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Call for Artists: Main Street Reimagined

For Immediate Release: 6/12/2018 4:52 pm

The City of Worcester is now accepting proposals from artists and designers for the creation of a series of public art features for the Main Street Reimagined Project. Main Street Reimagined will complement the $11 million reconstruction of Worcester’s Main Street as a Complete Street, scheduled for the 2018-19 timeframe.

The City of Worcester and Worcester Cultural Coalition are working with the Urban Culture Institute to incorporate placemaking, cultural economic development and the arts into the Main Street Project. The goal is to create a theme, sense of place, increased walkability, and vibrancy along the Main Street corridor through public art while taking into consideration connectivity between primary public art nodes. The project will incorporate already designed wayfinding elements. Repurposing appropriate materials from elements slated for demolition or removal will be an integral part of the project.

The Main Street reconstruction project extends from the intersections of Lincoln Square (Highland Street/Belmont Street) in the north to Chandler Street/Madison Street in the south. The reconfigured Main Street will include widened sidewalks with red brick pattern edge banding, dedicated bike lanes, new brick-banded crosswalks, and black ornamental lighting fixtures and street furniture. One of the ways this project will create vibrancy is through the inclusion of three interconnected mini-plazas, or “nodes,” in front of cultural institutions: the Hanover Theatre, the Palladium, and Mechanics Hall. These nodes are a place-making effort that weave together public art, green space, and storytelling to create destinations and memorable experiences.

The intent of Main Street Reimagined is to supplement the new streetscape with custom public art installations – including functional and decorative elements – to add interest to and activate the public space. Public art installations will reflect elements of Worcester’s history, culture and community in creative and interesting ways through the themes of creativity, innovation and revolution.

“As we continue to make our downtown a lively and walkable 18-hour destination, public art will be a major component of our strategy,” said City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. “This project is a great opportunity for local and regional artists to help make visual and functional enhancements to Main Street.”

The project seeks to incorporate both functional and decorative art at locations throughout the mile-long corridor. The City seeks proposals for five different categories of installations: artistic screening, lighting installation, activity nodes, benches and bicycle racks. This Request for Proposals (RFP) is open to all artists, artist teams, and design professionals with experience in public art and monumental features. Professionals residing in or with studio space in the City of Worcester and the New England region are encouraged to apply. The deadline for submission is Friday, July 13 at 10 a.m.

More details about the RFP, including the anticipated project schedule, may be found at www.worcesterma.gov/main-street-reimagined.

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