Inbox [June 19]: Worcester drug policy and opioid talk tomorrow, Action! Worcester gets mural grant, Big Dipper set for Saturday, Cultural Coalition a national award finalist

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City to host town hall meeting on drug policy, opioids; Sun subjects among panel

The city of Worcester will host a town hall discussion about drug policy and the opioid epidemic, moderated by National Office of Drug Control Policy Deputy Director Mary Lou Leary, visiting from Washington, D.C.

The discussion starts at 11:30 tomorrow [Monday, June 20] in the Levi Lincoln Room, third floor, City Hall.

Chef Louis Torres, left, and waiter Rey Ortiz are in recovery and proof of the impact Cafe Reyes can make.

Giselle Rivera-Flores / For Worcester Sun

Chef Louis Torres, left, and waiter Rey Ortiz are in recovery and proof of the impact Cafe Reyes can make.

Among the panelists are Worcester Health and Human Services Commissioner Dr. Matilde Castile and recovery community member Rey Ortiz. Both participants were profiled in a Worcester Sun feature on the remarkable success of the Cafe Reyes training program, in which in-recovery Latino males gain marketable employment, life and social skills.

Leary serves as the Deputy Director of State, Local and Tribal Affairs for the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), where she oversees ONDCP’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program (HIDTA) and Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Grant Program, in addition to overseeing the office’s criminal justice portfolio.

Read the entire story and see the list of panelists on the city of Worcester website


June19-Action!WorcesterAction! Worcester receives $5k grant for POW! WOW! Worcester

Action! Worcester has been awarded a Placemaking Mini-Grant of $5,000 towards POW! WOW! Worcester, an international mural festival scheduled for August.

The grant was awarded by the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance (MSGA) as part of a larger effort to support projects that revamp and reestablish a sense of progress in vulnerable communities across the state. POW! WOW! Worcester will cultivate a vibrant public space, contributing social, economic and intellectual capital in the community. Festival programing will bring both community members and visitors together through avenues such as artist talks, outdoor celebrations and fundraisers.

The International Mural Festival is a 10-day event scheduled for Aug. 26 to Sept. 4th. Ten murals will be created by international artists, transforming the downtown. The festival is anticipated to bring over 10,000 new visitors to Worcester, helping to establish the city as a visitor destination.

June 19-PowWowFor more information, see the POW! WOW! Worcester website or Facebook page


Big Dipper Ice Cream Festival set for Saturday

The Big Dipper all-you-can-eat ice cream festival will be 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday, June 25, at Elm Park.

June 19-Children's Friend Big Dipper“Ice cream lovers of all ages can choose from delicious brands like Hood, Friendly’s, Turkey Hill and Yuengling’s, as well as local hot spots Janine’s Frostee of Ware, Coco’s Tropical Ice of Auburn, and Cool Licks Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt of Worcester – or try them all!”

There will be all-day entertainment including children’s games, face painting, inflatables and performances by Worcester’s very own Chuck and Mud, The KC Sisters, and the J.A.W.S dance group.

Read the entire story on the Children’s Friend website


Worcester Cultural Coalition a finalist for ArtPlace America’s 2016 National Creative Placemaking Fund

ArtPlace America announced Worcester Cultural Coalition is one of 80 projects that it will consider for its 2016 National Creative Placemaking Fund. There were 1,361 initial applications.

ArtPlace America’s National Creative Placemaking Fund is a highly competitive national program that invests money in communities across the country in which artists, arts organizations and arts activity will help drive community development projects that are addressing challenges or opportunities related to agriculture and food; economic development; education and youth; environment and energy; health; housing; immigration; public safety; transportation; or workforce development.

See the complete list of finalists on the ArtPlace America website

— Cindy Henderson

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