Selectmen Support Idea of Medfield Cultural District [Video]

A group of Medfield citizens seeking to establish a Cultural District in town made a presentation to the Board of Selectmen on Oct. 18. Selectmen supported the idea.

The Medfield Board of Selectmen expressed their support for a proposed Cultural District that would include the area of Main Street stretching from Vine Lake Cemetery to the Peak House.

“It’s good for the town, and it’s good for the cultural district. … It’s really a way of making people more aware of what’s here. … I like the idea of bringing everybody together,” said selectman Mark Fisher, after the presentation Tuesday night by a group of concerned resident, who are trying to establish a cultural district as part of the 2010 Massachusetts Cultural Council Initiative.

Fellow selectmen, chairman Osler Peterson and Ann Thompson agreed the designation was a good idea and could increase the number of visitors to the area.

“The goal of the district will be to strengthen the sense of place around Medfield’s cultural assets,” said Bill Pope, director of the Zullo Gallery, as he read from a letter given to selectmen Tuesday night from a group of Medfield citizens who are seeking to establish the district. 

“It’s really, from our perspective, a framework to collaborate programs,” said Jim Whalen, a member of the Library Board of Trustees and also one of the 12 residents to sign the letter.

Pope explained a ‘cultural district’ designation would not impose any restrictions or limitations on the places or businesses within the district, but it could position the town and cultural institutions within the district to receive funding from the state and other sources in the future.

According to the state's Cultural Council, the goal of the designation is to attract artists and cultural enterprises, encourage business and job development, establish the district as a tourist destination, preserve and reuse historic buildings, enhance property values, and to foster local cultural development.

The designation must receive support from Town Meeting before an application can be filed with the state. If approved, the designation would be in effect for five years and “renewed upon successful compliance with annual reporting requirements in prior years and a recommitment by the city or town to continue their cultural district’s work,” according to the state’s website.

For more information on the designation, contact Deborah Kelsey at the at dkelsey@minlib.net or (508) 359-4544. 


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