Free Community Workshop to Explore Theme of Belonging for New Public Art Installation at 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 are excited to announce a community brainstorm session to explore the theme of belonging for a public art installation at WPL. The event will take place on Wednesday, May 24 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Worcester Public Library, located at 3 Salem Square, in the Saxe Room.  
This workshop is being facilitated by local arts non-profit Creative Hub Worcester. Participants will be guided through creative exercises to uncover what “belonging” means to them. The session at the library is one of several workshops with various community organizations and groups taking place this spring and summer, including BAMSI’s New Start Brain Injury Community Center, Southeast Asian Coalition, and others. The ideas that emerge from all workshops will then be transformed into a large-scale art installation by artist Sharinna Travieso featuring the library’s tagline “You Belong Here!” The final artwork will later be fabricated and installed on the Salem Street façade of the Main Library. 
"We're thrilled to partner with Creative Hub Worcester to facilitate this hands-on creative workshop at the Worcester Public Library," said Jason Homer, Executive Director of the Worcester Public Library. "We invite all members of our community to come together, explore what it means to belong, and share their ideas for the new 'You Belong Here!' artwork.” 
Laura Marotta, Executive Director of Creative Hub Worcester, added, "The theme of 'belonging' is an exciting and intricate concept to explore with our community members. We're happy to be collaborating with the Downtown Worcester BID, Worcester Public Library and Foundation on this project, and to help members of the Worcester community uncover deeper truths about belonging and connection through our role as facilitators of these workshops in this collaborative effort. Sharinna Travieso is an incredible artist who will treat the theme and the community input gathered from these workshops with thought and care. We know she will produce a vibrant and multifaceted piece that we all are so excited to see come to life.” 
Evelyn Darling, Executive Director of the Downtown Worcester BID, said, "We believe that the arts can help bring people together and strengthen our community. The final 'You Belong Here!' art installation will be a powerful symbol of belonging, co-created by and for our community, right in the heart of our Downtown on Salem Street.”  
The community brainstorm session at WPL is free and open to the public. Free refreshments will be provided on a first come, first served basis.  
"We hope that members of our community will come out to share their ideas and help us create artwork that reflects the diversity and strength of Worcester," said Christine Murray, Executive Director of the Worcester Public Library Foundation.” 
Funding for the “You Belong Here!” project has been provided by the Commonwealth Places Program created by MassDevelopment.  
For more information about the You Belong Here!” project, visit: 
Photo: Worcester Public Library Executive Director Jason Homer talked with the group at the Downtown Worcester Business Improvement District's March Community Meeting about the library and the "You Belong Here!" public art project. | Photo Credit: Matt Wright Photography
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 more than 100 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.