We are on and offbeat, recycled, refurbished, originals, prints, painted, created, cherished and trashed. From Pleasant St. to Highland St. we fill our eyes with color, fill our stomachs with truck food, we listen to transient music, and we come together as an arts community. Here at “The Things That Matter” collaborative, we like to talk about all-day/everyday things with an intercultural bend. An obvious place to me is “StART on the Street”. This is one of Worcester’s premiere street festivals celebrating what we’re trying to become- a closer community.
It’s hard not to notice the diversity divides that still exist in the Worcester community- from Forest Drive, to Main South, Belmont to Grafton St. The fact is that it takes a celebration; one with access for everyone, where you can bring your family (and get your long-haired child a straight-razor haircut for under a fiver) and lots of innovative ideas. We get a bit closer every day that people venture out, meet new people and explore new things (it’s better than staying inside at any rate).
Having grown up just outside Worcester all my life, it’s a bit new and a bit familiar. Fall fairs and festivals are not new to Massachusetts and while many people tout the beauty of summer- let’s face it, New England waters are cold all year round, the humidity gets up there and mosquitoes can get so bad in some places that you don’t even think of letting your children outside, lest they get carried off. New Englanders know that the autumn season is where it’s at. But if you are new, and don’t know where it’s at, don’t worry- we put up lots of signs so it’s easier to find out for yourself.
Other than the weather, another important point that StART expresses is the resiliency of small business owners. It blends small-business owners, musicians, hobbyists, performers, inventors, crafters and enthusiasts into something the Woo is newly discovering itself to be- a burgeoning arts community. Despite the happy faces and momentary high of “StART on the Street”, owning and managing your own business for the other 364 days in the year can be an unforgiving and unending learning curve- a life characterized by low funding, late nights, unexpected bumps. There are few other jobs where the road rises to meet you…at a 90 degree angle from where the pavement used to lie flat with promise and idealism. And like all good art, it requires perspective.
When I asked to take a picture of the owners in their stand, she replied, “Oh, not me, I am not the artist here”. He quickly butted in, “No, no, we’re a team” and pulled her into the picture with him.
But without a small business community, without diversity and without the people who appreciate both, New England just wouldn’t be New England. Worcester wouldn’t be Worcester.
Photos by Demet Senturk and the rarer snapshot by Bridget Healy
Scroll Down for More Photos from StART!
Blues singer and guitarist and percussionist Big Jon Short
A knight from the Higgins Armory Museum rescued these dogs from shelter. Twist is, they enjoyed more attention than he did.
Haberdash Vintage; a travelling consignment shop and part of the Crompton Collective on Green St.
Kids creating and Demet capturing it, despite a bum knee
We almost thought about doing a series entitled “Dogs and their People”
Hand engraving, just one of the many metalworks and carpentry examples at StART
A balancing act
Parade puppets on the Street
Building requires negotiation, especially for sisters.
Drumming and dancing; just look at those happy kids in the background.
CC Lowell Art Supply Store
Dragons in the Woo, courtesy of Haiku Japanese Sushi Restaurant