Posted on Monday, October 1st, 2012 4:09 pm
EASTHAMPTON TO APPLY FOR CULTURAL DISTRICT
Easthampton City Arts+ has commenced the application process for a Cultural District in Easthampton--a small mill town in Western Massachusetts that has recreated itself as a vibrant arts and cultural community and offers a wide array of amenities to visitors. This unique city is well-suited to join the roster of Massachusetts’ cities and towns that have been granted the Cultural District designation.
As the committee proceeds, ECA+ invites the community, cultural district designation partners, and businesses to take part in the process of making this recognition a reality. Please join us for a public hearing at the Easthampton City Council meeting on October 3 at 6 p.m. located at the Municipal Building.
Below is a FAQ to further explain the Cultural District Designation. Please contact ECA+ if you have any questions or are interested in joining the Cultural District Designation Committee. You may contact us at (413) 527-8278 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is a Cultural District?
A cultural district is a specific geographical area in a city or town that has a concentration of cultural facilities, activities, and assets. It is a walkable, compact area that is easily identifiable to visitors and residents and serves as a center of cultural, artistic, and economic activity. The Massachusetts Cultural Council recognizes that each community is unique and that no two cultural districts will be alike.
Why a Cultural District Designation?
Does a Cultural District Change Zoning of Current or Future Business Development?
- Opens the door for potential funding and grant opportunities.
- Statewide recognition for the designation and online profiles on the state's Office of Travel and Tourism and MCC websites.
- Encourages citywide partnerships and self-defined assets to further promote tourism.
A Cultural District does not change zoning in the designated area. It recognizes the designated area and its cultural facilities but it does not mandate restrictions on current or future businesses or construction.
What are the costs associated with Cultural District Designation?
The MCC requires signage fabricated and supplied by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. “The applicant must purchase and install at least two signs at the most appropriate boundaries of the district,” states the MCC Cultural District guidelines. Estimated cost is $100 per sign + cost of installation.
What is the area of the proposed Cultural District?
Three maps were submitted to the Massachusetts Cultural Council Cultural District Initiative. Map B was selected for the initial Cultural District Application. The selected area includes a densely populated area of Main Street, a portion of Union Street, a portion of the Manhan Rail Trail, to Payson Avenue up to Cottage Street to the corner of Cottage and Holyoke Streets. The area maps the most traversed location in the central downtown.
Can the Cultural District Expand in the Future?
Yes. The Cultural District could expand in the future. As areas develop connecting cultural assets to the original cultural district, application to the proposed changes may be made. Partners will play an important role in shaping the future of the Cultural District.
What is the Length of Designation?
A cultural district designation will be in effect for five years and renewed upon successful compliance with annual reporting requirements, and a re-commitment by the city or town to continue their cultural district's work.
Does a Cultural District include only Arts assets?
A Cultural District includes assets that extend far beyond the arts. A wide variety of organizations, businesses, events, and individuals make up a Cultural District including but not limited to libraries, restaurants, performance spaces, music venues, galleries, schools, museums, cultural centers, movie theaters, artists, farmers' markets, recording studios, walking tours, and festivals.