stART, an innovative arts celebration ‘on the street’, was the brainchild of an independent group of local artists. In 2002, these artists and art lovers, inspired by a public forum for the Arts District Master Plan process, decided to continue to meet and work together in support of a City planned Arts District. The group originally called themselves Worcester ARTists Really Trying (wART). Their objective was to ensure that their community would increasingly recognize and support the value of artists and the arts created within the greater Worcester Community. Towards that goal, the founding group of artists pooled their creative resources and energy to plan and present an arts street festival on Main Street in the newly designated Arts District.
In September of 2002, after 5 months of dedicated work, stART on the street was born and the community responded. stART on the street returned by popular demand in 2003. By the third stART festival in 2004, wART’s mission and their acronym’s meaning had continued to evolve, renaming themselves ‘Worcester ARTists Rallying Together’ reflected stART’s success and the continued growth of the artist driven cultural celebration. wART had created a well loved and eagerly anticipated tradition by the 3rd stART celebration on Main Street in 2004.
After taking a year’s sabbatical to rest and regroup in 2005, new and old organizers of stART looked forward to embracing change and relocated the festival on Park Avenue in Worcester in September 2006.
2007's festivities brought over 20,000 attendees to view the 240 artists, 20 bands and performers, youth activities, food vendors and more! In 2008, the festival welcomed the largest number of attendees to date; over 25,000 for an amazing day, including the "Block Party" with larger than life cardboard building blocks!
Planning is in full swing for the next stART on the Street, seeking participation from a community eager to celebrate the vibrant cultural offerings of Central MA!