Cultural Districts Overview

Read time: 6 minutes

Why should we have a cultural district?

Connecticut can help cities and towns nurture the arts and economic development through the Cultural District Program. Each district is an area a municipality identifies because it contains several nonprofit and for-profit cultural facilities, activities, and/or assets.

Cultural districts are walkable, compact areas that are easy for visitors to recognize. They are centers of artistic and economic cultural activities. They are special places where community members congregate. And because each community is unique, each cultural district looks different.

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 visits
  • Improve residents’ quality of life
  • Strengthen the distinctive character of communities
  • Create a plan to drive economic growth and expand the tax base
  • Solicit and attract investment, grants, donations, and other funds
  • Support Sustainable CT certification
  • Contribute to Connecticut’s cultural assets
  • Highlight your community’s culture and history
Assess Your Readiness

  1. Identify the inventory and location of cultural assets in your municipality.
  2. Determine whether your city or town meets the standards and criteria.
  3. Submit a letter of intent to establish a cultural district to your Designated Regional Service Organization (DRSO).

Read the law that created this program: An Act Concerning the Establishment of Municipal Cultural Districts.


Be sure to review the Cultural Districts Program and Guidelines:

  • Standards and Criteria
  • How to Apply
  • Evaluation Process
  • Resources
  • Contact

Cultural Districts