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Calling artists: ReImagine North of Main looking to add art panels to enrich Mill Street corridor

November 3, 2020 : Sentinel & Enterprise, by Daniel Monahan

FITCHBURG — The brick walls along the Mill Street corridor have been bare for decades, but a ReImagine North of Main initiative is looking for artists to bring a splash of color to the area.

According to a press release, ReImagine North of Main is looking for artists from the Fitchburg community to fill specific roles on a team of artists that will produce 14 painted art panels on the surface facing Mill Street.

The organization issued the request for portfolios last month and the deadline for submissions is Monday.

“This is an opportunity for both experienced and less-experienced artists from Fitchburg and has been structured and designed to support a wide range of art making backgrounds,” the press release said.

The effort is part of the Activate Mill Street project, which aims to shine a light on the alley between Boulder Drive and Main Street.

Last year, the city unveiled the rejuvenated space complete with art, plantings, lighting, a temporary deck for performances and seating for residents.

The temporary artwork would add another splash of color to the area and transform perceptions of the downtown area, the press release said.

“This vibrancy will celebrate downtown, support existing businesses, and spur entrepreneurship in downtown Fitchburg,” it said.

Prior to the project, the selected artists will participate in an intensive deep-dive program involving a series of workshops and sessions.

“There is a significant time commitment required of the artist team for this project,” the press release said.

Team members will be provided a small stipend for their time upon the completion of the project, including $500 for the two lead artists and $250 for two production artists.

None of the funds, materials, property or services can be used for any political statements, including support or opposition to any legislation before Congress.

Individuals interested in the opportunity should email their application to project leader Fiorrio Viante at info@vianteandassociates.com, complete with a cover page, resume, portfolio and a writing sample.

The artwork would be installed by the end of the year and taken down in the future.

Activate Mill Street is within the city’s Transformative Development Initiative District, a MassDevelopment program aimed at driving economic growth in gateway cities like Fitchburg.

The project is part of a partnership between MassDevelopment and the crowd funding platform Patronicity.

Through MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places program, the Fitchburg State University Foundation and ReImagine North of Main aim to activate the space on Mill Street.

Organizers successfully raised $40,000 and received a matching grant from MassDevelopment to fund the approximately $80,000 project.