Main South Community Harmonizes in Pop-Up Arts Event

Courtesy of Arianna Hall

Courtesy of Arianna Hall

Arianna Hall, S

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On Wednesday, Oct. 24, the Main South Community Development Corporation (CDC) hosted a “pop-up” event on Main Street for the local community. The CDC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing affordable housing, as well as promoting the general improvement of the Main South. The impact of the organization’s work was observable during the pop-up event as community members laughed together and 

enjoyed local musicians, poets and artists.

One of the first events was called Artists in the Afternoon and took place in a Clark-

In an effort to highlight the local restaurants, the CDC displayed menus of restaurants such as Debbie’s Pizza and Caribbean Flavor to encourage event-goers to eat locally throughout the afternoon. Another local organization, Main IDEA, dedicated to providing arts education to the youth and developing an extensive art community in the Main South, organized activities such as facepainting and a temporary tattoo station. The Main IDEA representative painted children’s faces into ladybugs, pirates, and Spiderman.

Throughout the day the community also enjoyed performances by local musicians such as The Promise is Hope, the Worcester Jazz Collective, and the Carlos Odria Trio. Other performers included artists John Vo and Hank VonHellion. John Vo painted for hours on delicate silk while Hank VonHellion juxtaposed this delicate work with his own expressive aerosol art.

 The event concluded with a performance of spoken word by Hilda Santiago and musician Molly Jane Gaine. As the last musician, Gaine impacted the crowd greatly, to the extent that audience members walked up to owned parking lot from noon into the evening. It featured many different activities for Main South residents, including games such as cornhole, Connect Four and Jenga. Children walking home from school were able to stop by throughout the day and take turns playing.

 the stage and began to perform with her. One man grabbed a bucket and began to play it as though it were a drum, while another woman walked up and joined in the singing.

Watching a community come together in such a manner and effortlessly harmonizing, was the pinnacle of the event. Clark University student, Caroline Williams, stated that “The pop-up made me feel at home. I come from a family of artists and an area with a large art presence. Seeing local musicians and artists right across from Clark made me feel like I was a part of the Main South community”.

This event was supported, in part, by a grant from the Worcester Arts Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. However,  collaboration of the Main South CDC and Clark University students with the Worcester Arts Council is what made the event possible.

There are several upcoming events held by the Main South Community Development Corporation that can be found on their facebook page and website.