Posted Monday August 10 2009 at 5:31 pm in News
By: Thomas Caywood
As a young arts advocate in Worcester in the 1970s, Charles J. Washburn found himself overcome by a desire to reach out to the most-isolated community he could imagine close at hand: mental patients locked away in the secured wards of Worcester State Hospital.
In what he now concedes was an extravagantly impractical plan, the 20-something activist, not long out of Fairfield University in Connecticut, waded into the state bureaucracy seeking permission from wary hospital administrators to take those patients on a field trip to a rock concert in a city park.
Washburn - who would go on to be one of the founders of First Night Worcester and to run an education nonprofit in Boston - at the time didn't see why he couldn't just find a bus, drive it to the hospital and ferry the mental hospital patients to the concert.Read More →