Arts & Culture

Growing the arts and culture economy to support working artists and increase local community engagement and tourism


The Hilltowns are full of makers and creators – from traditional fabric and quilt art to ever-innovating theater companies.  Creative people are drawn to this area – inspired by the natural beauty around them and by the deep connections of rural life – and we invite you to engage with them in the glorious act of artistic exploration.

The Hilltown CDC is a recipient of a LISC Creative Placemaking grant and is actively engaging the community in enhancing the role of arts and culture as an important tool in community development. Creative communities have proven to be a strong driver of economic growth, quality of life and healthy, connected places to live, work and visit.

Hilltown CDC has been promoting Arts and Culture programming as an economic and small business development tool as well as a community planning approach. We continue to grow our arts and culture economy by supporting as many art groups and initiatives as we can:

Hilltown Open Studio Tour is an annual event that takes place in June.  In 2018, the 27 participating artists considered it a great success with reports of studio visitors ranging from 80 in one studio to 200 in another. We compiled visitor names and contact info collected to put together one shared mailing list. The average sale amount per artist was $800 with some going over $2,000 for the weekend.

• Cummington Cultural District. We completed the application for a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant and secured a pledge of matching funds from the Cummington Select Board.

• Hilltown Arts Alliance opened their fall show in our building featuring the work of 14 artists, including our first outdoor sculpture installation.

If you would like to be part of the Hilltown CDC’s creative placemaking work please contact Kate Bavelock at