COOL Cultural Organization of Lowell

Cool Ideas

Past Initiatves


Past COOL Initiatives

Works-in-Progress unConference | May 2014

The purpose of the unConference was to have a gathering space for sharing new initiatives.  Attendees had the opportunity to present a new idea, space, or event.  Attendees then voted on the presented ideas, and the submitters of the top 3 ideas had 15 minutes to present their idea and answer questions or solicit feedback.  Ideas were then posted to the COOL website to allow the community to continue the conversation.  Click on the link above to see what ideas were presented and who to contact for more information!

New Materials Mixer | April 2014

New materials and new ways of working are constantly being introduced to the creative vernacular.  This event was designed to inspire by presenting two artists with unique creative practices.

New England Music Awards and Lowell WinterFest | February 2014

COOL partnered with the New England Music Awards (NEMA) to present award nominated music from throughout New England as part of Lowell's annual winter celebration.  NEMA also helped COOL present a full day of local musicians to kick off the festival.

Canalway Cultural Map and Brochure | July 2013

Working with local designers Higgins and Ross, COOL created a walking map and annual events calendar to promote Lowell's recently designated state Cultural District.

(Project Launch) Indoor Market at Lowell WinterFest  |  February 2013

In 2013, COOL introduced an indoor market to Lowell WinterFest.  In its first year, the market had 14 vendors including soap, candle, button and jewelry makers to upcycled children’s clothing designers. All vendors sold handmade/crafted items. 

(Project Launch) Downtown Lowell Pop-Up Galleries  |  fall 2012

In cooperation with landlords, leasing agents, and real estate agents, the Pop-Up Gallery project provided local artists with a temporary exhibition site inside a vacant storefront in downtown Lowell.

(Project Launch) The COOL Bus  |  November 2011

Debuting at Lowell's City of Lights Parade in November 2011, the COOL Bus was used as a parade showstopper and literal promotional vehicle for the City. 

Young Angel Midnight: Anthology of Emerging Lowell Artists  |  published October 2011

Commissioned by COOL & produced by Bootstrap Press, this vibrant collection promoted and showcased the talents of young Lowell writers, artists, musicians, and performers. As a published anthology, Young Angel Midnight was a profound 2011 snapshot of work by an emerging generation of thinkers and artists of all kinds. Copies of Young Angel Midnight are still available for purchase online.

Discover Lowell: A Year-round Arts & Culture Event Series  |  2010-2012 

To highlight the City’s vibrant cultural and arts community, COOL developed the Discover Lowell (DL) event series which featured entertaining, educational, and original programming. The DL inititative also included expanded marketing and promotion of existing cultural events and festivals, including the Cambodian "More Than a Number" exhibit, Southeast Asian Water Festival, and the Kerouac Literary Festival.

(Project Launch) City of Lights Daytime "Holiday Art Stroll"  |  November 2009

With its festive holiday theme, nighttime parade, and anticipated lighting of City Hall and downtown Lowell, the annual City of Lights Parade is Lowell's signature nighttime event. In 2009, COOL initiated the "Holiday Art Stroll" which brought pre-parade daytime activities to downtown such as strolling carolers, a hot chocolate competition, a stocking scavenger hunt, and heightened promotion of museum and art gallery shopping.

Destination World Event Series  |  2005-2009

Beginning in May 2005, COOL and its partners initiated Destination World, a world culture expo series on the first Thursday night of each month that built on Lowell's experience with collaborative intercultural programs such as the Lowell Folk Festival, the annual Kerouac Literary Festival, A Taste of Lowell from the International Institute, and other efforts. The series was linked to the countries of origin of Lowell's people and were celebrated and explored through film, music, language, literature, food, dance, and art. 

Festival Organizers Workshop Series  |  2009 & 2010

Designed for local organizations and individuals who host medium- and large-scale events, this workshop series focused on best practices in budget managment, volunteerism, event marketing, communications, and fundraising, and utilized the expertise of Lowell National Historical Park, the Lowell Festival Foundation, Boston-based grants administrators from the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation, and Lowell-based creative entrepreneurs.

"Building Creative Entrepreneurs" - Arts + Business Workshop Series  |  2009 & 2010

Specially developed for working artists and creative businesses, this series of workshop modules was moderated by professionals and focused on the business side of being creative. Topics included time management, marketing for creative entrepreneurs, grantwriting, tax preparation, copyright & intellectual property, and the importance of social media.

Lowell Film Festival  |  held each spring from 2008-2011

Launched in partnership between COOL and UMass Lowell's Department of Regional Economic & Social Development, the Lowell Film Festival presented a different theme each year, including immigration & globalization; food, fair trade & the global economy; and Lowell & the Civil War. Venues included Lowell National Historical Park, UMass Lowell, Pollard Memorial Library, and the Boott Cotton Mills Events Center.

Massachusetts Poetry Festival  |  October 2008 & 2009

The Massachusetts Poetry Festival debuted in Lowell to celebrate the rich literary heritage and vital contemporary poetry community of the Commonwealth. The product of a diverse group of partner organizations who came together under COOL's guidance, the robust 3-day event remained in Lowell until moving to Salem, MA, in 2011. The Festival continues to grow and thrive in this new location. Learn more

 "Where Elephants Weep"- a Contemporary Cambodian Opera  |  April 27-29, 2007

Co-presented by COOL and community partners,"Where Elephants Weep" utilized song and traditional dance to tell the story of ancient and contemporary cultures found in Cambodia. Its American debut took place in the 1920s-era theater at Lowell High School which had a student body that was 32% Cambodian. After the 2007 preview performances in Lowell, the production had a gala World Premiere in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in November 2008.

On the Road: An Exhibition of Kerouac’s Original Scroll Manuscript  |  June-October 2007

In development from 2004-2007, the "On the Road" Exhibit gave thousands of visitors from around the world the rare opportunity to view Jack Kerouac’s original “scroll” manuscript from his acclaimed novel On The Road. Presented in partnership with Lowell National Historical Park, the exhibit also featured an array of Kerouac-related events throughout downtown Lowell.

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