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MassDevelopment Launches Commonwealth Places Campaign for Iluminación Lawrence

May 2, 2019

$30,000 goal to win matching grant through MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places


Kelsey Schiller, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2011 & 617-694-9695 (cell)

Jonathan Berk, Patronicity, 617-750-6008

Kate Reilly, City of Lawrence, 978-620-3013

MassDevelopment and the civic crowdfunding platform Patronicity have launched a new Commonwealth Places campaign with the Lawrence Redevelopment Authority and Groundwork Lawrence for Iluminación Lawrence, a city-wide lighting project that aims to improve public safety and create artistic vibrancy throughout Lawrence. The organizations will use campaign funds to project signs, photos, and videos on the south wall of the Everett Mills in Warehouse Square; add programmable color-changing LED lights and project community artwork onto the column entrances of the Lawrence Library; and install permanent architectural floodlights at the Lawrence Library, which will provide visibility to a new mural on the library’s south wall. Once finished, the Everett Mills and Lawrence Library installations will complement lighting currently being installed at Ayer Mill Clock Tower and Casey Bridge, the initial two Iluminación Lawrence project locations.

“Iluminación Lawrence is demonstrating how bringing new light to a city, through colorful and creative installations, can beautify public spaces, improve safety, and engage residents and visitors,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “MassDevelopment looks forward to supporting the Lawrence Redevelopment Authority and Groundwork Lawrence as they expand this initiative to additional locations around downtown Lawrence.”

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $30,000 by June 7 at midnight, the project will win a matching grant with funds from MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places program. Learn more and donate to Iluminación Lawrence at

“Lawrence is a vibrant, diverse, and historically and culturally rich community with a lot to offer,” said Vilma Martínez-Dominguez, Community Development Director for the City of Lawrence. “This new Iluminación Lawrence initiative, being kicked off with the lighting of the Casey Bridge and the Ayer Clock Tower, will serve to further heighten that sense of pride and community commonly shared among residents. Placemaking activities, such as illumination projects, have been proven to promote a sense of safety among residents, spark economic development in communities, and promote civic engagement and social activity and connections, after nightfall. Beyond supporting and complementing Lawrence Urban Renewal redevelopment efforts, we are hoping to create a sense of ownership by actively empowering community members to engage in the programming of all proposed and future illumination projects in the City.”

Commonwealth Places is a collaborative initiative from MassDevelopment and Patronicity that leverages public support for placemaking projects through crowdfunding and a matching grant from MassDevelopment. The program engages residents in the development of strategic projects in their towns and cities. In November 2018, MassDevelopment announced $500,000 in funding for the third year of the program, which has supported successful campaigns across the Commonwealth, from Northampton to Hyannis. Communities, nonprofits, and other entities can learn more about these successful projects, donate to ongoing campaigns, and apply at

These Iluminación Lawrence installations will be located within Lawrence’s Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) District, a burgeoning mill neighborhood bound between the Campagnone Common and the Merrimack River. TDI is a separate MassDevelopment program designed to accelerate economic growth within focused districts in Gateway Cities. The program works with cross-sector partnerships to engage community members in actionable planning, implement local economic development initiatives, and spur further public and private investment. The Lawrence TDI Partnership’s vision is to create an inclusive, vibrant, and equitable neighborhood through a series of people-focused interventions in the next three years.

Iluminación Lawrence is the second Commonwealth Places campaign launched in Lawrence. In 2017, The Partnership for Buckley crowdfunded $50,330 and received a $50,000 matching grant from MassDevelopment to transform Lawrence’s Buckley Transportation Center into a public art installation.

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2018, MassDevelopment financed or managed 384 projects generating investment of more than $4.1 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 10,994 jobs and build or rehabilitate 830 housing units.