INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL PRODUCING IMMERSIVE CULTURAL EXPERIENCES IN THE HEART OF NEW ENGLAND
Since its inception in 2016, POW! WOW! Worcester has curated over 130 pieces of public art, consisting of 106 murals and several seasonal and permanent installations, and now maintains the largest collection of murals in New England.
Local and visiting artists travel to Worcester, MA to paint for POW! WOW! Worcester as part of the POW! WOW! Worldwide network of festivals founded by Jasper Wong in 2011. The POW! WOW! Worcester local organizing committee is made up of city residents, students and business professionals whose mission is to encourage walkability and enhanced connectivity between different neighborhoods in the city, advocate for youth arts education, stimulate dialogue, inspire change, promote diversity and inclusion, contribute to a greater quality of life and create a genuine sense of community through public art.
POW! WOW! Worcester continues to evolve each year in response to economic, cultural and societal shifts in the city. From stimulating walkability and improving public safety in year one, concentrating on public schools and arts education in year two and going deeper into the neighborhoods of the city in year three, the committee turned its focus this year on the north side of the city working with the Worcester Housing Authority in a public housing development known as Great Brook Valley. In addition to 4 murals painted deep within Great Brook Valley, murals were installed on the Edward M. Kennedy Health Center (a community health center that services the neighborhood) and nearby public schools to help create a deeper connection between school and home life for the children who reside there.
Beyond the art, POW! WOW! Worcester was committed to engaging the community in a meaningful way, programming events tailored to the residents on-site. Artists were hand-selected whom residents could identify with and whose work would best represent the culture within.