LT. GOVERNOR BYSIEWICZ, DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT’S CONNECTICUT OFFICE OF THE ARTS DESIGNATE TORRINGTON AS THE STATE’S SECOND “CULTURAL DISTRICT”
(TORRINGTON, CT) – Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz and The Department of Economic and Community Development’s Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) announced today it has approved Torrington’s application to create a Cultural District in town. Torrington is the second municipality to receive such a designation.
Cultural Districts are walkable areas of a city or town that feature numerous cultural facilities, activities and/or assets. These vibrant areas draw visitors from other towns and states and serve as a hub for residents to congregate and interact. Cultural districts:
● Promote and encourage artists, entrepreneurs, and creative businesses
● Promote tourism and increase visitation
● Improve the quality of life for residents
● Strengthen distinctive character of communities
● Drive economic growth and expand the tax base
● Highlight local culture and history
A requirement of the program is the city or town must establish a Cultural District Commission that manages all aspects of the district.
“Establishing Torrington as an official Cultural District allows the city to serve as a modern hub to showcase our state’s artistic talents,” said Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz. “Residents of Torrington and the larger Connecticut community, and beyond, can come gather here in this area to create together, to imagine together and to grow together.”
“Just walking around Torrington, you can see and feel the impact the arts are having throughout this historic downtown area,” said Liz Shapiro, DECD’s Director of Arts, Preservation and Museums. “The cultural district designation will provide a framework for local leaders and residents to collaborate and better capitalize on the amazing and diverse array of attractions in the city.”
Torrington is home to many arts and cultural organizations, including the Warner Theatre, Five Points Center for the Visual Arts, KidsPlay Children’s Museum, and the Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory— to name a few. The Cultural District encompasses both of Torrington’s Historic Districts, all of Downtown (including Coe Park & Fuessenich Park) and extends just beyond Christmas Village and the Hotchkiss Flyer House Museum.
“Achieving this designation demonstrates our commitment to taking our small city from good to great,” said Torrington Mayor Elinor Carbone. “While this designation establishes the walkable boundaries and cultural assets within the same, the greater reward is the collaboration and associations that have been forged while working together to advance our request for this appointment. As City with a Cultural District, we can focus our collective energies and investments to increase an appreciation of everything that Torrington has to offer.
“The Cultural District designation is a great way to celebrate how the community has come together through COVID-19. Now more than ever people are looking to our cultural assets in Torrington with a sense of pride and as places to come together as a community to share stories, learn our history, and heal together,” said Rufus de Rham co-chair of the Cultural District Committee.
Eileen Marriott co-chair of the Cultural District Committee adds, “Through the Cultural District Committee, we will have a sustainable structure in place to promote communication between stakeholders which will dramatically enhance our collective impact. Working together we will improve the quality of life for residents and Torrington’s reputation as a vibrant cultural destination.”
For Immediate Release: Tuesday, April 5, 2022
Contact: Chelsea Neelon