Che Anderson- Pow Wow Worcester
Q. Communities are made up of so many awesome attributes…What are some of the strongest or most prominent within yours and why are they awesome to you?
Worcester’s greatest attributes are its cultural diversity, amazing food scene, numerous colleges, historic presence, and artistic community. The cultural diversity allows numerous celebrations, restaurants, and inspirational stories that drive the community together; the growing, and thriving, food scene has led to countless opportunities to bond over a great meal and a well paired beer; the colleges allow for a youthful energy and entrepreneurial spirit to be cultivated within the City; the history allows for civic pride and understanding as people learn about the many inventions of the City, e.g. the smiley face, monkey wrench, birth control and modern rocketry; and the artistic community has proven to be the heartbeat of the City, inspiring resident and visitors, and capturing the cool factor for all to see.
Q. How do you feel different communities can connect and learn from one another?
I think communities have to be comfortable borrowing great ideas from each other. Oftentimes people do not want to replicate what has been done in order to standout; however I believe that all cities can learn how to be successful from each other if they are willing to put aside ego and work collaboratively to strengthen their state, country and beyond.
Q. How would you suggest communities evolve and grow over time?
Communities grow as a result of mutual respect for each other. They have to find value in each other’s cultures and practices and find similarities while embracing their differences. These actions lead to trust within the community, and only then can the community evolve.
Q. If someone wanted to become more involved your community, what advice would you give them?
One of the best things about the City of Worcester is how accessible its leaders are. The community wants to see people succeed and elected officials, community activists, non-profit executives, and grassroots champions are all available for conversations. If someone wanted to be a part of ongoing conversations and engage with the community, I would simply advise them to contact someone, myself included, to get started. I’d also advise them to remain active and to get out in the community. People take notice of those who show up.
Q. In what ways will your project change its surrounding community?
The project looks to change a variety of things in the community, while highlighting the amazing features that already exist. Obviously we will change multiple facades in the city, but we also hope to boost community morale, improve perception of the City of Worcester, and increase the number of young artists by introducing them to accessible forms of artwork.
Q. Why is the community the right place for this project?
The City of Worcester is undergoing a cultural renaissance, and this project provides a tangible display of that very development. It highlights the strengths of the community, while providing amenities that educate, increase walkability and are fun to engage with. Since the 1870s, Worcester has embraced public art, and this project simply continues tradition.