Worcester Weekly: Make Music Day, psychic readings + more, June 18-24

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

Sunday, June 18 — 2nd Annual Coptic Music Concert in the North East, 6 p.m., Mechanics Hall, 321 Main St.  If there’s one thing we all know about dads, it’s how much they love their centuries-old hymnals. Nothing like a little fine Egyptian liturgy to bring Father’s Day to a whole new level. David Ensemble comprises a small group of musicians straight outta Cairo combined with Coptic Orthodox performers from across America.

Photo courtesy mass.historicbuildingsct.com

Mechanics Hall

For the non-religious scholars among us, Coptic Orthodox is a Christian denomination based on the teachings of Saint Mark and which originated in Egypt, northern Africa and the Middle East. In 2013 a diocese was formed in New York to represent the faith in the Northeast United States. And now they’re spreading the word through traditional music and psalms that date back 5,000 years — give or take a couple millenia. Doors open at 5. Tickets are $30.

Mariano: A champion for women and girls

“If she stands on her toes, she is probably 4 feet, 10 inches tall – maybe. For most of her life, she struggled to weigh in at 100 pounds. But when it comes to helping women and girls who are struggling, there is no one bigger or stronger.”

Worcester Weekly: Holy Cross baseball, autism fundraiser + more, April 23-29

Know about something cool going on that you want to get listed in Worcester Weekly? Send information about your event to info@worcester.ma.

College sports

Sunday, April 23 — Holy Cross baseball doubleheader vs. Bucknell, 1:05 and 4:05 p.m., Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field, 1 College St.  After sputtering through the early part of the season with a 2-10 record (including games against prominent national contenders like Auburn and USC), the Crusaders — that’s still their name, right?! — have righted the ship on their way to making noise in the Patriot League tournament. HC was tied with the Bison at 8-4, second place in the conference behind Navy entering the weekend.

Senior first baseman Anthony Critelli, a two-time all-Patriot League selection, is the straw that stirs the drink for the Crusader offense. The right-handed-hitting slugger is batting .321 with 6 home runs, 18 RBI and a .918 OPS. On the mound senior righties Joe Cravero (3.60 ERA, 42 strikeouts in 40 innings), Brendan King (3.75, 3 complete games, .208 average against) and George Capen (3.58 ERA, 17 appearances) lead the way.

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History / Theater

Tuesday, April 25 — “If I am Not for Myself Who Will Be for Me,” 7 p.m., Antiquarian Hall, American Antiquarian Society, 185 Salisbury St.  Oney Judge Staines was not your typical runaway slave.

Inbox [April 16]: News and notes from WPI, Main IDEA, LIFT, YWCA, Clark and St. Peter-Marian

WPI lands $5M grant

The Baker-Polito Administration announced a $5 million matching grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative to Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) to support the launch of a new landmark healthcare research and product development initiative called PracticePoint at WPI.

The award from MassTech’s Collaborative Research and Development Matching Grant Program will match contributions from WPI and private sector stakeholders, including GE Healthcare Life Sciences, and fund new integrated research and development labs focused on the commercialization of secure healthcare devices and systems.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announced the grant at a ceremony in Worcester, alongside WPI President Laurie Leshin and Ann R. Klee, Vice President of Boston Development and Operations at GE.

“Imagine new ways to treat inoperable tumors, new systems that allow elders to remain at home safely, or smart devices that speed rehabilitative care — these are just some of the extraordinary technologies we hope will emerge when we bring together creative engineers, scientists and clinicians to work in the novel setting that PracticePoint provides,” Leshin said.

Inbox [March 8]: Becker taps new marketing chief, St. Peter-Marian adds girls hockey and moves into Worcester Ice Center, YWCA hosts forums, EcoTarium names new director, Worcester addresses graffiti

Interesting and worthwhile things happen every day in our community. Alas, we can’t cover them all. That’s where Inbox comes in, to offer readers an easily digestible compilation of interesting and noteworthy items you and your neighbors keep telling us about.

Becker names new executive director of marketing and strategic communications

Carolyn Assa has joined Becker College’s Office of Marketing and Strategic Communications as executive director.

Assa has spearheaded high-profile branding initiatives, built in-house agencies and launched award-winning magazines at education institutions in the region. In her new role at Becker, she will be charged with sharing the college’s story, building awareness of the college brand, and finding ways to promote Becker to new, as well as existing, audiences.

“Carolyn has achieved success across storytelling platforms in the field of education, worked with diverse clients as a public relations consultant, and has extensive media experience,” said Becker College President Robert E. Johnson. “We are excited to have Carolyn on board at Becker to direct our marketing and strategic communications efforts.”

Most recently, Assa worked as an account executive at Boston-based public relations agency, Ellis Strategies. Her past experience includes leading the communications and marketing department at Perkins School for the Blind, the oldest school for the blind in the United States, and at Bunker Hill Community College. She holds a master of arts degree in communications from Emerson College and a bachelor of arts in journalism from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Worcester Sports Complex

Courtesy Worcester Railers

An artist’s rendering of the planned Canal District dual hockey rink complex.

St. Peter-Marian partners with Railers to offer girls’ hockey; Guardians to play at Worcester Ice Center

The St. Peter-Marian athletic department and President Christopher Cummings announced that the Guardians have partnered with the Worcester Railers Hockey Club and Railers President Michael G. Myers to create a state-of-the-art home for the St. Peter-Marian boys’ hockey team and the Guardians first-ever MIAA girls’ hockey program.

Inbox [Feb. 15]: Main South CDC lands $4M to add 75 affordable housing units, YWCA seeks Erskine nominees, immigration law experts arrange forums, city uses Common to push downtown agenda

Interesting and worthwhile things happen every day in our community. Alas, we can’t cover them all. That’s where Inbox comes in, to offer readers an easily digestible compilation of interesting and noteworthy items you and your neighbors keep telling us about.

Main South CDC lands $4M MassDevelopment bond to buy, renovate 13 properties

MassDevelopment has issued a $4 million tax-exempt bond on behalf of Nuestras Casas Limited Partnership, an affiliate of the Worcester nonprofit Main South Community Development Corporation.

Main South CDC is using proceeds to buy and renovate 80 multi-family residential units and five ground floor commercial units on 13 Worcester properties for Nuestras Casas, a mixed-income housing development.

The development will offer 73 units that are affordable to households earning 60 percent of the area median income, two that are affordable to households earning 80 percent of the area median income, and five market-rate units.

Renovations will include upgrading heating systems, bathrooms, and kitchens; replacing windows and roofs; and making general cosmetic improvements. MassDevelopment also assisted the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development with the approval of approximately $2.5 million in equity from federal low income housing tax credits, and TD Bank purchased the bond.

974 Main Street

Courtesy of MassDevelopment

974 Main St., Worcester is one of 13 properties Main South CDC was able to purchase with the help of the MassDevelopment financing package.

“The Main South CDC’s work to renovate and preserve quality housing at Nuestras Casas is essential to Worcester’s continued economic growth,” MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones said. “We are pleased this low-cost financing will provide safe, welcoming homes to the working individuals and families in the Main South neighborhood.”

Inbox [Feb. 5]: Worcester economy strongest in years, Anna Maria adds emergency response certificate, YWCA partners with health providers to help stricken couples, WPI men’s basketball shoots to beat cancer

Interesting and worthwhile things happen every day in our community. Alas, we can’t cover them all. That’s where Inbox comes in, to offer readers an easily digestible compilation of interesting and noteworthy items you and your neighbors keep telling us about.

Worcester economy strongest since Great Recession

According to the Worcester Economic Index, a quarterly economic analysis compiled by Assumption College Professor of Economics Thomas White, Ph.D., the Worcester economy grew 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016, which combined with solid growth turned in earlier in the year made 2016 the strongest year for the local economy since before the Great Recession.

The index is estimated using Bureau of Labor Statistics data, all of which have improved over the past year. According to the bureau’s Current Population Survey of households, employment in the Worcester area has risen by about 2.3 percent since December 2015, while the payroll survey found an employment growth rate of 1.6 percent. Most dramatically, the Worcester area unemployment rate fell from 4.8 percent in December 2015 to 3 percent in December 2016.

“Over the course of 2016 all three of the variables used to compute the WEI moved in a positive direction,” White said. “And compared to December 2015, the WEI finished the year up 3.0 percent, which marks the highest annual growth since before the Great Recession.”