Visualize Lowell’s Black History

Telling an undertold story
to encourage Downtown exploration
and support economic recovery

Visualize Lowell’s Black History will explore Lowell’s Black history through art and interpretation. It will create a trail of pop-up signage between two important landmarks: Mechanics Hall, which housed the barber shop of escaped slave and abolitionist Nathaniel Booth; and the St. Paul’s church, where a committee of African people from the Amistad rebellion spoke to 1,500 to raise funds and awareness. The signage will contain facts related to downtown buildings’ relationship to abolitionist and Black History, with the centerpiece of the trail being a pop-up sculpture that will interpret Black History. The pop-up sculpture is intended to be made of metal, wood, and/or plastic components and stand until winter.

Other elements will support this trail. This includes partnering with the Free Soil Arts Collective to create socially-distanced space for outdoor theatrical performances, and additional artwork to be projected or printed on vinyl banners that will lead people to and from downtown-adjacent places currently open such as Jack Kerouac Park or the Mill No. 5 Farm Market.

This space will be updated with photos, artist biographies, additional stories linked via QR code to signs, and more. Stay tuned!

This effort is led by a committee of community members of color. If you’re an artist or community member interested in participating in Visualize Lowell’s Black History, please email Christa Brown, founder of Free Soil Arts Collective, at christa@freesoilarts.org.

Visit the links to learn more:

Pop-Up Black History Trail

Middlesex Street Visualize Lowell’s Black History Art Trail

Performances