The Worcester PopUp is a collaboration between the city of Worcester, the Worcester Cultural Coalition, the Hanover Theater, and the Worcester Business Development Corp., in partnership with The Barr Foundation. This “permanent popup” space offers a place for local artists, organizations, and creatives to create, display, and develop a variety of creative-based events ranging from art shows, open mics, music performances, and more. The PopUp was five years in the making at its time of opening in 2018, begun after a need for a new downtown-theatre space emerged following the closing of Foothills Theatre in 2009. The attached Blackbox Theatre will be opening its doors early next year to offer additional space for performing arts within the community.
The Worcester Cultural Coalition (WCC) is a public-private partnership established in 1999 between the City of Worcester and local cultural organizations. Its mission is to draw on Worcester's rich and diverse cultural assets to foster economic revitalization, support active, creative engagement for all and promote a strong cultural identity for Greater Worcester.
Hank von Hellion
Worcester Pop Up
The Worcester Cultural Coalition
The Hanover Theater
Hank is an artist and cultural organizer with a background in street art and photography. He sits on a number of nonprofit boards like the Worcester Arts Council, Main Idea, The Public Artist Working Group, and Square Squared, the facilitators behind Pow! Wow! Worcester!
He is a frequent creative workshop leader and consultant to both public and private organizations. His workshops with young adults focus on creative sociopolitical empowerment. His consulting work typically focus' on creative solutions to environmental design and crime prevention.
His motivations with this new project are to advocate for the continued accessibility of artistic space for all and the empowerment of the local creative culture to assume ownership of a community changing and growing around them.
Erin is the Cultural Development Officer for the City of Worcester, MA and the Executive Director of the Worcester Cultural Coalition, the unified voice of the Greater Worcester, MA creative community. The Coalition is a unique public private partnership which shines a spotlight on the creative activity produced in the region and supports creative placemaking through such initiatives as the Pubic Art Working Group, Worcester Wayfinding public art signage program, CultureLEAP arts education, #MakeArtEverywhere campaign and public events such as Out to Lunch Concert Series. With Erin’s leadership, the Worcester Cultural Coalition was presented the Commonwealth of Massachusetts highest award, as the Creative Economy Catalyst. In 2017 U.S. News and World Report names Worcester as the 54th best city to live in because it provides an excellent cultural life. Ms. Williams has served on Governor Creative Economy Network, is a founding board member of MASSCreative, board member of Discover Central Massachusetts, and a participant in Americans for the Arts Local Arts Agency Executive Leadership Forum, in addition to many creative community organizations.
Erin is a frequent speaker on the theme of creative citymaking at such locations as the Massachusetts SMART Growth Conference , Americans for the Arts National Conferences, ArtPlace America, European Union National Institutes of Culture (EUNIC, Washington DC), Massachusetts Statewide Historic Preservation Conference, MA Municipal Association, National Global Creative Economy Convergence Summit to name but a few. Erin is a firm believer that creativity sparks the economy and builds community.
Troy serves as President & CEO of The Hanover Theatre, a 2,300-seat performing arts center in downtown Worcester, opened in 2008 following a $32 million dollar historic restoration. The theatre presents more than 150 performances to audiences of more than 180,000 annually, and is a key catalyst to the revitalization of downtown Worcester. In January 2017 the theatre opened its new Conservatory for the Performing Arts and now offers year-round classes in acting, musical theatre and theatre technology for all ages. Troy has been in this position since 2004, prior to which he served as Producing Director at Stoneham Theatre for its first three seasons; at American Stage Festival in Milford and Nashua, New Hampshire; and for three years in New York as General Manager of Focus Lighting, a leading architectural design firm with high-profile projects in most major cities in the U.S., Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle East. Troy serves as Chair of Discover Central Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Performing Arts Coalition, on the Boards of Directors of the Worcester Cultural Coalition and MassCreative, as a member of Worcester’s Economic Development Coordinating Council, and has been appointed to the Massachusetts Cultural Council by Governors Patrick and Baker. Troy’s directing credits include Artist Descending a Staircase, The Mystery of Irma Vep, and his own critically-acclaimed adaptation of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Troy holds a B.F.A. in design and production from the N.C. School of the Arts.
Alli is a second-semester senior at Clark University where she’s double majoring in Studio Art and Media, Culture and the Arts. Alli is an avid artist who enjoys painting, creating collages, taking part in theater productions, and working on murals. She also loves yoga, meditation, being outside, and doing anything active.
In addition to her position at the Pop Up, Alli is also pursuing an entrepreneurship venture called “Back Alley Clothing” (@backalley.clothing) where she creates upcycled clothing out of vintage and secondhand pieces. Alli is hoping to pursue a career that revolves around art with an emphasis on marketing.
Interns & Mentee
The Worrcetser PopUp is in every meaning of the word a community project. A large part of that community is the collage demographic who's numbers can be found interwoven in all aspects of Worcester life. As part of our mission we support education and the arts. We would like to take a little time and space to thank some of the young adults, hailing from all parts of the world, that have decided to embrace the ongoing mission of making Worcester a city to be admired while following their dreams through education.. Thank you for your help.