Welcome to DIY Lowell!

Submit your Idea!

This forum is a spot to share your ideas for small-scale events or projects! All ideas will be archived, and visitors may comment on or contribute to your idea. Make sure to check the previously submitted ideas to see if someone's had a similar idea before posting. Also, look at our inspiration and guidelines sections! When you submit an idea, you'll create an account to edit your ideas and post new ideas more quickly. If you've already signed up, make sure to log in before you submit a new idea!
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Thanks for a great event!

Community Chill Night was an amazing success with an estimated 100 participants, ten chilis, six projects featured in a community video, Do-it-Yourself nametags, and a “Chilly” DIY Dessert: an Ice Cream Sundae Bar! The remarkable evening was capped by a special performance by Lowell’s one and only Party Band.


For our image gallery, click here!

 

Chhavy Sinuon won Volunteer of the Year for her dedicated work on the lovely Domestic Violence Survivor Gallery of Hope. The interactive galler showcased survivors’ stories and art interpretations of their journey. More than 150 visitors found art that they could read, touch, see, feel, and hear in the three days it was active. It started conversations and connected people to resources. Check out a Lowell Sun report here and a photo gallery here.
 
Decatur WayAcre Coming Together Improving our Neighborhood (ACTION) won the Community Transformation Award for Decatur Way, a five-year project of building partnerships and bringing together hundreds of people to transform a forgotten alley that hid crime into a vibrant pedestrian way filled with art and vibrancy. Artists, Poets, and Citizens are continuing to come together to create art that will spill from the walkway into the neighborhood. Check out a Sun story here.
 
Maxine FarkasThe shocking winner of the chili contest was a 3-way tie between 110 Grill Chelmsford, Maxine Farkas, and Dave Ouellette! An instant run-off was held by audience applause with Maxine just barely edging the others out for our coveted certificate.

 
 
 
 

We would like to thank the following groups and people:

Co-Sponsors

Lowell Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, for supporting in part our 2017 activities and providing a grant to the Onyx Room to give scholarships to nonprofits like DIY
 
Coalition for a Better AcreCoalition for a Better Acre, providing fiscal agent services and in-kind donations
 
Cultural Organization of Lowell, providing in-kind donations for Volunteer of the Year and Chili Contest winner prizes
 
Made in Lowell, providing in-kind donations
 
Onyx Room for hosting us and being great partners

Chili Participants

Cafe UTEC‘s Vegetarian Black Bean
Maxine Farkas’s Chili Verde with Pork
Lowell Film Collaborative‘s Vegan Film Lover’s Special
The Party Band‘s Temptation
110 Grill Chelmsford‘s Chili
Jennifer Myers’s Gobble Gobble Great Turkey Chili
Purple Carrot Bread Co. Spicy Black Bean and Jalapeño Chili
Dave Oullette’s Daveyo Chili
Chas’s “What’s in the Fridge”

Volunteers

Amrith Fernandes Prabhu
Christine Bruins
Russell Pandres
Henry Marte
Rithy
Carolyn delehanty
Chhavy and Vytha
Claudia DeFuria
Allyson
…and the DIY Lowell Steering Committee!

DIY Lowell Community Chill Night

Join us  Friday, March 3, 6:30 – 9:00 pm at the Onyx Room in Western Avenue Studios for “Community Chill Night,” a chili contest fundraiser and the kick-off for the 2017 DIY Lowell Season. Celebrate with community connections, music, and other fun surprises including a “Chilly” Do-it-Yourself dessert. Feel free to RSVP and spread the word on Facebook!

We will honor a DIY Lowell volunteer and an outside community group at the event:

Gallery of Hope PosterChhavy Sinuon won Volunteer of the Year for her dedicated work on the lovely Domestic Violence Survivor Gallery of Hope. The interactive galler showcased survivors’ stories and art interpretations of their journey. More than 150 visitors found art that they could read, touch, see, feel, and hear in the three days it was active. It started conversations and connected people to resources. Check out a Lowell Sun report here and a photo gallery here.

Decatur WayAcre Coming Together Improving our Neighborhood (ACTION) won the Community Transformation Award for Decatur Way, a five-year project of building partnerships and bringing together hundreds of people to transform a forgotten alley that hid crime into a vibrant pedestrian way filled with art and vibrancy. Artists, Poets, and Citizens are continuing to come together to create art that will spill from the walkway into the neighborhood. Check out a Sun story here.

Please join us in honoring Chhavy, ACTION, and our other DIY Lowell volunteers and community groups. $5 suggested donation, but we won’t turn anyone away who wants to meet cool people and learn about community. RSVP on Facebook or by emailing info@diylowell.org. Fun for the whole family!

Add the Community Chill Night to your calendar:
iCalendar  •  Google Calendar  •  Outlook  •  Outlook Online  •  Yahoo! Calendar

Community Chill Night Flyer

Pop-Up for Park(ing) Day

Photo by Christine Bruins

Photo by Christine Bruins

Last Friday, September 16, the Park(ing) Day Parklet group and community partners transformed three parking spaces into a mini-park, changing the meaning of parking space, if just for a day! The theme was “Words Matter,” and over 300 people came to drop off or pick up books, read, play Jenga, take downtown selfies, participate in Lowell National Historical Park’s story-sharing station, and otherwise have fun.

The group and DIY Lowell hope this starts a conversation about how we can creatively use space downtown. The mission of PARK(ing) Day is to demonstrate the need for urban open space, engage in community conversations around how and where these spaces are created, and improve the quality of human experiences on a block level… at least until the meter runs out! In 2016, 160 cities across the world participated in #parkingday

The group is already discussing next year, as several business owners expressed interest in having Park(ing) Day parklets of their own. At least for a single day, it seemed that nobody missed the parking spaces: Christine Bruins, a group member, said, “It’s great, you can see people begin to smile halfway down the block!”

Photo by Christine Bruins

Photo by Christine Bruins

The group wants to thank the following groups and individuals:

  • Permission – City of Lowell Parking and Garages Department (Nicholas Navin, Director)
  • Trees – Lowell Park & Conservation Trust, Inc (Jane Calvin, Executive Director) and City of Lowell Public Works Department (Steve Benoit)
  • Donated Books – Pollard Memorial Library (Sean Thibodeau, Coordinator of Community Planning); Friends of Pollard Memorial Library; Loom Press Web (Paul Marion); many private individuals
  • Logistical Support – Humanity Style Boutique (Ani Vong, Owner)
  • Fencing Material – Lowell National Historical Park (Michael Fernandes, Grounds Supervisor)
  • Benches and carpentry – (Lowell Makes, Jon Goplerud – benches and Mark Hunter- carpentry)
  • Cupcakes – Little Delights Bakery (Lee Taing, Owner)
  • General support, press, and promotion – DIY Lowell; Lowell National Historical Park
Visitors left messages about "What makes a downtown community thrive?" Photo by Christine Bruins.

Visitors left messages about “What makes a downtown community thrive?” Photo by Christine Bruins.

Photos

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The group included Christine Bruins, Katherine DuBose Fuerst, Brian Meade, Corey Sciuto, and Katie Stoll.

Upcoming DIY Lowell Events

Keep track of events for all groups here! Groups can always use assistance getting their projects off the ground. Contact info@diylowell.org if you want to help out a group!

Community Idea Voting and Summit!

Thanks, everyone, for your votes. We’re happy to announce the top four winners!

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These will be discussed at the 2016 Community Idea Summit, happening 6:30 pm at the UMass Lowell Innovation Hub at 110 Canal Street. We are excited to have Strive For Change Lifestyle kicking us off with a special performance and Rosemary Noon and Paul Marion talk about how art builds community in Lowell! After that, we’ll break into groups to discuss winning ideas with community officials. You can add the it to your calendar using the links below and sign up on our Facebook event!

iCalendar  •  Google Calendar  •  Outlook  •  Outlook Online  •  Yahoo! Calendar

Temporary, Part-Time Summer Positions Open: Do-it-Yourself Lowell Street Team Member

(Click here for PDF Job Description, 162 kb)

Update: Applications accepted until Friday, April 8.

Lowell is a big place, and we need help reaching out to Lowell’s diverse community to get people’s ideas and get them involved in the project. We know there are great ideas in every part of the city, we want to get as many folks involved as possible, and we want to get people from dierent neighborhoods and backgrounds working together. As a Street Team member, you will work as a team, learning and creating dierent marketing methods to reach out to the community and ask them to participate.

Responsibilities

Job is 6 hours a week from April 11 to July 1. Certain evenings and weekends are a must.

  • Team Orientation and Meetings: Attend a short orientation and bi-weekly meetings to discuss outreach strategies and tasks
  • Community Tabling: As a team, manage a DIY Lowell table at community events, speaking to strangers with condence, providing information about DIY Lowell, listening to their ideas and questions, and encouraging them to participate in DIY Lowell
  • Small Group Engagement: Reach out to and speak to groups such as neighborhood groups, community organizations, and churches
  • Social Media: Maintain DIY Lowell’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, sharing submitted ideas, photos, and project examples from Lowell and other towns
  • Other Outreach: Work as a team to manage additional marketing as assigned, including yering, taking pictures, contacting media, and other creative strategies
  • Logistic Support: Provide logistical support for summit event, including help with planning and setup

Qualifications

  • Ability to condently interact with a wide variety of people in Lowell across a spectrum of backgrounds and ages—those with bilingual abilities are strongly encouraged to apply
  • Comfort with public speaking to both small groups and one-on-one
  • Knowledge and skill using a variety of social media outlets
  • Availability and willingness to travel to events in Lowell on evenings and weekends
  • Enthusiasm and interest in DIY Lowell’s goals
  • Responsibility, self-motivation, and organization
  • Willingness to encourage your personal network to participate in DIY Lowell a plus (this could include your family, neighborhood, school friends, or colleagues)

Benefits

  • $13/hour stipend
  • Excellent resume builder for community engagement, marketing, and event planning
  • Work collaboratively in a fun environment with another Street Team member, DIY Lowell founders, and others
  • Good opportunity to network within the Lowell community and meet people from many organizations and professional groups

Please submit a resume and cover letter to info@diylowell.org. Deadline: April 8, 2016, 5:00 pm.

DIY Lowell Night

Inviting you to DIY Lowell Night, a pizza party at UnChARTed Gallery to thank DIY Lowell’s volunteers and donors. Learn about DIY Lowell’s community projects! Hear the unveiling of DIY Lowell’s 2016 plans! Pizza, presentations, and music will be included.

Free for DIY Lowell volunteers. $5 donation at the door for everyone else. Sign up for the Facebook event here!

diylowellnightposter-final

Bike Racks in Lowell: Contest with Up to $2,500 Award

Lowell bike rack bike iconThe Artistic Bike Racks group wants to spread the word about two ways you can help them add two new bike racks to downtown Lowell!

Firstly, they have a fundraiser page at https://www.gofundme.com/lowellbikeracks. In addition to the grants they are pursuing, they want to get donations from as many folks as possible to show that Lowellians are committed to improving bike infrastructure, so even small donations are appreciated.

Secondly, they’re accepting design proposals for the two racks until January 6. Two winners will be chosen to receive up to a $2,500 award to design and build the racks, which will be installed near Mogan Cultural Center and Mill No. 5! More information is at http://www.diylowell.org/bike-rack-call-for-artists/

Mogan Cultural Center in Lowell, Massachusetts

Mogan Cultural Center, potential site for bicycle rack

They’re looking for iconic bicycle racks that fit within downtown’s historical context to raise the profile of bicycling, letting those who bike know they’re welcome to visit the shopping opportunities downtown offers. In true DIY Lowell spirit, these bike racks are a test that may lead to even more in the future! Please consider helping them and spreading the word to artists, designers, or potential donors you may know.

Holiday Display Program

Many businesses participate in the City of Lowell’s holiday display contest, but some storefronts are left out because of lack of expertise or because of vacancies. A dozen businesses across downtown responded to an initial email asking if they’d like some help, and we’re helping as many as possible!

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Emanuel Boutique, thanks to volunteer Julia Gavin

We connected donated materials and designers to retail businesses, a bank window, and a vacant window. Look for them throughout downtown!

We’re still raising money to buy supplies for additional businesses in the next week. You can contribute here! We will keep the materials we purchase with the money, so we could re-use them and annually help more and more businesses each year until Downtown Lowell displays become an attraction for the region!

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Vacant storefront at 120 Merrimack, thanks to artist Mary Hart and volunteer Britt Boughner

Donations of old decorations, art supplies, or any other materials would also be super-useful! (Contact info@diylowell.org to let us know if you have anything.) If we collect enough, we will provide modest stipends to our super designers!

If we aren’t able to help you this year, we’re very sorry! But if you’re still interested, we hope we can find even more volunteers and work with more businesses next year! We really want to help everyone bring out their best.

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iWorld, thanks to artist Katherine DuBose