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Worcester seeks artists for $11M downtown upgrade

June 13, 2018
Courtesy | City of Worcester
Courtesy | City of Worcester
This space in front of Hanover Theatre will be included in an $11 million downtown renovation project.

Worcester is looking for artists to make its $11-million reconstruction of Main Street not just more organized and convenient, but visually appealing as well.

The city is calling for artists and designers to create a series of public art features for the project, dubbed Main Street Reimagined.

The city, Worcester Cultural Coalition and Urban Culture Institute are working together to incorporate placemaking, cultural economic development and the arts into the project, with the goal of creating a theme, sense of place, increased walkability and vibrancy along the Main Street corridor, according to City Manager Ed Augustus' office.

Already-designed wayfinding elements will be incorporated, as will structures slated for demolition or removal, the city said.

The project, extending from Lincoln Square south to the Chandler Street/Madison Street intersection, will include widened sidewalks, dedicated bike lanes, new brick-branded crosswalks, black ornamental lighting fixtures and street furniture.

Artists will be asked to help create vibrancy by interconnecting three mini-plazas, or nodes, in front of the Hanover Theatre, Palladium and Mechanics Hall.

"These nodes are a placemaking effort that weave together public art, green space, and storytelling to create destinations and memorable experiences," the city wrote in a press release announcing the solicitation.

Other public art installations will reflect elements of the city's history, culture and community.

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

Worcester is looking for proposals for five categories of installations: artistic screening, lighting installation, activity nodes, benches and bicycle racks. The deadline for submissions to the Request for Proposals is 10 a.m. Friday, July 13.