Harwich Hosts Cultural Compact Signing Ceremony With Top State Official

Mass. Cultural Council Executive Director Anita Walker signs the Cultural Compact at Monday’s Harwich selectmen’s meeting

HARWICH – The Town of Harwich, the Harwich Cultural Council, the Harwich Chamber of Commerce, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council announced a new and formal cultural relationship Monday night.

The four partners, while continuing to offer cultural activities and grant opportunities, signed a Cultural Compact, designed by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, to increase collaboration, partnership, and initiatives that support cultural and economic development in Harwich.

“We’ve discovered that a lot of communities don’t even know all of the resources that are available to them,” said Anita Walker, Executive Director of the Mass Cultural Council.

“So our compact communities are going to be right in the middle of the action and we’re going to be able to look at the needs of the community and really match up the resources,” she said.

The Compact includes regular meetings and ongoing communication, as well as Harwich-specific goals like consulting support for the Harwich Cultural Center, guidance on the proposed artisan shacks at Saquatucket Harbor, direction on the process for obtaining two Cultural District designations, and the possible creation of educational opportunities for environmental cleanup.

Harwich Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Cyndi Williams said the partnership would be great for business and cultural development in town.

“It’s going to be another great resource for us to promote the town through the Cultural Council,” she said.

Williams is hoping to intially create two cultural district in town, one in Harwich Center and one in Harwich Port. Eventually she’d like to expand even beyond that.

“There is just so much culture in Harwich between the arts, the Wednesday nights we do in Harwich Port, which this year there are nine on Wednesday nights,” Williams said.

Harwich is one of only six pilot municipalities chosen for this compact initiative in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the only town in the pilot program.

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