A large part of Nantucket Town is the newest Massachusetts Cultural District! This small area of the Island offers a wealth of cultural activities – artistic, theatrical, literary and musical – that are readily available within a short walk from the Brass Lantern. In January, the Massachusetts Cultural Council voted unanimously to approve the district which will help to promote the Island’s cultural, artistic and economic activity for visitors and residents.
The designation culminates over a year of work by Bill Ferrall, president of the Nantucket Arts Council, Andrew Vorce, director of Planning & Land Use Services, Kate Hamilton-Pardee of Visitor Services and other islanders who made up an executive committee.
“I think it underscores the importance that arts and culture play in this community,” Ferrall said. “In a way, it does something that’s a little bit different from all the other kinds of important designations we have in the sense that this stresses arts and culture on the island.”
About Cultural Districts
There are more than 30 towns across the state with this designation from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Due to a 20 percent increase in its budget, the MCC can distribute funds to all districts across the state, official said.
A “district” is defined as a walkable, compact area that is easily identifiable to visitors. The Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Cultural Districts Initiative grew out of an economic stimulus bill passed in 2010 by the legislature. It is designed to help communities attract artists and cultural enterprises, encourage business and job growth, expand tourism, preserve and reuse historic buildings, enhance property values, and foster local cultural development. – Nantucket Inquirer and Mirror
What Is Included
The cultural district map (above) encompasses the Whaling Museum, the Nantucket Atheneum, the Theatre Workshop, the White Heron Theatre, the Dreamland, the Starlight, the Nantucket Community Music Center and the newest addition, the Nantucket Culinary Center. It also includes the in Town waterfront, dozens of restaurants from fine dining to take away, a multitude of art galleries, large and small and the Artists Association of Nantucket that offers classes, exhibits and sale of the beautiful are created by its wide variety of members.
Upcoming Cultural Events
In keeping with the cultural tone, Nantucket offers a host of culturally connected festivals including, Nantucket Book Festival June 17 – 19, 2016, the Nantucket Dance Festival July 18 – 23, Nantucket Arts Festival, September 30 – October throughout the Cultural District and beyond, and streaming live theatre, opera and ballet at the Dreamland, Check out our other blogs on each of these activities.