Welcome to DIY Lowell!

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:
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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.