Framing The Future is ArtsWorcester’s first major campaign—to return our galleries to the heart of downtown and secure our future. An extraordinary gift was the catalyst to this project.

Learn more about how we are recognizing gifts to the campaign, and ways to give here.

A quick sketch of the situation: ArtsWorcester’s current tenancy in the Aurora has significant limitations.

• Two-thirds of the exhibition space is inaccessible to disabled visitors.
• Plumbing problems bring water regularly through ceilings, threatening artwork and records.
• The electrical wiring is inadequate for our exhibition and office needs.
• Insufficient heating and cooling make a poor environment for artwork and uncomfortable conditions in every season.

Our artists require better technical capacity for exhibitions. Contemporary art practices demand more flexible gallery spaces to

• Exhibit large-scale paintings, prints, photographs, and sculptures
• Create immersive installations, and
• Present video and conceptual art.

Audiences are hungry for high-quality professional art, with 300-500 people attending each of our openings. But removed from the downtown restaurants, cafes, theaters, and creative businesses that make a thriving urban environment, ArtsWorcester’s full potential remains untapped.

Now, we have a fresh canvas.

The Davis and Wade family, deeply rooted in Worcester and owners of the Printer’s Building on Portland Street, has invited ArtsWorcester to establish a permanent home in downtown Worcester. This transformative opportunity includes the design, internal demolition, and “white box” preparation of new galleries, offices, and storage space on the building’s first floor, without an increase in rent.

The galleries and administrative offices proposed for ArtsWorcester offer

  • Complete accessibility for all visitors
  • Up-to-date HVAC to keep crowds comfortable and artwork safe
  • A flexible floor plan allowing for immersive installations and video art, and increased capacity to exhibit work.
  • Fourteen-foot ceilings, original wooden floors, and renovated windows for a classic, inviting gallery environment.

It’s part of the bigger picture, as well. ArtsWorcester on Portland Street will

  • support the Theatre District, CitySquare, the Grid, and other investment projects,
  • provide retail visibility and street-level activity,
  • bring our collegiate and young professional audiences to a new destination, helping to retain them in the city, and
  • increase entertainment and cultural engagement options for all who live, work, and play downtown.

The art community has passionately and loyally supported ArtsWorcester for decades. On their own, though, they can’t make this move possible.

For nearly forty years, ArtsWorcester has been an effective and prudently managed non-profit.

Framing The Future, a five-year, $1.25 million dollar campaign, is modest when compared to those of peer institutions. Yet it will transform ArtsWorcester, establishing the organization in a permanent home in the heart of downtown Worcester and securing our future.

This campaign aligns with the three imperatives articulated in our 2018-2020 strategic plan to improve our infrastructure, maximize impact for artists and audiences, and to increase financial sustainability:

The $250,000 gift from the Davis Family provides:

  • Design, demolition, and build-out of the new galleries, offices, and storage area
  • Heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning
  • Electrical infrastructure, networking, and security system installation
  • Kitchen work-surfaces, cabinets, and appliances

An additional $250,000 supports our relocation expenses, fixtures, furnishings, and equipment, including:

  • Specialized, gallery-specific, and energy-efficient LED lighting
  • Moveable partitions/walls, pedestals, and display cases
  • Audio-visual equipment
  • Hanging systems for two-dimensional artwork
  • Furniture for reception areas, artwork storage, and work stations.

$300,000 provides transitional funding to

Architectural rendering, looking into the East Gallery

  • extend gallery hours to accommodate visitors arriving after work and before theater
  • reach out to new and diverse audiences
  • explore and implement new programs and partnerships made possible by the new location.

An agency fund of $400,000 at the Greater Worcester Community Foundation will

  • establish a crucial baseline of financial sustainability
  • allow ArtsWorcester to focus on the future
  • protect the new capital investment
  • and provide a vehicle for future gifts.

Thanks to gifts by foundations, individuals, and board members, we have already raised seventy percent of the total goal. We ask you to join us to celebrate high-quality, contemporary art in our city, and to ensure its future. Please support Framing the Future to secure ArtsWorcester as a vibrant part of our re-imagined downtown.

Looking west, towards Portland Street.

Learn more about how we are recognizing gifts to the campaign, and ways to give here.

We thank you, our board of directors, and the campaign committee:

Campaign Chair: J. Christopher Collins
Campaign Committee:
Brigita Clementi
John E. Graham
Sarah Callahan Lenis
Ann K. Molloy
Samantha McDonald
Bill Sullivan, Jr.
Erika Davis Wade


Leadership gifts to date have been made by the Stoddard Charitable Trust, the George I. Alden Trust, the Fletcher Foundation, the George F. and Sybil H. Fuller Foundation, the Hoche-Scofield Foundation, the Wyman-Gordon Foundation, the Albert J. Gifford Charitable Trust, the Rockwell Foundation, the J. Irving & Jane L. England Charitable Trust, the J and J Fund of Greater Worcester Community Foundation, the Clementi Family Charitable Trust, and the following individuals:

Anonymous (2)
Tuck and Amanda Amory
Lisa Barthelson and Bob Cox
Maggie Boatwright-McEvoy
Suzanne Campbell-Lambert and Scott Lambert
Brigita and John Clementi
Cathy and Chris Collins
Carrie Crane
Erika Davis Wade and Wyatt Wade
Jane and Russ Dye
Mike Eressy
Mary and Warner Fletcher
Patricia Fletcher
Michelle and Adam Glass
Ryan Hacker
Kathleen Jordan
Sarah Callahan Lenis and Charles Lenis
Madeleine Lord
Susan and Rob Mack
Heather Mangione
Samantha McDonald and Ossie Cooney
Ann Molloy and Kenneth Stillman
Brenda Nikas-Hayes and John Hayes-Nikas
Romina Sarreal Ford and Bill Ford
Jon Seydl
Toby Sisson
Kristina Wilson and David Geist