Community and UMass Amherst’s Center for Design Engagement Make ‘Holyoke Visible’ With Food, Language and Culture
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
HOLYOKE, Mass. – Residents and community groups in Holyoke are teaming up this month with the Center for Design Engagement of the University of Massachusetts Amherst to take a long look at – and celebrate – the assets, qualities and characteristics that are present but often go unseen in the city.
The project, “Holyoke Visible,” evolved through a series of community discussions including many organizations in Holyoke and the region, such as Nuestra Raices, the Holyoke Boys and Girls Club, the Puerto Rican Cultural Center and the City of Holyoke, says Joseph Krupczynski, associate professor of architecture and director of the Center for Design Engagement, which is based at the Estudio at 362 Dwight St. in Holyoke.
“The goal is to engage the residents of Holyoke, promote inclusion, connect communities and ensure that the city’s creative renewal is equitable and serves everyone,” says Krupczynski.
The program begins on Wednesday, Aug. 17 from 5-8 p.m. with a food-focused canal walk beginning at Race and Cabot Streets, including recipe sharing and food prepared by Nuestras Raices. It then gears up next on Wednesday, Aug. 24 from 5-8 p.m. at Dwight and Main Street, site of the cities new train platform, with a focus on language, including language workshops, a language and art exhibition and poetry readings.
Holyoke Visible continues on Wednesday, Aug 31 from 5-8 p.m. at Bowers and Mosher Street with a focus on community culture, including music, resource mapping, art and language information.
A series of “pop-up” events at key sites in the city have been organized to make these themes more “visible” to Holyoke residents and visitors alike, according to Neftali Duran of Nuestra Raices. “These events are about creating consciousness,” says Duran. “In particular, the first event on food promotes consciousness about having better food for everyone in the city.”
The events will also feature the Holyoke Visible Trailer, a bike-propelled trailer that will visit each event and pop open to create a space for art, meals, performance and conversation. The surface of the trailer is made up of over 300 slats individually painted and prepared by artists, youth and residents of Holyoke.
“There is such a richness of language, food, culture, and ideas in Holyoke which is too often left unseen and uncelebrated,” says Max Page, professor of architecture at UMass Amherst and co-director of the Holyoke Visible project. “As Holyoke imagines its future, our hope is to make more visible Holyoke’s people, their cultures, and their ideas for what the city most needs for a sustainable future.”
The Holyoke Visible project is funded by the University of Massachusetts President’s Creative Economy Grant program.
This story was originally published by the UMass Amherst Office of News & Media Relations.