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Massachusetts Cultural Districts Initiative

Saturday on North St. in Pittsfield. Photo by Karl Volkman.

The evidence is clear: A thriving creative sector is one of our Commonwealth's most powerful economic development assets. In support of this, the Mass Cultural Council’s Cultural Districts Initiative was authorized by an act of the Massachusetts state legislature in 2010, and launched in April 2011.

Designated Cultural Districts

These cultural districts help local arts, humanities, and science organizations improve the quality and range of their public programs so that more local families can benefit from them. They enhance the experience for visitors and thus attract more tourist dollars and tax revenue. And they attract artists, cultural organizations, and entrepreneurs of all kinds - enhancing property values and making communities more attractive.

One of the distinct attributes of Massachusetts is the authenticity of its communities. From urban centers and fishing ports in the east, to rural hamlets and older industrial centers in the west, the Commonwealth incorporates a wide range of distinctive places. The Cultural District Initiative encourages Massachusetts communities to strengthen this sense of place, while stimulating economic activity, improving the experiences of visitors to our communities, and creating a higher quality of life.

In addition to the Cultural Districts Initiative, the Mass Cultural Council invests in the continuing development of the state's creative communities through a range of grant programs and services – including the Cultural Investment Portfolio, the Cultural Facilities Fund, and the artist space initiative.

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