reality of a near, but bizarre, dystopian future, while a man with a bad leg tries to make his way home, and everybody prays to the holy mutant cow in hopes of ending their addiction to candy.  Babies will cry, and monsters will lose their shape no matter how many eyes you have to see them.  And as if that weren't enough, our potty-mouthed biblical scholar will regale you with the story of "Genesis, Chapter 38," a funny, dirty retelling of one of the weirder Bible stories.  Be forewarned:  this show contains scenes of graphic puppet on puppet sex--get a babysitter, and leave the kids at home!


7-8 p.m.
$10 Suggested Donation--but no one will be turned away!

FRIDAY:

2-3 :: sound electronics [a music & circuitry workshop]
3-4 :: what are freeskools? [by: the greater boston freeskool]
4-5 :: safer spaces safer shows [by: support boston]
5-6 :: dinner break
6-7 :: media open editorial meeting [by: the media]
7-8 :: history of papercut [by: papercut zine library]
8-9:30 :: presentations from various east coast diy collectives
9:30-10 :: chalk it up! [a chalk making workshop]
10-11 :: craft night!

fmly fest is a collective celebration of the global fmly community. planned throughout a series of public meeting workshops, fmly fest is the expression of a horizontally structured, mutually supportive collective enthusiastic about supporting community-oriented arts which orbit positive themes of social, environmental, and political sustainability. basically, our fest provides the opportunity for collectives to collaboratively engage with an international community and articulate the honest passions that make us feel alive in our environments. never forget: treat everywhere we go as our home and everyone we meet as fmly.

fmly fest has taken form in los angeles, orlando, brooklyn, and in the summer of 2012 inspired a cross country caravan. we are proud to have shared the doings of incredible humans from japan, china, south america, mexico, europe, australia, the united states, philippines, and various regions of africa. and finally, thanks to the power of green la, fmly fest 2011 became the world’s first truly independent, solar powered music festival. we operate with no budget and appreciate every bit of support, this is all possible because of you.

"action is the product of the qualities inherent in nature. it is only the ignorant human who, misled by personal egotism, says: 'i am the doer.'"

Our performers are braving the snow to put on a hot tango performance for you tonight, so we hope you'll join us!

The parking ban in Cambridge is in effect on certain roads, so if you plan on driving, use one of the streets on this map:

(TW: suicide) "My name is Joel Glenn Wixson. I'm a musician, a psychologist, a father, a husband, a friend, and a suicide survivor."

When Joel was 25, he experienced the lethal invitations of suicide. He survived because the distance between his plans to kill himself and his ability to act on those plans was wide enough for him to reconsider. This is the inspiration for the Mile Wide Project.  The mission is to create space between impulse and action. The belief is that impulses are rooted in ideas that we hold dear. There are ways to stand up for those ideas. By creating space through music and conversation we find ways to stand up for what we hold dear, and live a life that is a testament to our pain, not a tragic headline.

The Mile Wide Project is a one man show.

It takes you from pain and isolation to hope and possibilities.

See where it takes you.

Learn more: http://themilewideproject.org/

FB event: https://www.facebook.com/events/931207676915151/

Ever wondered about what REALLY goes on at the Democracy Center? Come meet other people who use the space and the organizations that call the Center home, and learn about rad projects going on in Cambridge and the greater Boston area!

This is a potluck-style event, so bring a dish to share! Vegan options will be provided, along with fair trade coffee donated by Equal Exchange.

Then stay for a DC-sponsored concert featuring Boston rock group Peach Pit, experimental string quartet The Happy Maladies, and Mexican-born percussionist Reynaliz Herrera!

  

Everyone is welcome--bring a friend!

The Happy Maladies (OH): http://thehappymaladies.com/
Peach Pit (Boston): http://lepeachpit.bandcamp.com/
Reynaliz Herrera (Boston): https://www.facebook.com/Reynalizherreramusic