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Art, music, culture and physicality were all happening simultaneously at Brooklyn Boulders Somerville during the TEDx Somerville event held on March 30th.

Brilliant local talent including Aaron Cantor, the Founder of Primal Practice, and TED stars like Amanda Palmer, who gave a talk on the Art of Asking, shared the stage. In the background climbers were on the walls and artists were displaying their immersive art exhibits. All of this was punctuated by great musical acts, including an impromptu Ukulele piece by Palmer and a performance by the Prospect Hill Academy marching band.


Brooklyn Boulders Somerville has always been a bit of an experiment. Balancing interests in such an incredibly diverse community isn’t always easy. The serious climbers just want to climb and consider anything else more or less a distraction. The art and music community want to do more shows, and the Active Collaborative Workspace users want the setters to stop using drills and for chalk to be banned. Alas, how to please everyone – Brooklyn Boulders is truly a hybrid facility and it seems the TEDx Somerville event hit the right chord with all!

While climbing is very much core to why our organization exists, it is not the end-all be-all. We see climbing as a medium from which to bring a very diverse group of people together around a common love. What BKB truly represents is an experiment in the creation of a new type of community center. A physical place where the arts meet physicality, where climbing meets entrepreneurship and where everyone can, hopefully, collectively find their respective groove.


The TEDx Somerville event represented the finesse in balancing all of these worlds. Everyone had space to do what it is they loved to do at BKB at the same time. We are grateful for the entire community and for the TEDx Somerville team for making this event a reality.

– Jesse Levin, Senior Cultural Chameleon

See more photos of the event

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