Photo: Campers at The Welcome Project's summer youth camp at the Mystic Activity Center, creating art inspired by Marji's performance of a Bach sonata movement.

Since the spring of 2017, Around Hear has been offering highly accessible, regular time and space for people from a wide spectrum of life experiences to gather, listen, learn, and create with a shared spirit of friendliness, openness, and fun. This time and space comes in the shapes of free community concerts, arts-based social and educational events, and private music lessons for low-income residents of Somerville, Massachusetts. These activities are brought to life through partnerships with the Mystic Learning Center, the Somerville Housing Authority, the Mystic Tenant Association, The Welcome Project, and musicians from Boston and beyond.

Around Hear public community concerts happen at the beautiful Mystic Activity Center, based in the Somerville Housing Authority, and are a treat for the eyes, ears, and appetites; the music comes with refreshments or an entire meal, and a meaningful visual art pairing. Also, knowing that not everyone does their best listening sitting still, we welcome and encourage audience members to respond to the music via quiet art-making, writing, and movement.

Meet the co-directors of this project: Marji and Dan!

We (Marji & Dan) adopted the project name "Around Hear" from a concert we participated in in April of 2009, in a park in Houston, Texas. By taking classical musicians out of the concert hall and into a sunny, weedy public space in the middle of a busy commercial area, the director of that Around Hear, the late composer Ethan Frederick Greene, opened up what felt to us like a whole new range of fresh, exciting possibilities for social interaction and musical interpretation.