Creative Hub & Artist Sharinna Travieso Chosen to Team Up for Public Art & Lighting Project at the Worcester Public Library 
Media Contacts:
Lisa Malo, Marketing & Communications Manager       
Downtown Worcester BID                            
508-622-3050 x4, [email protected]

Linnea Sheldon, Community Relations & Communications Manager
Worcester Public Library
508-799-1654, [email protected]

WORCESTER, MA The Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District (BID), Worcester Public Library (WPL), and Worcester Public Library Foundation (WPLF) are thrilled to announce that local arts non-profit Creative Hub Worcester and visual artist Sharinna Travieso have been chosen to team up on a project that will bring large-scale public art and lighting to the WPL’s Main Library building. The group first shared the announcement publicly at the BID's March Community meeting held at the Worcester Public Library on Friday, March 10.
Downtown Worcester BID Executive Director Evelyn Darling shared the announcement about the selected artist and facilitator for the "You Belong Here!" project at the BID's March Community Meeting | Photo Credit: Matt Wright Photography
The project will engage the Worcester community to create an art installation featuring the Worcester Public Library’s tagline: “You Belong Here!” Creative Hub and Travieso will collaborate with community members to conceptualize and design the artwork. The artwork will later be fabricated into materials that will be displayed on the library façade along Salem Street and lit with LED lighting, following a fundraising campaign expected to begin in late 2023.

“The ‘You Belong Here!’ project is so important to the library and to our Downtown neighborhood. Not only will it activate and enliven Salem Street with beautiful public art and lighting, but we will also be able to ask our community meaningful questions about what it means to find a sense of belonging,” said Worcester Public Library Executive Director Jason Homer. “This calls for creative collaborators who possess a special set of skills – which is precisely why Creative Hub and Sharinna Travieso are the perfect partners to help bring this project to life.”
Worcester Public Library Executive Director Jason Homer shared more about the library's mission at the BID's March Community Meeting | Photo Credit: Matt Wright Photography
“Individually, Sharinna and Creative Hub each have a strong track record of community engagement in Worcester and an impressive portfolio of creative work. Together, they form a powerhouse team that brings a combination of vision, imagination, empathy, organization, communication, and artistry to the ‘You Belong Here!’ public art and lighting project,” added Downtown Worcester BID Executive Director Evelyn Darling.
Creative Hub Worcester, led by co-founders Laura Marotta and Stacy Lord, will serve as the facilitators for the project, spearheading community engagement and outreach. Based in Worcester’s Main South neighborhood, Creative Hub runs programs aimed at connecting community to art and creative expression. They host an after-school program, operate a mobile art van, plan the stART on the Street festival, and more.

“Collaborative public art projects that bring people together are crucial for representing the lives of all who exist in our communities,” said Marotta. “With over 20 years of experience as educators and artists, Creative Hub Worcester is very much looking forward to facilitating these workshops to ensure that we listen to, hear, and gather voices from the community, which will ultimately become the foundation for the ‘You Belong Here!’ mural. The collaborative nature of this project is going to provide a beautiful partnership between facilitator, artist, and community to achieve a successful and genuine representation of the theme.” 

Travieso will serve as lead artist, translating community input and ideas into a cohesive art piece that captures the spirit of belonging. She has experience creating large-scale public art pieces in the city. The first mural she worked on was the “Maiden Mother Crone” mural on YWCA’s wall on Francis J. McGrath Boulevard, where she assisted artist Alice Mizrachi in 2016. Since then, Travieso worked on several notable projects including the Black Lives Matter mural on Major Taylor Boulevard and the “Diversity in STEM” mural at WPI. She also designed the “Butterly Effect” window installation at 26 Portland Street for the BID’s “Through the Glass” storefront activation project in 2022. 

“To me, the phrase ‘You Belong Here’ means that everyone is valued and accepted. It conveys a sense of comfort and belonging, which is especially important for individuals who may feel marginalized or excluded,” said Travieso. “I hope this mural will convey a message of inclusivity, acceptance, and belonging to the community. I hope it will inspire feelings of pride among community members, while also promoting a sense of unity and understanding between the diverse groups in Worcester. By creating a visual representation of this message, this mural will serve as a reminder that everyone has a place in our community and that we are stronger when we come together.” 
Pictured left to right: Evelyn Darling, Executive Director of the Downtown Worcester BID; Jason Homer, Executive Director of the Worcester Public Library; Sharinna Travieso, Visual Artist; Christine Murray, Executive Director of the Worcester Public Library Foundation | Photo Credit: Matt Wright Photography
The Downtown Worcester BID, in partnership with the WPL and WPLF, was awarded a $15,000 MassDevelopment Commonwealth Places seed grant last year to launch the first phase of the “You Belong Here!” project, which includes hiring the artist and facilitator, funding translation services, and implementing an inclusive community engagement process to develop the themes and designs.  

Outreach to solicit participation in the creation of the artwork will begin in the coming weeks. Creative Hub will be facilitating community "listening sessions" with several community-based organizations starting this spring. Fabrication of the artwork and installation of LED lighting is expected to begin in 2024, following securing additional funding sources. 

About Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District
Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District is a nonprofit organization established in 2018 to sustain momentum in the heart of Downtown Worcester. The result of a comprehensive community-based effort, the organization represents the owners of 140 properties and seeks to create a unique sense of place through enhanced investment and development, establishing and sustaining a vibrant, welcoming, and economically viable district for all.

About the Worcester Public Library
The Worcester Public Library (WPL) serves as a gathering place that actively promotes the free exchange of ideas in our democratic society. The Library makes information and services available to all people while fostering intellectual freedom, protecting privacy, encouraging personal growth and enrichment, and celebrating our diverse community heritage. The Main Library is located in downtown Worcester, with six additional branch locations around the city, and two mobile libraries servicing our neighborhoods.

About the Worcester Public Library Foundation
Established in 2003, the Worcester Public Library Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization that was formed by a group of engaged citizens who recognized the need for private support to sustain and enhance the resources and services available through our public library system. WPLF’s mission is to enhance the visibility of the Worcester Public Library, and to raise public and private funds to ensure its continued vitality. The Board of Trustees and the many individuals, corporations, and local foundations that support the Library Foundation each bring a commitment to the library’s vision of being a welcoming destination and a leading provider of resources to inform, enlighten and enrich our diverse community.