LT. GOVERNOR BYSIEWICZ, DECD DESIGNATE WETHERSFIELD AS THE STATE’S FOURTH “CULTURAL DISTRICT”
(WETHERSFIELD, CT) – Today, Lt. Governor Bysiewicz and the Department of Economic and Community Development’s Connecticut Office of the Arts (COA) announced it has approved Wethersfield’s application to create a Cultural District in town. Wethersfield is the fourth 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.
“With over 375 years of history, this Wethersfield’s historic village, a living New England village, is home to artifact-rich museums, historic homes, shops and places of interest for all ages,” said Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz. “Residents of Wethersfield and the larger Connecticut community and beyond, can come gather here in this new cultural district to create together, to discover together and to grow together.”
“The Cultural District Program underscores the importance of collaboration in municipal planning to fully capitalize on the wide-ranging impacts of the creative economy. Bringing together arts organizations, artists, creative entrepreneurs, museums, restaurants, hotels and other stakeholders is critical to building a vibrancy that positively impacts residents and visitors alike,” said Liz Shapiro, DECD’s Director of Arts, Preservation and Museums. “Wethersfield is a shining example of a town with deep historic roots where visitors can step back 300 years in one breath and enjoy a latte, scone or ice cream sundae in the next.”
The Wethersfield Cultural District encompasses the historic village portion of the town. The area is home to Webb Deane Stevens Museum, Wethersfield Historical Society, Wethersfield Academy for the Arts along with many locally owned restaurants and shops.
Cultural District partners host concerts, lecture series, walking tours and community events such as the upcoming outdoor performances of Macbeth or PorchFest. Visitors can learn more at HistoricWethersfield.org.
“The designation of a cultural district for Wethersfield is the result of long-standing partnerships and collaborations designed to boost tourism, increase the amenities and cultural opportunities for visitors and residents,” said Christine Traczyk, Chair of the Wethersfield Heritage Commission.
"I am very appreciative of the state's designation that Wethersfield's historic village is a cultural district. I thank the many volunteers and the state's DECD who worked countless hours on this special recognition. We have known all along that Old Wethersfield has some great qualities, like our historic homes, great restaurants, shops and museums. With this recognition, we can reach out to so many more in Connecticut and beyond," added Wethersfield Mayor Mike Rell.
For Immediate Release: Wednesday, July 27th, 2022
Contact: Chelsea Neelon