MassDevelopment Launches Commonwealth Places Campaign to Fund Somerville's Bow Market Plaza

$50,000 goal to win matching grant through MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places Initiative

March 21, 2018


Meggie Quackenbush, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2011 & 857-208-2777 (cell)

Jonathan Berk, Patronicity, 617-750-6008

Matt Boyes-Watson, Bow Market

Bow Market Plaza, SomervilleMassDevelopment and Union Square Main Streets today announced a new campaign for Bow Market Plaza in Somerville’s Union Square through the civic crowdfunding platform Patronicity and the Commonwealth Places initiative. Bow Market Plaza is a project that will transform a former storage building in Somerville’s Union Square into a space for small-scale storefronts. This Commonwealth Places campaign for the Bow Market Plaza will provide funding for programming in the market’s courtyard that will include rotating artists in residence who will lead workshops, curate gallery shows, and create large-scale murals and installations. The project aims to inspire the public, drive community interaction, and support small-scale local retailers, pop-up shops, and a new neighborhood brewery.

“Bow Market Plaza will provide local artists and small businesses with a low-cost, low-risk space in which they can test ideas and grow their businesses,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “MassDevelopment is pleased to support this project, and we look forward to seeing Bow Market transform this once underused space into a hub of neighborhood activity.”

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by May 17 at midnight, the project will win a matching grant with funds from MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places program. Learn more and donate at

“The heart of Bow Market is the courtyard. Brimming with various art installations, it will host weekly public happenings year-round,” said Bow Market Partner Matthew Boyes-Watson. “It will be accessible for community groups to gather and organize, for street artists to perform, and for local arts organizations to produce great festivals and events.”

Commonwealth Places is a collaborative initiative from MassDevelopment and Patronicity that leverages public support for placemaking projects through crowdfunding and a matching grant from MassDevelopment. The program engages residents in the development of strategic projects in their towns and cities. In June 2017, MassDevelopment announced $1 million in funding for the second year of the program, which has supported successful campaigns across the Commonwealth, from Northampton to Hyannis. Communities, nonprofits, and other entities can learn more about these successful projects, donate to ongoing campaigns, and apply at

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2017, MassDevelopment financed or managed 377 projects generating investment of more than $4.3 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 9,488 jobs and build or rehabilitate 1,863 residential units.