Artists Showcase Public Desires for Downtown Worcester
For Immediate Release: October 16, 2020
Media Contact:
Evelyn Darling, Executive Director                                     
508-622-3050 x1,

Worcester, Massachusetts – Four Worcester artists created new displays in the windows of 554 Main Street to illustrate the results of a survey that engaged the public in planning for beautification, public art, and placemaking in Downtown Worcester. This temporary art exhibition is the second of three storefront art installations and part of a larger planning initiative coordinated by the Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District (BID). The exhibition is hosted by The Menkiti Group, owner 554 Main Street which soon will be home to new neighborhood-serving retail and commercial office space.

The BID sought broad public participation in the survey, which was available in English and Spanish, to gain insight into people’s experiences Downtown and ideas for how the area could be enlivened during the pandemic and beyond. More than 250 people responded to the survey, including 63% who identified as living in Worcester and 69% who identified as working in Worcester. Almost 50% of respondents visit Downtown Worcester daily. During COVID-19, 85% of the respondents still visit Downtown out of necessity or for fun. Almost 50% said that they feel comfortable going Downtown during COVID-19. A few of the top responses for Downtown Worcester placemaking enhancements included: enhanced lighting, garbage and recycling cans, street trees, events, performances and more outdoor seating.

The four artists—Joshua Croke, Eamon Gillen, Pamela Stolz, and John Vo—were given questions and responses from the survey to highlight in this phase of the storefront art installation project. The artist prompts included:

  • What is special to you about Downtown Worcester?

  • What type of beautification elements would you like to see in Downtown?

  • What types of placemaking and public art do you think Downtown Worcester needs the most?

  • What 3 words would you use to describe your hope for Downtown Worcester in the future?

The partners for the art installation project are the Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District; The Menkiti Group; the Worcester PopUp at the JMAC, a program of the Worcester Cultural Coalition in partnership with the Hanover Theatre; and the planning firm Civic Space Collaborative.

The site at 554 Main Street, owned by The Menkiti Group, provides opportunities for neighborhood-serving retail and commercial office space, reinforcing the district’s plan for creation of a bustling mixed-use hub of cultural activity. From privately leased space to collaborative multi-level shared space memberships, 554 Main offers a variety of solutions for businesses in the Worcester community to thrive.

Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District is a nonprofit organization established in 2018 to sustain momentum in the heart of Downtown Worcester. The result of a comprehensive community-based effort, the organization represents the owners of 140 properties and seeks to create a unique sense of place through enhanced investment and development, establishing and sustaining a vibrant, welcoming, and economically viable district for all.

For more information on the Downtown Worcester Placemaking Plan, please visit