The Amherst Center Cultural District (ACCD) has been renewed for 5 more years by the governing Board of the Mass Cultural Council. The Council voted unanimously last week to redesignate Amherst and eight other cultural districts, extending their participation in the Massachusetts Cultural District Initiative.
The Amherst Center Cultural District has members representing the town center’s cultural entities such as the Emily Dickinson Museum, the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College, the Jones Library, the Amherst Cinema as well as town committees such as the Public Art Commission, and Amherst Cultural Council. The Amherst Business Improvement District (BID) manages the ACCD.
For the past 5 years, the Amherst Center Cultural District has used the funds to help promote, connect and engage artists, create a district-wide map, and hold Celebration of the Arts events. In the past 2 years, annual funds were used to get money directly to artists during the pandemic. In 2020, the ACCD held a COVID-19 Artist Contest, open to musicians, poets, dancers, storytellers and multi-dimensional artists with submissions reflecting the impact of the pandemic.
This past summer, funds were used for the Windows Into Art display throughout town and the live Celebration of the Arts on the town common with artists and artisans displaying their work and performers on stage representing performative winners of the COVID-19 Artist Contest.
Funds also went to the Public Art Commission directed installation of Amherst-resident Benjamin Cowden’s Interstitial Zigzags at the new Portal Gallery at Boltwood Plaza. The public is welcome to attend this opening reception at the Portal Gallery, to be held on September 10th from 6 – 7 pm.
Ann Tweedy, Chair of the ACCD Board and Marketing & Events Director at the Amherst BID, says “We’re thrilled with the extension and can’t wait to continue to explore new ways to collaborate and help promote the arts and artists in our area in order to highlight and cultivate a dynamic cultural environment in the town center.”
The Town of Amherst is pleased to continue their support of the Amherst Center Cultural District, with Town Planner Maureen Pollock adding, "the cultural district celebrates our community, provides economic opportunities, and offer residents and visitors the chance to visit, learn, support, and partake in cultural activities that make our downtown area vibrant and special.”
To learn more, please visit: www.amherstcenterculturaldistrict.org