Proposed State-Designated Cultural District To Be Discussed At Info Session November 16



The public is invited to attend an information session on Wednesday, November 16 at 7:00 pm 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 a 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 culturaldistrict@town.rockport.ma.us or by phone at 978-502-1854.