Members of the community came together on May 7th to consider the future of Worcester’s acclaimed Mechanics Hall, brainstorming on ways to maintain the Hall’s position as an historical and acoustical masterpiece, while infusing 21st century appeal to attract audiences of diverse age and cultural interest. Approximately 150 community leaders attended the forum in an effort to discuss the Hall’s position as a catalyst for community engagement.
Key suggestions from the event offered everything from booking mainstream performers, to holding master classes, to airing short films and running poetry events, so that the venue may attract a more youth orientated patron as well as generating a connection to the numerous colleges and universities located within the city.
Kathleen Gagne, who is in charge of Marketing Outreach and Development for Mechanics Hall felt that the forum created an atmosphere for attendees to be positive and creative in their ideas, stating that “the variety of community voices we heard were inspiring and revealed a lot of commonality in spite of the differences in age, race, gender and experience.”
LPA Vice President and Principal, Kathryn Crockett, who is on the Board of Trustees and the Strategic Planning Committee at Mechanics Hall was one of the presenters at the forum, feels this planning session “was an effective way to gather valuable insights while energizing the participants about the Hall’s rich potential”.
Mechanics Hall is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and run by the nonprofit organization, Worcester County Mechanics Association. The association was founded in 1842 and built Mechanics Hall in 1857. Known for its beautiful architecture and pristine acoustics, the venue has hosted musical legends including Yo Yo Ma and historic orators such as Charles Dickens.