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2024 Power 100: Gloria Hall

A woman wearing a purple shirt stands in front of a modern portrait of Frederick Douglass. photo | edd cote At Mechanics Hall, Gloria Hall stands in front of the portrait of Frederick Douglass, created by artist Imo Nse Imeh.
Gloria Hall Titles Preservationist & public art administrator Companies Gloria D Hall & Art in the Park, in Worcester Employees 1 Residence Worcester Colleges Northeastern University, Goucher College Read all the Power 100 profiles here
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Worcester’s art scene wouldn’t be what it is today, if not for the impact of Gloria Hall. As a preservationist and public art administrator, Hall has made an imprint on a number of Worcester landmarks, with one of the most visible debuted this year at Mechanics Hall.

The ideator, co-founder, administrator of Art in the Park, Hall plays a key role in turning outdoor spaces in the city into impromptu galleries, displaying thought-provoking sculptures, statues, and other pieces of art. Art in the Heart of Main South, a spin-off of Art in the Park, is available for viewing in University Park through June 15.

When Mechanics Hall realized that its portrait gallery lacked any racial diversity, Hall was brought in to lead a six-month formal selection process of artists to help rectify the situation.

Her choices resulted in artists who created portraits of four Black historical figures with varying levels of ties to the city, helping paint a more accurate and diverse picture of Worcester’s long history. The three portraits of William and Martha Brown, Frederick Douglas, and Sojourner Truth were installed in March and have been a welcome addition to one of the city’s oldest meeting places.

Her impact on the Worcester community hasn’t gone unnoticed, as she was named the recipient of the 2023 Harvey Ball Smile Award, an annual award given by the Worcester Historical Museum to individuals who make a significant contribution and impact in bringing culture to the community.

This was just another addition to her collection of awards, which includes the YWCA Central Massachusetts’ Katherine F. Erskine Award in Arts & Humanities in 2004.

Read all the Power 100 profiles here

CORRECTION: A previous version of this profile incorrectly stated the end date of Art in the Heart of Main South. The artwork will be available for viewing through June 15, not October as originally stated. 

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