YWCA Construction Breaks New Ground for Women
The YWCA of Central Massachusetts has a long history within Downtown Worcester, from its early roots in 1890 on Chatham Street to its current location in Salem Square adjacent to the Worcester Public Library. As the organization continues to be a true leader in our Downtown community, the YWCA’s recent completion of a $24 million building renovation project exemplifies its commitment to the neighborhood and the roles that women’s empowerment and diversity can and must play within our community.

Prior to construction, the YWCA executed a Community Benefit Agreement with the City of Worcester. This agreement paved the way for an all-women design, development, and construction management team to extensively renovate the outdated location into a modern facility. In addition to the empowering message of employing a 100% all female construction management team and providing 100% livable wages, the YWCA exceeded the hiring goals of women, people of color, and local residents. 
The YWCA of Central Massachusetts has continued to work diligently to meet the needs of the community. With accessible, contemporary spaces that support its high demand programs—from childcare, transitional housing, domestic violence, to countless community programs—the project is a testament to the YWCA’s ability and willingness address expanding community needs while shedding a light on the importance of racial and gender equity.

As Women’s History Month comes to a close, we salute the YWCA of Central Massachusetts for being a true beacon of inspiration and equity, continuing its mission of empowering women and eliminating racism within the Worcester community and beyond.  
Mercantile Center Keeping the Community COVID Safe
Mercantile Center, in the heart of Downtown Worcester, has established itself as a premier mixed-use development in the entire city. With the onset of the pandemic, Mercantile Center demonstrated its commitment also to be one of the critical community partners that rose to the occasion. Working with UMass Memorial Health Care, Mercantile Center first provided high-capacity COVID-19 testing and later opened a vaccination center, offering both spaces for free. Mercantile Center began its testing operations in November 2020 and since then has administered over 37,000 tests for the local area. Today, as the location shifts from testing to vaccinations, the site has been able to administer over 7,000 vaccines.

Given its central location, Mercantile Center is the most accessible and efficient COVID-19 testing and vaccination site in the city. As Downtown Worcester re-emerges from the pandemic’s isolation, Mercantile Center will look to pivot again—introducing a new, 12,000 square foot indoor-outdoor eatery. With great community partners like Mercantile Center, Downtown Worcester will continue to thrive!

To Learn More: Go Here
PULP Celebrates Underground Art
The Worcester Cultural Coalition’s art installation PULP brings the dynamism and excitement of underground art to the general public. First shown at an exhibition at the Worcester PopUp, many of the local artists’ works are now on view in window displays throughout Downtown through the Worcester Windows program. The Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District supported this celebration of arts and culture by offering $1,000 in prize money for the juried exhibition. The top three artists selected were Naama Commander, Luca Colaizzi, and Acqua Carta. Honorable Mentions were given to Chris King and Ted Lilley.

Those interested in viewing these art installations can see the full listings of locations and Worcester Window artworks here.
Be Studios Pays Tribute to Eric Carle
Be Studios is excited to announce a creative and interactive event highlighting Eric Carle’s famous book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Through the imagination and artistry of budding artist Brooklyn Flores, The Very Hungry Caterpillar is depicted through paints, textures, and shapes. The Eric Carle Tribute Exhibit is free and open to the public in the Printers Building from March 29th through April 3rd. The exhibit ends with a Meet the Artist day as Brooklyn Flores and her team of young artists will help kids make their own hungry caterpillars.

To book an exhibit viewing please click here.
February Street Report
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The Ambassadors’ commitment to keeping Downtown Worcester in tip-top shape is ever present as they ensure that our neighborhood remains spotless. During the month of February, they picked up an increasing amount of trash estimated at more than 2,800 pounds. In addition to trash removal, our Ambassadors removed 13 instances of graffiti and disposed of over 6,500 cigarette butts. With the arrival of spring bringing more people outside, the Ambassadors’ clean up services are on display showcasing our welcoming Downtown community.
 Share Your Downtown Stories!
Downtown is an ever-changing, exciting hotspot of activity. As a result, we would love to hear from our own community. Any upcoming events, exciting news, or important business milestones?

Tell us about them! Share your Downtown stories and successes with the BID by emailing to us here.
April Community Meeting Focuses on New Parking System
Our community meetings take place on the second Friday of every month. Mark your calendar for our next meeting on April 9th at 9 a.m.! Our featured guest speaker will be Mark Kostovski, Worcester’s Parking Manager, who will outline the city’s new parking system. Join us to hear the details and timeline for installation of multi-space parking meters. These meetings are held virtually and open to all.
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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.