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Exhilarate Festival uses art to help students get technology


Bringing a little bit of everything in its inaugural year, Exhilarate Music and Arts Festival will offer live music, food and arts that are sure to rival some of the more well-known festivals of the area. Kicking off in September on the Worcester Common, this new and exciting music and arts festival aims to raise money for Woodland Academy, one of Worcester’s public schools.

Jana Berthiaume, Jillian Karns, Katie King, and Maggie Duffy are the co-organizers of the festival, which aims to bring a “positive atmosphere, with a good cause, to the city of Worcester.”

Two of the festival’s founders teach at the academy and thought the festival would be the perfect blend of “entertainment and community.”

Teacher and organizer Jana Berthiaume talked a little bit about how the festival came about. “A few coworkers and I were looking to raise money for the school, and we thought that it would be a great way to raise money, as well as bring the community together with a music and arts festival.” All of the festivals proceeds will go to the academy in order to enrich the learning experiences of the students. The festival’s logo even pictures a bear cub, Woodland Academy’s mascot, dressed up in a school uniform, subtly hinting at the connection between Exhilarate and education.

According to Berthiaume, Woodland Academy is considered a “high need” school in the area, as many of its students are English language learners or come from backgrounds of poverty and/or trauma. This festival hopes to use the culmination of music and arts in order to provide up-to-date technology and content for the students.

The festival itself will showcase both musicians and artists based in the Worcester region. Six bands have been confirmed for the festival, including the popular Blue Light Bandits, The Way Ways and To The Moon. When it comes to art, local photographers, potters and jewelers will be able to display their pieces in tents scattered throughout the festival grounds. Attendees can walk into the booths and enjoy live music throughout the day.

The festival has also just recently added yoga to its lineup! There will be an hour-long Vinyasa Flow Yoga session. Children will be able to enjoy a kid-friendly section of the festival, including face-painting and a variety of fun activities. Food and beer from local vendors will be on offer, so you can sit back, relax and grab a bite to eat while enjoying the music and atmosphere.

Exhilarate’s end goal is to turn this festival into an annual Worcester tradition that can aid in enriching the community. The organizers hope for a “nice day on the common to bring the community together for a good cause.”

Exhilarate will be held from 1-10 p.m. Sept. 22 at Worcester Common, 455 Main St., Worcester. Tickets are $20. For tickets, visit For more information, visit

Owen Meyer

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