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Cultural District Redesignation

Redesignation Guidelines

Length of Cultural District Designation and Renewal Process Overview
A state designated Cultural District designation is in effect for 10 years, after which a designation is renewable for an additional 10 years. If there is a desire to continue with the designation, the district partnership must maintain compliance with ongoing reporting requirements and the municipality must formally recommit to its cultural district’s work.

Five-Year Designation Milestone
A Cultural District is expected to evolve with its community – fostering and preserving local cultural development. An opportunity to connect with district leaders upon every five-year milestone allows all parties the ability to assess where the district currently stands in terms of challenges, successes, and areas for additional support.

Upon a district’s fifth year of designation, they will be required to participate in a one-on-one check-in/visit with Mass Cultural Council Program Officers, Municipal Representatives and District Management Team. (Additional requirements and requests may be made after engaging with Program Officers and based off of need for support.)

During this coordinated check-in, Cultural District status will be primarily assessed on:

  • The impact its designation has made.
  • The effectiveness of its management and/or partnership infrastructure, including its capacity to fulfill ongoing program requirements.
  • Its promotion of equity, access, and inclusion.

Additional assessment criteria may be incorporated with sufficient notice.

Redesignation Process
To renew a Cultural District designation after the 10-year period has passed, districts must complete the following components of the redesignation process:

  1. Provide a collaborative statement of intent to renew signed by City’s/Town’s Chief Elected Official, Cultural District manager or Managing Entity (if applicable), and Local Cultural Council Chair to Mass Cultural Council. This should come in the form of a brief letter.
  2. District representatives attend virtual or in-person meeting regarding requirements of renewal process.
  3. District hosts goal setting meeting with its assets, cultural organizations, artists, and stakeholders.
  4. Submit public resolution for designation renewal approved by City Council/Board of Selectmen.
  5. City/Town and third-party managing entity will renew and revise Third-Party Management Agreement (if applicable).
  6. Complete online redesignation application components with supplementary materials.
  7. Mass Cultural Council staff and executive leadership review internally and determine recommendations for designation renewal.
  8. Designation renewal recommendations are presented at the Mass Cultural Council meeting

Questions? Contact Carolyn Cole, Program Officer.

Proceed to the Redesignation Application

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