Worcester Weekly: Fireworks at East Park, new WAM exhibit + more, June 25-July 1

The most fun you’ll have with a calendar of events all week. And you just might learn something, too.

Ongoing — “Reusable Universes:” Shih Chieh Huang, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St.  While Stephen Hawking keeps telling everyone humans need to find an Earth 2.0 — and fast (well, relatively) — Shih Chieh Huang and WAM are content right where they are, exploring the possibilities of transforming modern technology into thought-provoking, awe-inspiring art.

“ ‘Reusable Universes’ resonates with the spirit of innovation and curiosity that continues to ground Worcester today. Huang’s art also will provoke the viewer to consider society’s rapidly changing relationship with technology.” The exhibit runs through Nov. 12. Admission is $14; $12 for college students with ID and seniors; $6 for kids (free for members and kids under 3).

Gardens and gargoyles: Dilapidated churches grow into urban farms

Wondering what the future could hold for one of the city’s most beloved church buildings? Find out with author BJ Hill in the Sun’s serial glimpse into the fantastic (and mostly fictional) possibilities of a not-so distant tomorrow.

WORCESTER, June 9, 2019 – Within the city of Worcester there are 12 former church buildings that are facing the wrecking ball. Three of these buildings date back to the 1880s. They are cherished, sacred spaces where generations of parishioners married, baptized children, and said their goodbyes to loved ones. But in the last few decades, congregations of every faith have thinned out. While a giant extravagant property was once a symbol of reverence and success for a parish, now it’s become maintenance headaches for cash-strapped finance committees.

Some congregations sought to let go of the buildings, but developers know it’s daunting to repurpose thick cement walls, redesign a cavernous interior, and maintain the cultural and historical legacy.

Some church buildings were sold to the highest bidder, anyway, to await uncertain futures. With uninterested new owners and a minimum of maintenance, the once-mighty cornerstones of communities now decay and molder until they’re no longer safe to keep standing.

But a local company called Altar2Table is on a preservation campaign to purchase the properties and fix them up for what once would have been considered a most unlikely use: urban farms.

Can’t get enough? Find more What if … Worcester here

Altar2Table’s first purchase was Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church on Mulberry Street, which was officially closed by the Diocese of Worcester in 2016. After a year of renovations, the farm commenced operations in January 2019 and yielded its first harvest in April.