Changes are coming to downtown Cambridge led by Cambridge Main Street, the non-profit tasked with the revitalization of the city’s nationally accredited Main Street district.
The organization recently announced the installation of decorative lighting along Poplar Street, in the heart of the downtown commercial and retail district. The installation has been two years in the making and involved The City of Cambridge, the business community, and the volunteer support of Hill Kimmel Contracting.
The installation along Poplar Street is just the beginning of plans to expand the project to other blocks in the district. The Nathan Foundation recently awarded the organization funds to fuel the expansion to the 400 and 500 blocks of Race Street.
“This is an exciting and technical project that some folks didn’t think would be possible, but we saw it through and didn’t compromise,” shared Cambridge Main Street Executive Director Katie Clendaniel. “We couldn’t be more excited for the community, especially our downtown businesses.” The project should help attract foot traffic and create a sense of destination in the district.
Other investments are being made in public art and public engagement, including a community mosaic installation led by local artist Jen Wagner. Public work days are scheduled and include opportunities for folks of all ages to come out and help install the mosaic pieces.
This is the first community art installation for Jen whose last project in Cambridge included the mixed media mural in Cannery Way Pocket Park along the 400 block of Race Street 10 years ago.
A second public art project is also in the works, led by Dorchester Center for the Arts and local muralist Michael Rosato. The mural design has been released and will be located on the back of the Harriett Tubman Museum located in downtown Cambridge.
Cambridge is also trying to tap into its musical heritage and organizations like WHCP Radio, a volunteer and community produced station with only a 50-mile radius, is trying to get the recordings out on the air waves. Events like the Groove City Culture Fest and GrooveFEST: Downtown Music Festival are also highlighting performing artists near and far.
Interested in learning more? More information can be found about the projects and activities taking place in downtown Cambridge at www.downtowncambridge.org or by calling 443-477-0843.