We had an amazing turnout at our fourth annual Community Idea Summit with more than 40 people ready to volunteer their time and energy to kick off community projects. We hope we’ll see great success by summer 2020 for all four! You can help by attending their first meeting or, if that time doesn’t work for you, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with thoughts or interest.
Underground Railroad Monument will look at a potential short-term walking path with signs and long-term interpretive signs at key locations teaching about the anti-slavery movement and the underground railroad in Lowell. They’ll need folks good at fundraising, knowledgable about history, or connected with diverse communities to help!
Their first meeting is Sunday, October 6, 2019 at 6:30pm at Coffee and Cotton.
Open Arts Spaces is DIY Lowell’s first Young Idea Project. They will identify a space or spaces for young people (ages 13-21) to explore visual or performing arts in a youth-focused environment with mentorship from local artists. They need input from young people, visual and performing artists, educators, and other community members who want to help make this idea happen!
Their first meeting is October 17 at 4:00 pm at Lowell Community Health Center, 6th floor Community Health Education Center, 161 Jackson Street, Lowell.
Ghost Sign Projections will select three historic signs – maybe including the Lawrence Mills mural near the Riverwalk, the Coca-Cola sign downtown, and one other ghost sign to create a living projection. They’ll need people with knowledge of projector equipment, working with downtown building owners, and making animated art.
Their first meeting is Wednesday, October 23, time TBD at 491 Dutton Street.
Did You Know Signs for Lowell will work with community leaders to zip-tie temporary signs with facts about Lowell’s zoning, land use, and more to inspire people to think about how Lowell’s laws shape its community and become interested in local government.
The first meeting is being chosen by poll to be on Friday, October 18 or Friday, November 8 at 7 pm.
Note the new date: Thursday, September 26, 6:00 pm doors open, 6:30 pm program starts!
It’s at the former American Textile History Museum, Lemon and Thyme restaurant, 491 Dutton Street! Free food and free childcare. For more details and to RSVP, visit the Facebook event.
Do-it-Yourself Lowell (DIY Lowell) is pleased to announce that we have hired our first permanent staff member. We have previously helped community members create popular projects such as Points of Light Lantern Celebration, Midsummer Dream on Merrimack Street, and the Downtown Pop-Up History Trail. This June, we appointed Emily Ferrara as DIY Lowell program director. Emily’s 20-year career in higher education and health care—as a grant-writer, project manager, patient advocate and teacher—will serve DIY Lowell well as we move into our next phase of growth and development.
A poet and visual artist, Emily will bring the mind of a poet and heart of an artist to the job, facilitating creative leaps of thought in DIY Lowell’s process of generating and implementing community project ideas. She also brings her experience from being on the faculty at UMass Medical School in Worcester, where she has taught creative writing to medical students.
As program director of DIY Lowell, Emily will be immersed in the City of Lowell’s thriving arts and multicultural community and will lead initiatives such as the new Young Ideas Project funded by the Greater Lowell Community Foundation. She will work closely with our co-founders and Advisory Committee to chart DIY Lowell’s course into the future. Areas of focus will include program development and facilitation, fundraising, outreach, and strategic planning.
“DIY Lowell’s goal isn’t just to have great projects; it’s also to get Lowell’s diverse communities to mix and learn from one another. That’s why it’s our priority to enhance the diversity of DIY Lowell participants and leadership in age, race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, religion and socioeconomic background,” said Aurora Erickson, co-founder.
In her career at UMass Medical School, Emily served in volunteer leadership roles in Diversity and Inclusion efforts. She also served as co-chair for an LGBT inclusion community initiative in Worcester, MA, in collaboration with the Greater Worcester Community Foundation.
Emily is a recent graduate of the Empower leadership training program of the Coalition for a Better Acre and Lowell Alliance. She is passionate about improving access to services and protecting civil rights for Lowell’s large refugee and immigrant populations, and she volunteers with several organizations devoted to that cause.
She holds a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from Lesley University, and a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Boston University.
Emily lives in the Appleton/Jackson/Middlesex neighborhood with her wife Lara Hoke and their pup Digory.