Massachusetts Cultural Districts Initiative
The evidence is clear: A thriving creative sector is one of our Commonwealth's most powerful economic development assets. In support of this, the MCC’s Cultural Districts Initiative was authorized by an act of the Massachusetts state legislature in 2010, and launched in April 2011.
Designated Cultural Districts
- Barnstable Village Cultural District, Barnstable
- HyArts Cultural District, Barnstable
- Boston Literary Cultural District, Boston
- Fenway Cultural District, Boston
- Central Square Cultural District, Cambridge
- Concord Center Cultural District, Concord
- Cottage Street Cultural District, Easthampton
- Essex River Cultural District, Essex
- Harbortown Cultural District, Gloucester
- Rocky Neck Cultural District, Gloucester
- Riverfront Cultural District, Haverhill
- Lowell’s Canalway District, Lowell
- Central Exchange Cultural District, Lynn
- Marlborough Downtown Village Cultural District, Marlborough
- Natick Center Cultural District, Natick
- Seaport Cultural District, New Bedford
- Newburyport Cultural District, Newburyport
- Paradise City Cultural District, Northampton
- Orleans Village Center Cultural District, Orleans
- Upstreet Cultural District, Pittsfield
- Rockport Cultural District, Rockport
- Glass Town Cultural District, Sandwich
- Shelburne Falls Cultural District, Shelburne Falls
- Springfield Central Cultural District, Springfield
- Vineyard Haven Cultural District, Vineyard Haven
- Williamstown Cultural District, Williamstown
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 MCC 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, the Adams Arts Program (a long-standing cultural economic development program), and the ArtistLink Initiative.