Civic Academy

Next session planned for fall

Town officials and staff celebrated graduates of the second Arlington Civic Academy on May 30. Select Board member Eric Helmuth and Town Moderator Greg Christiana both spoke briefly at the ceremony held in the Select Board Chambers at Town Hall.

“I'm always inspired by the energy and broad range of backgrounds and interest of Civic Academy participants,” said Helmuth. “I am excited to see how graduates participate in Arlington’s future.”

“Democracy requires participation at every level of government,” said Christiana. “Seeing this level of interest in local government from this cohort is encouraging.”

Town officials plan to hold another session in the fall. Applications for the next Civic Academy will be announced in July via Arlington Town Notices (email) and on the website at arlingtonma.gov/civicacademy.

Civic Academy spring 2024Town officials and staff pose with Civic Academy graduates at a ceremony in the Select Board Chambers on May 30, 2024. / photo courtesy Town of Arlington Over the course of six weeks, Arlington Civic Academy featured presentations by officials and staff with a focus on how Arlington works and what role participants may play in local government.

Set in a learning environment and conducted in municipal buildings across town, participants and presenters engaged in discussions that ranged from town and school budgeting to discussions on capital projects, recreation, and issues around equity.

Several Civic Academy graduates praised the program:

  • “It is a great overview of how the town operates, and what makes Arlington special, especially with respect to civic engagement from residents.”
  • “Arlington Civic Academy is a wonderful experience: amazing access to local elected officials and staff, all of whom were very friendly and open. And it's free!”
  • “This is a fun and low-ish commitment way of learning about our community and meeting neighbors. It was very eye-opening and fascinating to hear about how the town runs.”
Curriculum overview

The Civic Academy ran for two hours per night, for six weeks, covering the following topics:

  • April 25: Overview of town governance and town operations
  • May 2: Arlington public schools and libraries
  • May 9: Public Works, Inspectional Services, Fire
  • May 16: Health & Human Services, Department of Planning and Community Development, Police
  • May 23: Recreation, how to get involved / Town Clerk, budget and finance
  • May 30: Graduation

Town officials plan to run another session in the fall. Applications for the next Civic Academy will be announced in July by Arlington Town Notices (email) and on the website at arlingtonma.gov/civicacademy.


March 20, 2024: Deadline passes to apply for 2nd civic academy

This announcement was published Monday, June 10, 2024, based on information provided by Joan Roman, spokeswoman for the Town of Arlington.