El Corazón: The Heart of Holyoke is a creative placemaking project whose primary objective is to develop spaces and places that celebrate the artistic and cultural vitality of the neighborhoods surrounding Main Street in Holyoke, MA. The project will propose and create a series of imaginative improvements—including public art and culturally responsive installations—along Main Street from the I-391 Underpass to Lyman Street, with a particular emphasis on the City’s newly established Puerto Rican Cultural Area.
The project was designated as one of 64 successful “Our Town” grant recipients by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The Our Town grant program supports creative placemaking projects that help to transform communities into lively, beautiful, and resilient places with the arts at their core.
The project is also part of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s (MassDOT) Infra-Space program, which seeks to revitalize under-utilized areas surrounding transportation infrastructure, such as elevated roads, bridges, and viaducts. The City of Holyoke was granted access to the area under I-391 on Main Street between the Springdale and South Holyoke neighborhoods in order to create a more attractive gateway to downtown, a more pedestrian friendly connection between the neighborhoods, and a space residents could use for cultural and recreational activity.
Joseph Krupczynski, Center for Design Engagement Holyoke Office of Planning & Economic Development Nueva Esperanza
National Endowment for the Arts “Our Town” Award
$50,000 + $70,000 Matching Funds