To Qualify for State's Investment of Resources

The Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), including the Office of the Arts (COA) and the Office of Tourism, and the Designated Regional Service Organizations (DRSO) are committed to supporting the formation, development and establishment of Cultural Districts. All of the above agencies can provide additional in-kind marketing, promotion and resources for established Cultural Districts.

Types of investment in Cultural Districts:

  • Promotion of Cultural District by CT Office of Tourism and recognition on State’s tourism website,
  • Promotion of Cultural Districts by CT Office of the Arts
  • Promotion of Cultural Districts by local Designated Regional Service Organization


To apply to become a state-recognized Cultural District, established Cultural Districts must electronically submit the following documents to your DRSO that will submit your application for review by DECD:

  • Letter of endorsement from Chief Elected Official
  • Copy of Resolution from the City Council/Board of Selectmen (see sample resolution)
  • List of Cultural District Commissioners and their relevant role/category as per representation guidelines
  • Master Map: Please provide a map of the Cultural District
  • List of cultural assets, including cultural events held at locations within the proposed Cultural District
  • List of available municipal resources that would support and/or benefit Cultural District (ex. tax credit, incentives, etc.)
  • Official legal documents on zoning overlaps or ordinances relevant to the Cultural District, such as existing Arts or Historic District (if applicable)
  • Marketing materials, if relevant to the Cultural District

The CT Office of the Arts collects information about all its applicants. In addition to the above documents, the Office of the Arts requests that you provide the following materials. These materials will be used to develop information about Designated Cultural Districts applicants for reports purposes.Your responses will not be a factor in the review of your application.

Provide the information below if available:

  • Supporting Section/Reference in municipal Plan of Conservation and Development
  • Existing complete cultural resources inventory/map, if available
  • Maps of any relevant existing districts, such as an Arts District and/or Historic District
  • K-12 Arts Curriculum Education information –Number of art/s teachers in the middle and high schools? Does the district have an Arts Curriculum coordinator, or a teacher that has time dedicated to fill that role?
  • List of all relevant town committees and commissions that will interface with the Cultural District Commission due to the nature of their responsibilities, ex. Arts Commission, Historic District Commission, and/or Architectural Advisory Committee. Include list of members, commission budget, their qualifications, and if commissioners receive any training.

    Contact your DRSO for questions and assi
    stance with your application.


The site visit has three parts:

  1. A meeting with the chief elected official and/or designee and/or other relevant municipal employees
  2. A walking tour of the proposed Cultural District
  3. A meeting with the Cultural District Commission/Committee members and appropriate stakeholders to hear about the goals, objectives and plans for the Cultural District

Notice of the outcome of the review to the city or town will be sent via email. Final decisions are made by DECD’s CT Office of the Arts.