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August 20, 2018 Class of 2018

40 Under Forty: Laura Marotta, 31

Photo | Erika Sidor Winners of the WBJ 2018 40 Under Forty award (from left): Michael P. McDonough, Meredith Harris, Nathan Oriol, Laura Marotta.

Executive director

Creative Hub, Worcester

Lives: Worcester

Birthplace: Worcester

Colleges: Boston University, Tufts University

Marotta didn't just come to Worcester to be a part of the city's arts community. The elementary school art teacher is working to bring the arts community to the next level. She and partner Stacy Lord are nearly finished fundraising for their planned $8-million Creative Hub Worcester, a 40,000-square-foot facility at the former Boys Club on Ionic Avenue slated to include two dance studios and performance space available for rentals, three classrooms, more than a dozen small studios for artists and a rooftop event space. She always wanted to start a business and never imagined Creative Hub would grow so large so quickly and elicit so much support. While the facility is under construction, Creative Hub began its first offsite youth program this summer. Marotta volunteers for the annual stART on the Street festival on Park Avenue and is a board member at Love Your Labels, a Worcester group advocating for diversity and equality. In the classroom, she's received grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council to create community artwork projects with her students. Marotta is president of the Massachusetts Art Education Association. Of course, she's an artist herself, as a painter and a photographer. 

From 40 Under Forty judge Kate Sharry: “Laura is making dreams come true, and not just her own. She is a shining star in the city and so deserving of this award.”

If you could go on a road trip with any four people, who would it be? Vincent Van Gogh because it's going to be a night trip. My dad's father, my partner in crime when I was growing up and my “paw-paw,” because he would bring lots of Italian red wine and take great photos. Ruth Bader Ginsberg, in case we get into trouble, and for general all-around badass-ness. And Yzma from “The Emperor's New Groove” because whenever she talks I laugh until I'm crying.

Who is your best mentor? My partner Stacy Lord. Right from the beginning, she would tell me, “Why not? Why can't it be possible? We're just gonna do it.” 

Read about the entire 2018 Class of 40 Under Forty

Michael Alden - Ascentria Care Alliance

Che Anderson - City of Worcester

Victor M. Archila - VMA Electric Inc.

Allison Beckler, DO - YOU, Inc.

Sam Bitar - Webster Five

Mark A. Borenstein - Seder & Chandler LLP

Kate D. Campanale - Massachusetts House of Representatives

Derek Canton - paerpay

Ryan Canuel - Petricore, Inc.

Jennifer Caron - Body Therapeutics

Danielle J. Clark - Clark Career Coaching

Heidi Cooper - Cooper’s Hilltop Farm

Matthew M. Copeland, P.E. - Copeland Building Envelope Consulting

Pat Davis - The DAVIS Cos.

Efua T. Dufu, MSW, LCSW - Ellite Event Planning

Grace Elton - Tower Hill Botanic Garden

Ursula Furi-Perry, J.D. - Becker College

Jared E. Gentilucci - Nitsch Engineering

David Gilchrist, MD, MBA - UMass Memorial Health Care

Alvara Gjylapi - Santander Bank

Erica Grinkis - The GazBar Sports Grill

Meredith Harris - Marlborough Economic Development Corp.

Erin Jansky - Worcester Housing Authority

Ben Jones - Boston Scientific Corp

Alexis Kelleher - Crust Bakeshop; North Main Provisions

Bert LaValley - Sustainable Comfort, Inc.; deadhorse hill & simjang restaurants

Jennifer Leger - Fidelity Bank

Brian Lemerise - Quiet Logistics, Inc.

Tom Lubelczyk - The Worcester Jazz Collective

Laura Marotta - Creative Hub Worcester

Ryan Matson - Small Business Insurance Agency

Michael P. McDonough, CPA - McDonough, McDonough & Corsini, LLP

Madeline Mendoza - NewVue Communities

Jessica Morris - MCPHS University

Nathan Oriol - Oakdale Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing Center (Oriol Health Care)

Nicholas Pelletier - Pelletier Properties at Keller Williams North Central

Courtney E. Pelley - Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center

Lilian Radke - Unic Pro Inc.

Blaine Schnare - Harrington HealthCare System

Bonnie J. Walker - Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Learn how the winners were picked on our judges' page.

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