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POW! WOW! Worcester Launches New Commonwealth Places Campaign for Public Art Installations

$50,000 goal to win matching grant through MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places Initiative
April 27, 2018


Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077 (cell)

Jonathan Berk, Patronicity, 617-750-6008

Lisa Drexhage, POW! WOW! Worcester, 952-412-7729

MassDevelopment and the civic crowdfunding platform Patronicity have launched a new Commonwealth Places campaign with POW! WOW! Worcester, which will bring more public art to the City of Worcester’s downtown, neighborhoods, and parks in 2018.  POW! WOW! Worcester is a creative movement organized by a committee of passionate members from the local nonprofit, business, creative, and collegiate communities. This third annual art week in Worcester will take place from Aug. 31 to Sept. 9, with new large-scale murals, art installations, immersive experiences, tours, and events.

This year’s festival will feature 10 new large-scale murals in and around downtown Worcester and the Worcester Public Schools. POW! WOW! Worcester will also engage with Worcester Public Schools students and teachers and create miniature and large-scale installations, which will include activation of vacant retail storefronts, permanent art in public spaces and parks throughout Worcester, an ArtRaiser for local arts groups, mural tours, secret events, and more. MassDevelopment had provided a $50,000 Commonwealth Places grant for POW! WOW! Worcester’s 2017 public art campaign, which transformed Elm Park Community School with 11 large-scale interior and exterior murals.

“POW! WOW! Worcester’s colorful and creative art engages residents and visitors of all ages and backgrounds in one of the Commonwealth’s largest cities,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “This Commonwealth Places campaign will help expand the organization’s reach, bringing that vibrancy to more corners of this diverse and growing Gateway City.”

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by June 21 at midnight, the project will win a matching grant with funds from MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places program. Learn more and donate at

"Following the success of the 2017 festival, POW! WOW! Worcester is excited to partner with MassDevelopment and the Commonwealth Places Initiative to bring more immersive cultural experiences to Worcester in 2018,” said POW! WOW! Worcester’s Director Lisa Drexhage. “With the full support of our community, more than 50 artists from across the globe travelled to Worcester in 2017, adding 42 murals and 11 installations to the growing POW! WOW! Worcester portfolio. We're excited to kick-off this fundraising campaign and continue giving the people of Central New England a sense of place and a sense pride through public art."

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 June 2017, MassDevelopment announced $1 million in funding for the second 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

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2017, MassDevelopment financed or managed 377 projects generating investment of more than $4.3 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 9,488 jobs and build or rehabilitate 1,863 residential units.