"Downtown Reemerging" Call For Art
We pride ourselves on maintaining an active city center, but over the last year, the pandemic has quieted downtowns across the nation. This summer, the BID is teaming up with several Downtown property owners on Main Street to transform their empty storefronts. Our storefront activation program will bring up to six artistic visions to life and enliven our District’s streetscape for everyone to enjoy. 

“Downtown Reemerging” the Downtown Worcester Display: From Vacancy to Vibrancy will wake Worcester up this summer with the help of artists, makers, and students.

Are you a local artist? Artists at all levels and career stages are invited to submit their proposals for creative window displays by May 17th. The application is available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. “Downtown Reemerging” is supported in part by a grant from the Worcester Arts Council, a local agency, which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

Please click below to learn more details and how to apply for the call!
Monthly Mural Spotlights
Have you ever wondered about that fuzzy blue creature staring out at you from the Denholm Building? Caleb Neelon completed the mural — one of Worcester’s first — back in 2014, but his fixation with street art began long before that on the streets of Berlin. Today, Worcester is home to hundreds of murals thanks to the public art advocacy of groups like POW! WOW! Worcester and the Public Art Working Group. In May and June, we will be bringing you the stories behind the art to reveal a treasure trove of surprises in the most conspicuous places. Photo Credit: Caleb Neelon
POW! WOW! Worcester Goes 3D
POW! WOW! Worcester’s mural with the most social media imprints is by far the one by Insane 51, a massive 3D creation that spans an external wall of The Hanover Theatre. Without 3D glasses, Insane 51’s work remains striking, but through red-blue lenses, it quite literally takes on new dimensions. Now, guests can get the full effect with every visit thanks to local artisan Michael D’Angelo who has installed a set of fabricated 3D glasses at the site of the mural on Federal Street. Insane 51’s double exposure explores the interiority that drives human attraction as a man and woman embrace as bone-chilling skeletons under a red hue, and as beautiful lovers under a cloud of blue. Insane 51 is originally from Greece. His Downtown Worcester mural is a result of over 500 cans of specialized spray paint!
ArtsWorcester Block Party
This June, ArtsWorcester welcomes you to join in a special outdoor event—their first public gathering in over a year! Enjoy food, music, and festivities, and then visit the galleries in small groups to see exhibits like “The Nineteenth Biennial” and “They Travel Together.” Be there when they announce the Biennial prize winners. Tickets for this free event will be released on Tuesday, May 11. For the health and safety of all visitors, strict maximum capacities for Portland Street and gallery visits will be enforced. Masks and social distancing, indoors and outdoors, are required. In case of inclement weather, this event will take place on Sunday, June 13.
March Street Report
Have You Met Our Downtown Ambassadors?
click image to view full report
The BID Ambassadors continue to inspire a presence of kindness and cleanliness Downtown, prioritizing daily check-ins with local business owners. From January through March of this year, the Ambassadors cleaned up nearly 40 instances of graffiti and removed over 9,000 pounds of trash. In addition, they disposed of a combined 23,000 cigarette butts from our city streets and shoveled more than 1,000 curbs. Starting April 1st, their hours have now been extended from 6:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. every day of the week. They are always happy to give visitors the lay of the land.
Pay-By-Plate Parking Is Coming To Downtown
Keeping up with the parking meters Downtown will soon be much easier. The City of Worcester is introducing Passport, a smartphone application to streamline user-friendly payment and ultimate convenience. You can expect to see the city’s first parking kiosks popping up in the Canal District followed by Downtown Worcester this spring along with multi-space meters and pay-by-phone options. Consider your dashboard full of loose quarters a thing of the past.

To Learn More: Click Here
 Recovery Planning Is In Full Swing!
We like to think of Downtown Worcester as the city’s backyard, and it’s about to start looking the part. Downtown Worcester is one of 125 communities receiving targeted planning assistance for pandemic recovery. This $120,000 planning assistance grant will expand further on our placemaking plan, which prioritizes increased lighting, outdoor events, and more outdoor seating in order to turn Downtown Worcester into an active 18-hour destination. The BID is ready to “pedestrianize” our neighborhood’s Downtown streets and alleyways starting with vacant storefront activation, adding more flowers, directional decals, and outdoor dining in 2021.

To Learn More: Click Here
May Community Meeting On Recovery Planning
Our next community meeting will take place Friday, May 14 from 9-10 a.m. We are hoping to attract a broad range of Downtown business owners and employees to discuss our Rapid Recovery Planning project and other growth opportunities Downtown. Click below to RSVP!
Follow us on Instagram
The focus of our Instagram page is to highlight the businesses and people of Downtown Worcester. Follow our page for our shop local/eat local series, community event announcements, did you know facts, and Downtown history.