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Volunteers sought for cultural district designation partnership

by | Nov 1, 2023 | News

Julia Chun, Hopkinton’s sustainability, economic development and equity project manager, announced that applications are being accepted for people interested in joining a partnership to form a cultural district designation for Hopkinton.

Cultural districts are areas with a density of cultural facilities, activities and assets. A cultural district should be an easy-to-navigate, compact area that acts as a hub of cultural, artistic and economic activity. It also should offer a place-based identity to collaborative community initiatives.

This group of individuals will apply for a cultural district designation application through Mass Cultural Council and manage the district once its is established, Chun explained in a Nov. 1 statement. The application is anticipated to be submitted early next year.

Due to the nature of the work, the town is seeking volunteers with the following experience: artists who live and/or work in downtown Hopkinton, business owners from downtown Hopkinton, staff from an arts organization in town, and staff from a for-profit arts group, such as an interior designer or photographer. An application form is available at this link.

“Launched in 2011 by an act of the state legislature, cultural districts drive economic growth, strengthen our distinctive local character, and improve the quality of life of families across Massachusetts,” Chun stated in the press release. “By supporting arts, humanities, and science organizations, cultural districts attract tourists and entrepreneurs, which in turn help communities foster their cultural sector and expand their tax base. And that benefits everyone.”

The primary goals of the Cultural Districts Initiative, as described in the legislative statute, are to:

● Attract artists and cultural enterprises
● Encourage business and job development
● Establish the district as a tourist destination
● Preserve and reuse historic buildings
● Enhance property values
● Foster and preserve local cultural development

Partnership responsibilities include developing a plan for management of the district. The plan must include agreed upon objectives such as roles, responsibilities, resources, sustainability plans and ways to measure success and collect useful data. The partnership must provide collective support to the district on a regular basis.

The application period is open from Nov. 1-30. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance the first week of December.

For more information, contact Chun via this link.

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