Creative Hub Worcester: Executive Summary

The Main South neighborhood of Worcester is experiencing a lack of affordable and accessible art programs. Having an accessible program in the Main South neighborhood would allow parents to take their children to a place where they can explore multiple genres of art. This issue becomes increasingly more important as the government continues to take money away from school art programs. This was in an effort to raise scores in the subjects of Math and English.

To solve the issue of a lack of affordable and accessible art in Main South, Creative Hub Worcester is opening in the Main South neighborhood. Our IQP team was tasked with profiling the Main South population, finding the needs and interests of the families and create a map containing similar programs in the city of Worcester. By gaining the knowledge of what other programs have done and who lives in Main South, our sponsors will be able to provide programs that accommodate all needs while avoiding common mistakes that others programs have made in the past.

To profile the Main South population, our team relied on data from Worcester Public School’s website. Using their data, we were able to compile information about race/ethnicity, gender and the accommodations needed from each of the 40 schools in the target area. We used this data to create a profile of neighborhood residents. To find the needs and interests of the community, our team conducted interviews with 20 individuals. Interviewees included parents, teachers, and program administrators. Responses were used to find patterns and trends about the needs and interests of the children and their families. To create a map that represents similar organizations in the city of Worcester, our team relied on secondary research to get information such as pricing, hours of operation, and accommodations offered.

In our research, we found Main South to be predominantly Hispanic/Latino, who make up 50% of the population, followed by the White community who make up 22% of the population. Compared to the target area, the area outside this target area is equally made up of Hispanic/Latino who make up 35% and Whites who also make up 35%. In our interviews, our team found that the Main South families need a reliable transportation system to safely get children from school to their programs after school. We also discovered how much financial assistance is needed in the community and how the art community is lacking translated materials for bilingual and non-English speaking families. In addition, our team found a strong interest in student led classes and how the children in Main South love learning about each other’s culture through the art programs. An assessment of other programs revealed that many do not offer transportation or translations, which are one of the many accommodations requested by parents.

The data on this project was collected for the purpose of being used by Creative Hub in order to understand who lives in Main South thereby being able to better tailor programs. In combination with the needs and interests, the mapping of experienced programs around Worcester would help Creative Hub to better navigate the choices they need to make based on what others have done.