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Much has been made of a coming Worcester renaissance, the idea of the city and the Central Massachusetts region shedding its old reputation and becoming a thriving living and working destination, separate from the gravity of Boston. If that renaissance is ever truly going to happen, Greater Worcester must become a cultural hub unto itself, able to attract large swaths of visitors and new residents who see the region as the place to be.
Central Massachusetts has laid the groundwork for such a cultural revolution to flourish. Attractions like Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, Worcester Art Museum and Bancroft Tower in Worcester have carried the torch for decades. New places like Apex Entertainment in Marlborough, the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton and Hanover Theatre in Worcester are bringing more crowds. Features like the WooRides pedicabs, the Highland Street food trucks in Worcester, the POW! WOW! Worcester murals and the Worcester Wares store create a fun interactivity with the region's cultural scene.
With this year's WBJ 40 Under Forty, you see the people who could turn the cultural renaissance from a well-started idea to a full-blown reality. Not only are these up-and-coming professionals dedicated to improving their businesses, but they are putting forth their talents to help the community flourish. Certainly this includes direct cultural efforts like Creative Hub Worcester, Tower Hill and POW! WOW! Worcester. Yet, they also work with nonprofits, churches, chambers of commerce and networking groups to help the people of Central Massachusetts succeed.
And, of course, through their day-to-day effort, they make their companies better, which makes the Greater Worcester economy better. That is how you create a true renaissance.
- Brad Kane, editor