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Cultural Districts

The cultural districts help local arts, humanities, and science organizations.

The districts improve the quality and amount of public programs offered by these groups. The goal is to have more local families enjoy these programs.

State-designated cultural districts in Boston

What They Are

Cultural districts are popular areas of a city where there are a lot of cultural facilities and programs. They help strengthen local economies and add to local culture.


The Mass Cultural Council designates cultural districts. Areas must apply for designation. The council accepts applications on a rolling basis. There are now four cultural districts in Boston.

Why They Exist

The state legislature authorized the Cultural Districts initiative in 2010. This act was enacted in 2011. The main goals are to: 

  • attract artists and cultural enterprise
  • encourage business and job development
  • establish the district as a tourist destination
  • preserve and reuse historic buildings
  • enhance property values, and
  • foster local cultural development.
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