Neighborhood Showcase: Lowell, Massachusetts

Neighborhood Showcase: Lowell, Massachusetts

Once touted as the home of the industrial revolution, Lowell, Massachusetts is experiencing a revival as a center for commerce, education, and the arts. Boasting a diverse community of over 100,000 residents, Lowell provides a valuable alternative to those looking for urban life, without the high housing costs of the greater Boston Area. Nestled in the heart of the Merrimack Valley, with easy access to three major highways, two colleges, and a bustling commercial scene, Lowell can provide city life without the city price tag.

Lowell is the home of many nationally recognized companies representing a host of industries. Motorola, JP Morgan, Aramark, Siemens Water Technologies, and MetLife Insurance all have offices in the city, in addition to hundreds of smaller businesses. Recently, Lowell was featured in the National Science Foundation’s Science and Engineering Indicators annual report for 2010, and hailed by Forbes Magazine on of “America’s Top 20 Geekiest Cities.” This playful distinction was earned as a result of Lowell’s high percentage of employment in areas such as science, technology, and innovation. For those seeking work in Boston proper, Lowell offers easy access to the city with direct commuter rail access to North Station.

Those seeking higher education will find a comprehensive, world-class academic experience in the City of Lowell. The city is home to two centers of higher learning: Middlesex Community College, and The University of Massachusetts. Middlesex Community College provides Associate Degrees and certificates in a variety of science and arts-focused majors, including a Massachusetts accredited nursing program. For those pursuing a Baccalaureate or Graduate degree, the University of Massachusetts in Lowell offers over 100 areas of study. The Times of London rated the University of Massachusetts as one of the top 200 schools in the world. These two institutions, nestled in the heart of the city, offer first-class education and a host of activities and entertainment options to enjoy between classes.

While Lowell offers flourishing business and educational options, it truly shines in the area of arts and entertainment. Lowell bears the motto “Art is the Handmaid of Human Good,” and it lives up to this ideal. The city is home to hundreds of working artists and craftspeople that create music, sculpture, unique crafts and boutique goods, and fine art and photography. The city is home to many artist studios, including the Western Avenue Studios, home to over 180 working artists. The studios offer open houses, which give the public the opportunity to see creativity in action, and in some cases participate and learn about the creation process.

Music is central to the artistic scene in Lowell. The city is home to the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell, a 7,000-seat arena hosting national and international acts, as well as sporting events and world championships. The Lowell Auditorium also hosts national musical events, stage productions, Golden Gloves boxing events, and national comedy acts. The centerpiece of the Lowell music scene, however, is the Lowell Folk Festival, an annual celebration of folk, country and bluegrass music taking place and the end of July each year. The Folk Festival hosts hundreds of act over three days at locations all over the city, as well showcasing local groups, a diverse array of international foods, and special events after dark. The show attracts over 150,000 visitors to the city, with more visitors attending each year to take in the sights and sounds of a citywide celebration of music and culture.

Lowell is an up-and-coming community, alive with diverse cultural offerings and events. The opportunities for education and employment in Lowell, paired with low cost of living and excellent housing opportunities, make it the new destination for individuals and families from all walks of life.