Inbox [Sept. 28]: Worcester Windows fall exhibits open, UMass Medical researcher wins $250K grant, Worcester Common Ground wins national challenge, Worcester State opens new center

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Worcester Windows fall exhibits open at City Hall and Bay State Bank

The Worcester Cultural Coalition is pleased to announce Worcester Windows Fall exhibits “Local Music” and “Make Art Everywhere” will be on display at the Community Gallery in the basement level of City Hall and at Bay State Savings Bank, 28 Franklin St., respectively.

Two paintings

Sun Staff / Worcester Sun

Two paintings in the Make Art Everywhere exhibit hang in the window of Bay State Bank, 28 Franklin St.

Both exhibits are free and open to the public.

Worcester Windows is a community gallery program that uses storefronts throughout downtown Worcester as exhibit space to enhance the City’s downtown area. In addition, Worcester Windows provides display opportunities for local emerging and established artists.

Bay State Savings partnered in this initiative with donating display space in their storefront windows. Artwork on exhibit coincides with the Public Art Working Group and the Worcester Cultural Coalition’s campaign #MakeArtEverywhere.

Works on display demonstrate an array of different art forms ranging from mixed media, acrylic and oil paint on canvas and photography. Participating artists whose art is on display in the windows are: Meaghan Hardy-Lavoie, Suzan J. Champeny, Alex Lupafya, Priscilla Messinger, Katie Busick, John Vo, Brent Klockars and Laura Marotta. Artwork on display is for sale and any work sold helps to contribute to Worcester’s thriving artistic community.

Curated by Priscilla Messinger of the Worcester Alliance of Photographers, photography on exhibit portrays local music within the Worcester area. Participating photographers submitted a vibrant and diverse assortment of photographs giving viewers a unique peek into Worcester’s booming music scene.

Photographers whose works are on exhibit include: Andrew Plotkin, Bob See, Don Ricklin, Lisa Shea, Kris Paukstys, Mark D. Girouard, Priscilla Messinger, Mike McCool, Steve Davi and Ted Theodore. Many of the photographs on exhibit are on sale and help contribute to and encourage the continued work of local photographers in the area.

More information is available on the city of Worcester website

Wen Xue receives $250,000 for pediatric cancer research from Hyundai Hope on Wheels

UMass Medical School scientist Wen Xue, Ph.D., accepted a $250,000 grant from the Hyundai Motor America Hope on Wheels campaign to continue his work toward improving care and treatment options for children and adults with liver cancer.

Xue, assistant professor in the RNA Therapeutics Institute (RTI), is one of 24 recipients across the country selected by a rigorous scientific review panel to receive the highly competitive grant.

UMass Medical School

Wikimedia Commons/Photo by og-emmet

UMass Medical School

“I am grateful to Hyundai for believing in the important basic research here at UMass Medical School. Continued support for basic cancer research is critical to driving advancements to help kids and their family to win the battle against cancer,” Xue said.

Xue will use the funding to study pediatric liver tumors and potential new treatments that do not involve chemotherapy. To meet the unmet clinical need, Xue and Peter E. Newburger, MD, the Ali and John Pierce Chair in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and professor of pediatrics, molecular, cell & cancer biology and microbiology & physiological systems, will focus on developing genome editing technology that could lead to the discovery of new drug target genes.

Read the entire story on the UMass Medical School website

Worcester Common Ground winner in $1M Play Everywhere Challenge

Worcester Common Ground was selected as one of the winners in the Play Everywhere Challenge, a $1 million national competition that will award innovative ideas to make play easy, available, and fun for kids and families in cities across the United States. The Challenge is hosted by KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids, particularly those growing up in poverty in America.


WCG created an arts-based placemaking intervention made up of three components. The first is “Project Tire Makeover”, a series of school workshops and community paint days to paint tires with playful character designs (magical creatures, superheroes, animals, etc). The second component is a community chalkboard at our Tot Lot playground. This will be a long-term installation with rotating prompts, including: “What is your superpower?” and “Design your dream neighborhood.” The final component will be chalk spray painted pathways connecting the playful tires and the community chalkboard installations with prompts such as jump like a frog, fly like a plan, spin three times, etc.

The WCG program Piedmont Plays: A Campaign to Love Your Neighborhood was selected as one of 50 winners out of a pool of more than 1,000 applications nationwide.

“It’s an exciting time for our agency to see such energy building for arts-based placemaking in our city!” Community Organizer Charise Canales said. “This summer, we finished our Project Comic Style mural at our 133 Chandler Street property with our youth artist group, Urban Revival BlaQ Ink’d; we saw POW! WOW! Worcester transform the downtown area with a series of stunning murals; and now we are fortunate to have been awarded a grant with KaBOOM! to involve our city’s youngest residents in the beautification of their public spaces. For us, it’s so rewarding to let our kids take the lead in reimagining and transforming their communities into a fun, funky place to make their own. We can’t wait to see what they do!”

More information is available on the Worcester Common Ground Facebook page

Worcester State opens Wellness Center

Nearly 200 students, faculty, staff, alumni, and guests gathered recently on Worcester State University’s Binienda Green—spanning what was not long ago a roadway through campus—to celebrate the grand opening of the new $52.6 million, 101,000-square-foot Wellness Center.

Worcester State's new Wellness Center

Courtesy Worcester State University

Worcester State’s new Wellness Center

“It took incredible vision and a great team to make this happen, and you all made it happen,” said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. She pointed out that WSU — and the 85 percent of its students who earn degrees and remain in central Massachusetts — are the backbone of the region’s economy.

WSU President Barry M. Maloney added, “Since I arrived five years ago, we have put students first. The Wellness Center completes a physical transformation of our campus into a more student-friendly place. Our aim is to keep students connected to campus and, therefore, in school and on a path toward graduation. This facility allows us to offer a full range of recreational and varsity sports opportunities, more classroom space, and a new campus quad. It will undoubtedly be the new heartbeat of the campus.”

Read the entire story on the Worcester State University website

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