Do-it-Yourself Lowell (DIY Lowell) is pleased to announce that we have hired our first permanent staff member. We have previously helped community members create popular projects such as Points of Light Lantern Celebration, Midsummer Dream on Merrimack Street, and the Downtown Pop-Up History Trail. This June, we appointed Emily Ferrara as DIY Lowell program director. Emily’s 20-year career in higher education and health care—as a grant-writer, project manager, patient advocate and teacher—will serve DIY Lowell well as we move into our next phase of growth and development.
A poet and visual artist, Emily will bring the mind of a poet and heart of an artist to the job, facilitating creative leaps of thought in DIY Lowell’s process of generating and implementing community project ideas. She also brings her experience from being on the faculty at UMass Medical School in Worcester, where she has taught creative writing to medical students.
As program director of DIY Lowell, Emily will be immersed in the City of Lowell’s thriving arts and multicultural community and will lead initiatives such as the new Young Ideas Project funded by the Greater Lowell Community Foundation. She will work closely with our co-founders and Advisory Committee to chart DIY Lowell’s course into the future. Areas of focus will include program development and facilitation, fundraising, outreach, and strategic planning.
“DIY Lowell’s goal isn’t just to have great projects; it’s also to get Lowell’s diverse communities to mix and learn from one another. That’s why it’s our priority to enhance the diversity of DIY Lowell participants and leadership in age, race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, religion and socioeconomic background,” said Aurora Erickson, co-founder.
In her career at UMass Medical School, Emily served in volunteer leadership roles in Diversity and Inclusion efforts. She also served as co-chair for an LGBT inclusion community initiative in Worcester, MA, in collaboration with the Greater Worcester Community Foundation.
Emily is a recent graduate of the Empower leadership training program of the Coalition for a Better Acre and Lowell Alliance. She is passionate about improving access to services and protecting civil rights for Lowell’s large refugee and immigrant populations, and she volunteers with several organizations devoted to that cause.
She holds a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from Lesley University, and a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Boston University.
Emily lives in the Appleton/Jackson/Middlesex neighborhood with her wife Lara Hoke and their pup Digory.