What is the definition of a maven? An expert or connoisseur. The word maven comes from Hebrew, via Yiddish, and means one who understands, based on an accumulation of knowledge.
Well that certainly describes David Day, a maven in many respects. We were able to meet up with him at Phoenix Landing in Central Square, Day’s professional home base. And home base it is – he knows many people around the Square, coordinates frequently with the Central Square Business Association, and is in fact the Mayor of the Landing on Foursquare. This is again bringing us back to how David is a maven – an expert, one who has gathered knowledge and wants to pass it on.
David Day is the co-Director and co-Founder of the MMMMaven Agency, featuring MMMMaven Presents (events), The MMMMaven Project (DJ School), and MMMMaven Artists (artist representation). He is also the Creative Director of the Together Festival, now in it’s fourth year.
Day and his co-founder of MMMMaven, Alex Maniatis took the plunge a little over a year ago when David left his position as Editor of the Weekly Dig to follow his dream of creating the MMMMaven Agency. David and Alex felt that there was a need for teaching people about music, connecting artists together all year round and not just bringing people together once a year at a festival. As he says, “Entrepreneurs can be creative too!” And MMMMaven brings just that together – entrepreneurship and creativity, all in one building on Mass Ave. Day and his partners used Indiegogo (a crowdsourcing funding mechanism) to raise start-up capital, and away they went.
Day soon realized that there was more than just a need for event production and artist representation. A lot of people wanted to learn how to produce and perform. After getting feedback from clients and the general public, they started DJ classes in September 2012, and are already expanding into a bigger space in Central Square in the Barron Building! When asked why he felt this was an important thing to do in Massachusetts, he responded: “I feel like this is one way to ensure that creative folks can stay and keep the Boston area vibrant (instead of going to Brooklyn!)” Well put, David. Well put.
And how does this movement grow community? Why does this matter to the Cambridge and Somerville communities? When asked what community means to him, David had an even better answer than before:
“It means falling in love. Awesome people always meet at the [Together] festival, and some have actually fallen in love! Community also means being comfortable with being uncomfortable – that its a place where with an open mind you can put yourself in a new situation and meet new people and new experiences.” We couldn’t have said it better. Seriously…we still can’t.
What is the Together Festival? Established in 2010, this celebration of music, technology and art grew very organically. It started with David sending an email out to every promoter, connector and other artist folk involved in the Boston area music scene. He brought together a strong and dedicated core of volunteers to push the first festival to exceed even the founders’ expectations. In 2010 there were around 50 events, a full event, to be sure. This year there are currently 120 scheduled, culminating with a large Together Festival/Central Square Business Association collaboration – the Central Square World’s Fair on Saturday, May 18. MassArt and Berkelee College of Music have been involved since the beginning, and this year new partners include MIT and the Museum of Science. The MOS Planetarium will host a big arts spectacle, where 5 local artists will project what ethnicities may look like in the future – according to them, it is going to be psychedelic!
In addition to the festival and the classes, David represents artists, and hosts various events around town. He also hosts a weekly event, bringing together his constituents regularly at the “Make it New” night at the Middlesex Lounge in Central Square every Thursday night.
Leaving on a forward thinking note, we asked David what inspires him. “A friend from high school once said to me: ‘I don’t read the same books from high school, I don’t watch the same TV from high school, and I’m not going to listen to the same music from high school.’ I find this as a guiding principle to being a maven and bringing people new experiences.” So stop by our next meet up on Wednesday, May 15th at the Together Festival Headquarters and listen to new music, connect with new people and have a new experience. We’ll see you there.