What is a Cultural District?

A Cultural District is a specific area of a city or town identified by the municipality that has a number of cultural facilities, activities and/or assetsboth for profit and nonprofit. It is a walkable, compact area that is easy for visitors to recognize. It is a center of cultural activities artistic and economic. It is a place in your city/town where community members congregate, and visitors may enjoy those places that make a community special. Because each community is unique, each Cultural District will look different.

Where can I find the Connecticut legislation that enables Cultural Districts?

An Act Concerning the Establishment of Municipal Cultural Districts (effective October 2019)

Reasons to Establish a Cultural District 

  • Market arts and culture attractions to visitors
  • Promote and encourage artists, entrepreneurs and creative businesses
  • Promote tourism and increase visitation
  • Improve the quality of lifefor residents
  • Strengthen distinctive character of communities
  • Create a plan to drive economic growth and expand tax base
  • Support Sustainable CT certification https://sustainablect.org/actions-certifications
  • Contribute to Connecticut’s cultural assets
  • Highlight culture and history of your community

Determining Municipal Readiness

Cities and towns should assess their readiness to establish a Cultural District.

  1. Assess the inventory and location of cultural assets in the municipality.
  2. Confirm if your city or town is eligible by reviewing the Standards & Criteria.
  3. Submit a letter of intent to establish a Cultural District to your Designated Regional Service Organization (DRSO).

Review the following pages to learn more about the program.

Standards and Criteria

Cultural District Commission

To Qualify for State's Investment of Resources

Additional Resources