In an all-new episode of The Business Beat, Steve Jones-D’Agostino, strategic partner of Susan Wagner PR + Best Rate of Climb, interviews Erin Williams, executive director of the Worcester Cultural Coalition. They talk about building a creative economy in Worcester.
As WGBH Radio reported on June 25, “America's Rust Belt began in Worcester. Once a manufacturing powerhouse, this Central Massachusetts city went into decline in the 1950s and never fully recovered. Today, evidence of a rebound stirs. Healthcare and biotech promise reasonable growth, local universities and hospitals are the incubators, and innovators of many stripes are establishing beachheads.”
In this case, WGBH focused on the innovation economy that’s establishing roots in New England’s second largest city – a place The Boston Globe seems to like referring to as every once in a while as “struggling.” WGBH was taking note of the resurgence of industrial innovation Worcester. But there are other types of innovation spring up here – including arts and culture. Together, all of it adds up to the making of a creative city. Representative of this new way of thinking and doing, is Worcester PopUp, whose aim is “to bring creativity to life through rotating art exhibitions, brilliant performances, music, good food, arts and 3D printing, and inspiring hands on activity.”
The Worcester Cultural Coalition and City of Worcester’s Cultural Development Office, in partnership with Bay State Savings Bank and the Worcester Business Development Corp., are working with a group of creative artists and entrepreneurs, including Revolution Institute and Technocopia, to create Worcester Popup, which opened on June 19 and will run through August – on Thursday afternoons and evenings and on Saturdays - at 38 Franklin St. in downtown Worcester. A selection of artists and entrepreneurs is helping PopUp by sharing their art, dance or music, selling their locavore food, hosting a creative workshop, or presenting a staged reading or concert.
While Worcester PopUp offers the space free of charge, artists are required to help set up and staff their performances as well as promote their activities through social media. Worcester PopUp is also complementing Worcester Filmworks’ Third Thursdays Movies on the Common behind City Hall.