Roxbury Cultural District: A Community-Driven Economic Cultural Collaboration


Roxbury is rich in arts and cultural assets--places, artistic expression, and objects that bridge the neighborhood’s past and its future. However, many of these assets remain underutilized by residents and relatively unknown to those beyond the neighborhood, limiting the potential economic opportunities (for residents, artists, business owners, entrepreneurs) that are aligned with a more vibrant cultural district. In 2015, TACC partnered with Haley House and Madison Park Development Corporation to restart a long-standing community conversation around establishing a cultural district to serve as the backbone organizational structure needed for a sustained, collaborative focus on activating and marketing Roxbury’s arts and cultural assets.

TACC provided technical assistance to this partnership and secured funding to support a community-led planning process; the Roxbury Cultural District is now supported by over 40 organizations and received formal designation from the Massachusetts Cultural Council in May 2017. The initiative and aligned funding for key infrastructure investments to strengthen anchor cultural institutions and connectivity were integrated into the Whittier Choice Neighborhoods Initiative.

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