Three Murals Could Become Permanent Parts of Haverhill’s Downtown

A mural sample, as shown on O+ (O Positive) Festival’s fundraising page.

Three murals could remain as part of downtown Haverhill’s permanent landscape after a temporary transformation of a block of Merrimack Street takes place in May.

O+ (O Positive) Festival, created to give artists and musicians the opportunity to exchange their talents for health and dental care, is seeking to raise $6,000 through an online crowdfunding program. If the campaign reaches its goal of $6,000 by April 12, at midnight, the project wins a matching grant from MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places program.

“By bringing more public art to our community, Haverhill will see the effect of transforming into a destination city,” said O+ Haverhill Director Hailey Moschella. “On May 6, O+ Festival will gift Haverhill with permanent murals to liven the streets and strengthen the community.”

Local artists and nationally-recognized muralists will paint the murals, which will be installed during the festival. During the O+ Festival, residents and visitors will enjoy music, food, and art while learning about health and well-being resources in Haverhill.

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“The O+ Festival presents an exciting opportunity for Haverhill to cultivate a holistic approach to the health of not only residents and visitors, but also the city thanks to this bright public art and these community connections,” said MassDevelopment Vice President of Real Estate Services Amanda Maher. “We’re pleased this Commonwealth Places campaign will help invigorate Haverhill’s downtown and encourage visitors and residents alike to engage with their community.”

The O+ Festival began in Kingston, N.Y., in 2010 and has since spread to Chicago and California. This is the first year the festival will take place in Haverhill. In addition to art, music, and health resources, the festival features an event with Better Block Haverhill, a collaborative effort between the city and MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative that focuses on small-scale community revitalization.