On Wednesday, March 30 at 7 p.m., a public meeting will be held at Arlington Center for the Arts to discuss the cultural district designation for which Arlington is currently applying.
What’s a cultural district? It’s a program developed by the Massachusetts Cultural Council that recognizes vibrant, walkable districts with a concentration of cultural places and activities, such as museums, theaters, artists, festivals, cafes and restaurants, galleries, creative shops, public art, and more. The Massachusetts Cultural Council developed the program to increase cultural opportunities for local residents and to attract more visitors to communities.
This public meeting is a crucial component of the application process, and all are invited to learn more about how the cultural district program works, how it would benefit Arlington, and to share ideas!
The library is the municipal agent within the Cultural District Managing Partnership, which includes leadership from Arlington Center for the Arts, the Chamber of Commerce, Cyrus Dallin Art Museum, Arlington Historical Society, and other merchant groups and cultural organizations.
At this point in the planning process the state has preliminarily approved the boundary of the Arlington Cultural District, which would span from East Arlington through Arlington Center, with connecting elements including the Arlington Center for the Arts, Spy Pond Park, and the Minuteman Bike Path. While the state designation program requires that our application define a smaller, walkable area for official designation, the goal of the Cultural District Managing Partnership is to be as inclusive as possible and, regardless of cultural district borders, will include our entire community in outreach and marketing efforts.
The goals of the Arlington Cultural District are to encourage greater collaboration among cultural organizations, expand awareness of Arlington residents and potential visitors about our cultural assets, and leverage cultural and business resources to brand Arlington as a cultural destination. A cultural district designation promotes commitment from the town to nurture present and future arts and cultural initiatives, and brings positive economic benefits to cultural institutions and local businesses. A cultural district could also place Arlington’s cultural community in a stronger position to apply for grants and other financial support in the future. Increased visitation and revenue are evident in the success stories reported by the thirty-two other cultural districts in Massachusetts. More information on other cultural districts can be found at: http://www.massculturalcouncil.org/services/cultural_districts.asp
Arlington has a vibrant and growing arts and cultural scene, and a cultural district could help foster this growth and put Arlington on the cultural map. Please attend this meeting to share your thoughts with members of the Arlington Cultural District Managing Partnership.
Arlington Center for the Arts is located at 41 Foster Street (http://www.acarts.org/).