The committee formed in June 2019 to explore the possibility of applying for statewide cultural district designation through the Massachusetts Cultural Council.The committee received ad-hoc designation from the Cummington Select Board and has met monthly for the past two years to develop a robust application and work plan.The vision for the cultural district is to engage the entire town in an inclusive and positive effort to identify priorities and work towards a revitalized Village area with collaborative programming and marketing to new audiences to experience all the things which make Cummington special.
Revitalization will include supporting the use of public space as well as new uses of underutilized or vacant commercial buildings in the district. It will also be a way for existing cultural institutions and businesses to collaborate and cross promote their programs and build new partnerships. Finally, it will be central to the discussion of community character and help define the planning goals of the town.
The conversations around forming a Cultural District have already yielded new programming partnership proposals between the Bryant Homestead historic site and the Kingman Tavern Historic site, and between the Cummington Agricultural Fair and the Bryant Homestead – however, these projects were put on hold for COVID reasons. New programming and exhibits were also discussed among Project Art and the Kingman and the Bryant Homestead. While these events are in the planning stages and postponed due to COVID restrictions, witnessing the flow of ideas and possibilities is very encouraging!
Three years of success with the Hilltown Open Studio Tour is what convinced us that we can and should do this — getting hundreds of visitors to artists’ studios with good sales reports has been a strong motivator to use the creative capital we have for improving a bright future for the village.
Current Committee Members (all terms ending 2022 – quorum is 3 members)
Robert Godfrey III
J Huntington Chase (Hilltown CDC)
A group of local residents, artists and business owners gathered to discuss the possibility of applying for cultural district designation from the Massachusetts Cultural Council
A free town pancake breakfast organized to gather feedback on important questions about the goals of the proposed cultural district.
A photo contest accepted submissions from amateur youth and adult residents with the theme, "I Love Cummington." Finalists' photos were posted to social media.
The third Hilltown Open Studio tour resumed in-person self-guided studio tours featuring 9 Cummington studio artists.
Residents were invited to an open forum to ask questions and provide feedback on the proposed cultural district initiative.
The committee submitted a final application to the Massachusetts Cultural Council for consideration