Connecting Cambridge & Somerville to create a vibrant community.

Category Archives: Movers and Shakers

In this cold month of December, we here at Cambriville Connects were lucky enough to sit down with Jimmy Tingle in the warmth of 1369 Coffeehouse in Central Square and have a nice conversation about his successful career in comedy.  Tingle is currently on the show circuit, where he recently helped to raise $500,000 for the Mount Auburn Hospital, and in a couple of weeks will be hosting his annual holiday show at the Regent Theatre on December 28, 8pm. (

Tingle was raised in Cambridge, and owned/managed a comedy venue in Davis Square for years.  He is Cambriville personally and professionally.  In fact, in 2010 Jimmy Tingle was chosen to give the Commencement address at Harvard University. He’d just received his Masters Degree in Public Administration. Being that he was in the midst of many great academic minds, Tingle felt he should explain himself. “I’m a comedian by profession and have traveled all over the world performing stand-up comedy,” he said. “I don’t want to brag, but two years ago I performed in Europe. I’d just like to say ‘excellent country!’” Tingle went on to explain, “People asked me all year why would a comedian want to go to The Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. I told them: ‘The same reason all of you wanted to go to Harvard… We got in!’”

We asked Mr. Tingle how growing up in Cambridge formed his political and comedic personalities.  “My mother’s family was involved in Cambridge politics going way back as my uncle Joe DeGuglielmo was the first Italian American ever elected to Cambridge City Council. He was also a personal friend and supporter of JFK and the first elected official to publicly endorse Kennedy on his first run for Congress. Apparently politics was in my blood before I was even born.”

Tingle worked as a contributor and satirist for MSNBC and has appeared on The Tonight Show, CNN, “Larry King’s Weekend,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “The American Comedy Awards,” as well as his own HBO half-hour comedy special. He has also been a guest on NPR’s “Fresh Air with Terry Gross” and appeared regularly on “Heat” with John Hockenberry.

Tingle grew up working class. That perspective – coupled with his Catholic background, particularly the social justice side of the faith – continues to be a major influence in Tingle’s life, politics and worldview. Tingle’s father owned and drove a taxicab in his hometown. “As kids,” Tingle says, “the cab was our family car and we went everywhere in it. One time my father took us hunting in the cab. We looked pretty funny pulling up to the forest in a big yellow cab. Bears were looking out of the forest completely dumfounded: ‘Somebody call a cab?’”

Tingle has produced several comedic and theatrical productions including Jimmy Tingle’s Uncommon Sense at the storied Hasty Pudding Theater at Harvard, which became the longest running one person show in that theater’s history. He also wrote, produced and starred in his first documentary film“Jimmy Tingle’s American Dream” which aired on over 60 PBS affiliates. Other film credits include small roles in Larry David’s “Clear History,” Chris Rock’s “Head of State,” “Next Stop, Wonderland” and “Boondock Saints.” He played himself in the International Emmy Award-winning documentary on arts censorship “Dammed in the USA”.

Theatrical credits include writing and starring and producing four one-person shows, all of which were directed by Larry Arrick: Jimmy Tingle’s Uncommon SenseThe Promised LandJimmyTingle’s American Dream and Jimmy Tingle for President: The Funniest Campaign in History. (The latter two shows are available DVD.)

Don’t miss out on Jimmy’s next show, right up Mass Ave in Arlington.

Jimmy Tingle’s “Making Comic Sense of 2013: The Year in 90 Minutes”

An Evening of Comedy, Commentary, and Conversation with Comedian Jimmy Tingle

 From the new pope to the Tea party, from the NSA to the NRA, Tingle’s hilarious take on 2013 will make you laugh, make you think and make you grateful you made it through. Tingle’s year-end performances are a tradition for Bostonians who enjoy some “comic sense” with their news and politics. “Making Comic Sense of 2013” will lift your spirits, raise your awareness and sharpen your sense of humor for 2014 and beyond.

Jimmy Tingle, 2013

December 28th, 8:00




$25 in advance

$30 day of show

$35 includes a post-show meet & greet with Jimmy at the Tango Argentinian Restaurant, including complimentary appetizers and a cash bar.

Tickets available online at

In person sales available at the Regent Theatre Box Office

7 Medford Street Arlington, MA


For more information visit

Follow Jimmy on Twitter

Like Jimmy on Facebook

Somerville-based 3 Graces Productions is managing this event for Mr. Tingle.

This article is based off of in-person conversations with Jimmy Tingle and his official biography.


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.

Close your eyes. You are sitting at your desk at work. Now imagine climbing a large cliff side…or Prospect Hill…are you seeing it? Good. Because soon you will be able to do just that at the new Brooklyn Boulders – Somerville.

Preview of the new climbing wall

Preview of the new climbing wall

Brooklyn Boulders- Somerville straddles the line of Somerville and Cambridge, based in the old Ames Envelope building on Tyler Street, nestled within the cool and growing community of Artisan’s Asylum, Hemlock Ink, Groundwork Somerville, and Somerville Local First, to name a few. The building will house a 140-foot long, 22-foot tall, free rope bouldering wall (the largest in the country) to a 50-foot tall rock climbing wall that extends to the ceiling. Novice climbers don’t worry – there will be training rooms, in addition to a yoga studio, saunas, cardio equipment and pop ups offering the latest rock climbing gear. (Brooklyn Boulders – Somerville made a conscious decision to include traditional cardio equipment in order for you to use your health insurance credit.)

In addition to rock climbing and workout areas, the space will also have six pop up retail spaces, an espresso bar, rooms for special events (for adults and kids), spaces especially for parents with young children, and co-working space – so you can literally go rock climbing steps from your seat. Brooklyn Boulders – Somerville will have ample car parking and indoor bike parking. Yes – that’s right – we said indoor bike parking! The entrance will be a graffiti-ed hallway filled with space for your bike. The facility also differs from other indoor rock climbing venues by offering day, monthly, quarterly and annual passes, which differences from traditional fitness venues.

Co-Founders Jeremy & Lance

Co-Founders Jeremy & Lance

This innovative approach and spirit can be seen in the founders of Brooklyn Boulders. At Babson, Jeremy Balboni and Lance Pinn created a business plan for a rock gym in Boston out of their passion for the sport and quickly went about moving the plan into reality. In the process, they took a break, gained some professional momentum and found an opportunity in 2008 to open a gym in New York; where it thrived and has grown to be one of the most lauded rock gyms in the country. Now with years of experience at their backs, they have to come back to Somerville to build the one of the biggest rock gyms in the country.

The owners are interested in being a part of the larger Cambriville community and have roots here, too. Jeremy grew up in Greater Boston, and Lance lives in Cambridge – they are truly interested in giving back to their community. They will offer local organizations opportunities to host climb-a-thons, incorporate local businesses in the pop up spaces, host a CSA pickup and more.

Brooklyn Boulders – Somerville plans to open this summer at 12A Tyler Street. Stop by and say hello, climb the wall, innovate with neighbors, and get a workout in. Sounds like a win-win-win-win… (we could keep adding wins, but you get the picture).

A local revolution has come to the local revolution in the form of the newly rejuvenated leadership at both Somerville AND Cambridge Local First organizations. In 2012, Somerville Local First welcomed new Executive Director Kat Taylor Rutkin to the fold, while Cambridge Local First brought on Jaclyn Sinay.  And what an impact they have already made! Collaboration abounds, as they emphasize the fluidity of the borders between Somerville and Cambridge. They have hosted tables together at internship fairs and community events, and created the first collaborative Local Thirst in February at the East Coast Grill in Inman Square.  It was at the latter where we were able to meet up with these wonder women and grab a few words of wisdom, including some thoughts on what they are most excited for in 2013.

On the cross-border collaboration

What are you most excited about when you think of Cambridge and Somerville Local First working together?

Kat: “I’m excited to look at the things that Cambridge Local First is doing that we should be doing. There is so much happening around business development in Cambridge. I would like to look at their programming and bring it to the ‘Ville.”

Jaclyn: “We have done so much and there is still so much more we can tap into. I would like to work more with our artist community, as Somerville Local First has been able to do. They have also tapped into residents and begun to work with youth and families. There is a lot we can learn from each other.”

Both women spoke about the fluidity of the border – in many places you don’t even know if you are in Somerville or Cambridge.  As Jaclyn notes, “many of the Somerville business owners are Cambridge residents, and many Cambridge business owners are Somerville residents.” And Kat mentions how easy it is to collaborate because of the shared border. “I’m always looking for a way to grow without spending un-needed resources.” The Local Thirst, for example was an easy way to grow across the border without spending resources. Jaclyn reserved the bar at the East Coast Grill, assuming that 10-12 people would show up.  40 people later, and the ladies of Local First realized that there was a need – and it was an easy one to fill!

What’s next for Cambridge Local First?

Jaclyn envisions an organization that is constantly adding value for its members, with an ever-growing menu of services for local business owners.  She would also like to create an annual event that will tie the community in more closely with its businesses.  Residents can and should be more involved in growing the organization and Jaclyn intends to ask community members what they need from CLF to participate more frequently in the movement.  Also on Jaclyn’s hefty to-do list for 2013 is to figure out a way to engage even more businesses in Cambridge Local First, keeping in mind that small local business owners are very busy people.  Check out the Cambridge Local First website for more information on their initiatives and events.

And What About Somerville Local First?

Kat has already created a series of new events for Somerville, including the Local is for Lovers marketplace, and the Women’s Chapter.  These are two of the primary pieces of the SLF vision for 2013.  In addition to these new programs, she is excited to begin a robust fundraising season, where she can push funders to put more money into the local movement.  She has brought on two amazing new interns from Tufts University, and is interested in creating a taylored message for students to push the local movement to the thousands of university students in Greater Boston. Check out the Somerville Local First website for a full listing of programs and events.

On each other

According to Kat, Jaclyn has “an amazing energy and is cool to work with.”  It’s easy to continue on the collaborative streak when they are both working toward the same goal.  Jaclyn agrees. “It was as easy as reaching out to Kat and saying ‘let’s do it!'” And thus a great new partnership has emerged.  Bridging the consumer border between Cambridge and Somerville is a major step forward in building an even stronger local movement.

On the Movement

As the folks at Somerville Local First tout, local is for lovers, and it is certainly not going away.  Both Somerville and Cambridge Local First have the primary goal of finding a way for residents and community members to truly understand what local first stands for and to realize tangible ways that they can build local, sustainable economies.  Take it from Kat: “I want my son to grow up in a community where he knows the names of the vendors at the local stores.” And Jaclyn agrees: “Being a resident of the area for 9 years has allowed me to meet lots of local business owners – and to understand how important that is to building community.” It’s not just about business – it’s about building a vibrant community life as well.

Speaking of the Local is for Lovers event, Somerville Local First and Arts at the Armory have come together again to create a space for local and independent businesses, artists and crafters to sell their wares. The second Local is for Lovers Marketplace will take place from 11am-5pm on Sunday, April 14th at Arts at the Armory (191 Highland Ave, Somerville).  Cambridge and Somerville Local First members are highlighted and received discounted booth prices to join.

Your next purchase – make it local

So before you make your next purchase, look to the Somerville and Cambridge Local First websites and learn the names of the vendors where you will be going.  Help us to build a vibrant community with strong locally-owned businesses.

Contact these movers and shakers to get more involved in the local movement.

Kat Rutkin, Executive Director, Somerville Local First 

Jaclyn Sinay, Executive Director, Cambridge Local First 

Jaclyn (left) and Kat (right) at Local Thirst

Jaclyn (left) and Kat (right) at Local Thirst