The Downtown Somerville Alliance, downtown Somerville’s District Management Corporation is celebrating Black History Month with a 75-foot walk-through exhibit on Division Street. The exhibit – a tribute to Black Innovation – will be on display through March 5th.
“Black history is American history,” said Natalie Pineiro, Executive Director of the DSA. “In a town as diverse as Somerville, it’s only fitting that we celebrate the rich contributions of Black America on such a grand scale.”
The 2021 Black History installation pays homage to important figures in history including African American inventors, abolitionists, leaders and scholars; but more importantly it recognizes those who, on a local scale, have made an impact on the community.
“We’re proud to highlight our black-owned businesses as well as our local leaders, activists and trailblazers who have made Somerville, and moreover Somerset County, the place it is today.”
This is the first-ever large-scale celebration of Black History in the District. The outdoor exhibit consists of a series of mounted panels, spanning 75-feet in length, that create a walkable “tunnel”. The exhibit features lighting on the interior walls that make the project enjoyable during both the day and night-time hours.
The creative placemaking project comes on the heels of the Alliance’s recently adopted strategic plan that includes diversity and inclusion as a top priority for the organization.
In 2019, the Alliance sponsored the first ever Hispanic Heritage Celebration in downtown Somerville, and in 2020 – despite COVID 19 – they celebrated PRIDE Month with a virtual Celebration in connection with the RWJBH Babs Siperstien PROUD Center. They also displayed rainbow flags, the visual representation of PRIDE, throughout their Main St.
“We look forward to continuing to recognize and celebrate the tapestry of cultures and ethnicities that make up our community and will be making greater strides to highlight diversity in the near future,” Pineiro said.