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Worcester Issues Call for Artists for Abby Kelley Foster Artistic Node Project

For Immediate Release: 10/1/2020 9:04 am

The City of Worcester is now accepting qualifications from artists and designers for the creation of a public art installation inspired by 19th-century Worcester activist and abolitionist Abby Kelley Foster.

The City of Worcester’s Cultural Development Office and Department of Public Works & Parks, in partnership with the Worcester Cultural Coalition, have been working with the Urban Culture Institute to incorporate the arts, place-making and Worcester’s cultural heritage into public spaces around the city. These efforts will bring the history of Worcester to life through artistic expression and build on the momentum of the Worcester Cultural Plan.

The Requests for Qualifications (RFQs) are open to all artists, artist teams and design professionals with experience in public art design. Professionals residing in or with studio space in the city of Worcester and the New England region are encouraged to apply. The City will review all qualifications and processes during a public informational meeting on Monday, Oct. 19 at 6 p.m. This meeting will be held virtually through WebEx, please contact Culture@WorcesterMA.gov to register.

The deadline to submit proposals is Oct. 30, with the artist(s)/teams(s) qualified for proposal submission in November. The completed project will be due in April 2021. The complete RFQ, may be found at http://www.worcesterma.gov/cultural-development/culture-events.

Worcester abolitionist Abby Kelley Foster boldly defended her right to speak while she advocated for equality and the abolishment of slavery. Proposals are being accepted for a sculpture to be placed at a 5’ x 10’ area at the corner of Main and Walnut streets, the site of the first National Women’s Rights Convention in 1850. Suggested themes for this sculpture are Abby Kelley Foster herself, the Women’s Rights Movement, and Revolution.

The Abby Kelley Foster Artistic Node Project is part of the Main Street Reimagined initiative. The reconfigured Main Street will feature bicycle lanes, widened sidewalks and new streetscapes similar to other recently completed street upgrades in downtown Worcester. The intent of Main Street Reimagined is to supplement the streetscape with custom public art installations to activate public space and develop interest through both functional and decorative elements.

For more on Worcester’s Cultural Plan, please visit http://www.worcesterma.gov/announcements/city-announces-completion-of-first-comprehensive-cultural-plan.

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