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 firstname.lastname@example.org
• Leverage our Rural LISC grant by planning and pursuing other state, federal and local grants as well as community fundraising for arts and culture initiatives.
• Increase sales of art by increased venues such as promoting festivals, exhibits, markets and online visibility.
• Use arts and culture to do community planning, bringing in diverse constituencies and focusing on economic vibrancy of the arts, serving the needs of seniors and young families.
• Include small businesses in the Cultural District planning, including issues around signage, parking, sidewalks, and coordination of events and marketing
• Include small, locally owned businesses in festivals and markets in partnership with the Jacobs Ladder Business Association.
• Offer discounts to artists and free pages for the Hilltown Arts Alliance and the Hilltown Artisans Guild in the Hilltown Business Directory.