The Visualize Lowell’s Black history project began in 2021 with funding provided by the Commonwealth Places Program Resurgent Places Grant created by MassDevelopment. The goal of that grant is to help community partners prepare public space and commercial districts to best serve their population during communities’ economic recovery efforts.
Our grant was for a program of art interventions, history signs, and business directory items around downtown with the intent of leveraging undertold stories to encourage visitors to explore downtown and stimulate business recovery, including “visitdtl.com”, a pop-up website. After winning the grant, we partnered with in partnership with Free Soil Arts Collective, an arts organization based in Lowell, MA with a mission to amplify and strengthen the voices of artists of color, to implement the art and history elements of the project.
That project continued in 2022 with the development of a pop-up sculpture, “Black Joy,” funded by the New England Foundation for the Arts Public Art for Spacial Justice program, the Lowell Cultural Council, and Mosaic Lowell. The sculpture was conceptualized by Lowell residents under the facilitation of DIY Lowell and artist Kamil Peters. The sculpture is anticipated to be installed early in 2023.
Both project years were led by committees of Black-identifying Lowellians of many backgrounds and DIY Lowell volunteers were proud to work with these committees. To learn more about each pop-up project, click on the links below.
Middlesex Street VLBH Art Trail
Visit DTL Website, Kiosk, and Wayfinding
Juneteenth Performances (2021 Archive)