Power of Culture Blog
As the state re-opens and recovery from COVID-19 continues, Regional Tourism Councils will be a key partner in getting the creative economy back on its feet.
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For the past 10 years, the United States has celebrated ‘Small Business Saturday’ on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses that are small and local. Massachusetts played a major role in creating this now national movement with the help of then Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. Massachusetts is in the forefront again as we become the first state in the US to participate in Fair Saturday.
Started in Bilbao, Spain, Fair Saturday is based on the open and participatory organization of artistic and cultural activities, each one in support of social projects. This year, Quincy, MA became the first US city to become an official partner and the Massachusetts state-designated Cultural Districts are following suit with 18 Districts participating so far. This means that, in our Cultural Districts and Quincy, one can support local businesses – and a local nonprofit – as they do their holiday shopping.
Some examples include:
Great Barrington Cultural District: Several performers will sit on Main Street and read the children’s book, The Story of Frog Belly Rat Bone by Tom Basil Ering, about a boy attempting to build a magical garden in Cementland. This awareness-raising event will bring attention to a ballet based on the book by local dance company Moving Arts Exchange. In true busking fashion, there will be a collection can next to each reader. Donations will go to Flying Cloud Institute.
Greenfield’s Crossroads Cultural District: The Hive will host a Holiday Makers Market, featuring hand-crafted gifts from local makers. On-site wrapping will be provided by the Federal Street PTO with activities for kids – make-your-own bee antenna and temporary bee tattoos – all while supporting The Hive, shopping local, and supporting local artisans.
Arlington Cultural District: A special preview workshop will be offered for experienced crocheters in advance of the official project launch of Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture’s first Artist-in-Residence Project. Over the next seven months, sculptor Michelle Lougee — who will teach the preview workshop — will lead the community in making a collaborative sculpture with a message: Reduce plastic and protect wildlife and the environment.
New Bedford’s Seaport Cultural District: Downtown New Bedford Inc. will present the 2019 Holiday Stroll. Located in the Seaport Cultural District, this year’s stroll features festively decorated streets downtown, holiday performances by South Coast Brass Band, Seaglass Theater Company, and the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center, and local artist and artisan wares at the Fishing Heritage Center, Whaling Museum, and The New Bedford Art Museum/Artworks. Join Mayor Jon Mitchell, New Bedford City Councilors, and the New Bedford community for the big finale at the countdown celebration to illuminate festive displays of dazzling lights at the annual City of New Bedford Tree Lighting.