cultural districts across the state convened at Natick Center for the Arts MCC #powerofculture

Cape Ann participated in the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) statewide cultural district convening which was hosted by the Natick Center for the Arts. Statewide district gatherings occur once or twice a year: the last two were held in Cambridge, and Beverly. Representatives from Gloucester, Rockport and Essex cultural districts were in attendance. (Manchester and Ipswich do not not have a designation at this time. Gloucester could have seven.)

Massachusetts Cultural Council Director, Anita Walker, welcomed the crowd, and introduced officials from Natick and new additions to the MCC staff. Jill Cahill, Gloucester’s Director of Community Development, brought a gift from the Mayor and the City to add to a send-off  of thanks and well wishes for Meri Jenkins, longtime MCC leader who managed cities and towns through cultural facilities funding and district designations. Luis Edgardo Cotto and Justina Crawford will be taking over the MCC Community Initiative programs managed by Meri.

MERI JENKINS helped cities and towns statewide having served Massachusetts Cultural Council nearly 20+ years_©c ryan Oct 2018 MCC cultural district convening Natick MA venue.jpg

 

The MCC approved five year district renewals for both Rocky Neck and Rockport last year. District renewal for Gloucester’s downtown is underway. Essex received official citations for their renewal at this convening. Here’s a photo of Christopher Stepler, artist and Manager of Essex Shipbuilding Museum, and Lee Spence, former Director. One update they shared was that the successful historic exhibition The Women of Essex – Stories to Share displayed at Essex Town Hall in a renovated bright space on the top floor above the TOHP Burnham Public Library (thanks in part to Cultural Facilities funding) was selected to travel to the NPS regional Visitor Center in Salem.

courtesy photo_Essex District renewal_MCC cultural district convening at Natick Center for the Arts October 16 2018.jpg

 

prior GMG post with MCC October news 

MA senate votes on creative economy master plan

IMG_20170526_162849

One of Senator Tarr’s bills, the 4 cultural districts and a failed vote were reported by Kate Lannan in today’s Gloucester Daily Times.

The bill

SECTION 1. Notwithstanding any special or general law to the contrary, the secretary of housing and economic affairs, in consultation with the executive director of the Massachusetts cultural council, the executive director of travel and tourism and the secretary of labor and workforce development, shall develop and maintain a master plan for the development and advancement of the creative economy throughout the commonwealth, provided that such plan shall be reviewed and updated in increments of not less than three years.

For the purposes of this section the creative economy shall include but not be limited to elements that encompass the visual and performing arts, cultural interpretation and presentation, tourism and affiliated economic activities related to and dependent thereon.

In developing and maintaining said plan the secretary shall seek to ensure inclusion of necessary components to support and strengthen the creative economy of each region and sub region of the commonwealth, as their special circumstances may escalate, and shall seek to maximize and capture to the fullest extent possible the opportunities for job creation, workforce training and skills development, in such regions and sub regions.

The process of developing and maintaining such plan shall include, but not be limited to, at least one public hearing in each geographic region identified in the plan, provided further that the plan shall recognize and support cultural districts as critical resources in advancing its goals.

https://malegislature.gov/

S.202 SD.1688 By Mr. Tarr, a petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 202) of Bruce E. Tarr for legislation to create a creative economy master plan. Economic Development and Emerging Technologies.

creative economy stats: of the 226,000 North Shore jobs, how many do you think are arts and culture related?    Tourism related doubles that count

Gloucester Downtown Harbortown Cultural District

Gloucester Rocky Neck Cultural District

Rockport Cultural District

Essex Cultural District

Gloucester downtown harbortown cultural district: Partner Updates | March 2017

Read dishy brief updates from downtown, marketing opportunities from MOTT, and trending topics from across the state. The arts scene in Gloucester and Cape Ann has so much going on and sets such a high, high bar for the state. We needed a calendar and GMG did it! Reminder: If organizations want to be featured on the essential GMG calendar and weekly arts round-up, they should email their listings to James Eves! Triple check the calendar before planning any major scheduling dates. 

Gloucester downtown harbortown cultural district march 2017 updates CR

What’s New March 2017 updates link (if embed doesn’t show)

*= Founding Partner    Yellow =  NEW partner March 2017      Bold blue= updates

More save the dates — creative placemaking, smart cities, sustainable cities, cultural districts, smartgrowth

Beverly hosts a regional Massachusetts Cultural Council cultural districts gathering at The Cabot

The City of Beverly and The Cabot hosted a Massachusetts Cultural Council north shore cultural district meeting today. The theater was getting ready for tonight’s sold out Celtic Sojourn with Brian O’Donovan and they still made time for the districts. Mayor Cahill welcomed the group. The current exhibition installed in this sunny space is a solo show by fine artist and commercial sign maker, Andrew Bablo.

Cultural districts and organizations coming together for this meeting included the following: Beverly Main Streets and the BAD district; Montserrat College of Art; Chris Sicuranza, Gloucester’s Director of Communications & Constituent Services,Office of the Mayor; the two Gloucester cultural districts, and local cultural council; Rockport’s cultural district; Essex Historic Society and Shipbuilding Museum  and district; Historic New England and Cogswell’s Grant; Lynn’s district; Haverhill’s; and Concord’s. Concord will be hosting their regional meeting tomorrow. Currently there are 35 cultural districts across Massachusetts with 40 possible by the end of June. Salem may come on next year.  Interactive MA cultural districts as Google map.

IMG_20170316_102603

OUR HOSTS photo L-R: Kevin Harutunian, Chief of Staff, Beverly; Aaron Clausen, City Planning Director, Community Development, City of Beverly; Gin Wallace, Director Beverly Main Streets; Meri Jenkins, MCC; J Casey Soward, The Cabot, Beverly; Steve Immerman Montserrat College of Art, Beverly; Annie Houston, MCC

IMG_20170316_101409

Ma Cult Districts.jpg

Public Meeting in Rockport on 11/16

Citizens of Rockport, be sure to come by the library on Wednesday night at 7 o’clock to learn more about the proposed Cultural District. A representative from the Mass Cultural Council will be on hand, so it will be a great time to learn more about this great initiative and what it will mean for Rockport and other Cape Ann communities. To keep updated on all things Rockport Cultural District-related, check out the local Facebook page HERE and hit the Like button to stay in touch.

For more detailed information, read below:

The public is invited to attend an information session on Wednesday, November 16th, at 7PM in the Rockport Public Library’s Peggy Brenner Room, concerning Rockport’s proposed application for a cultural district designation. This designation is part of a new Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) marketing and promotion initiative in which Rockport was invited to participate, along with other communities throughout the Commonwealth.

A cultural district, as defined by the MCC, is a specific geographical area in a city or town that has a concentration of cultural facilities, activities, and assets. The District should be an attractive, walkable, compact area that is easily identifiable to visitors and residents and which serves as a center of cultural, artistic, and economic activity. It is not a town zoning designation and has no regulatory impacts.

According to Karen Berger, who has volunteered to coordinate the application process for the town, “The statute that created cultural districts has specific goals: to attract artists and cultural enterprises, encourage business and job development, establish the district as a gateway for visitors, preserve and reuse historic buildings, enhance property values, and foster local cultural development.” She continued, “It is strongly supported by Senator Bruce Tarr and Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante and offers Rockport an opportunity to more effectively reach out to those visitors who may be interested in the arts and the cultural opportunities we have to offer.”

Several members of the Rockport Board of Selectmen and members of organizations currently working on the application process will be joined by Meri Jenkins, program manager for the Massachusetts Cultural Council, to explain the program and the applications process and answer questions. For those who can’t attend, comments and /or questions may be submitted via email at rockportculturaldistrict@gmail.com or by phone at 978-502-1854.