Cultural Districts

What is a Cultural District?
A Cultural District is a specific area of a city or town identified by the municipality that has a number of cultural facilities, activities and/or assets – both for profit and nonprofit.

It is a walkable, compact area that is easy for visitors to recognize. It is a center of cultural activities – artistic and economic.
It is a place in your city/town where community members congregate, and visitors may enjoy. Because each community is unique, each Cultural District will look different.

Connecticut DECD’s Office of the Arts and Office of Tourism as well as Designated Regional Service Organizations (DRSOs) support the formation, development, and establishment of cultural districts.

Where can I find a General Overview, Standards & Criteria, and other Resources?
CT Cultural Districts (DECD/Office of the Arts)

Determining Municipal Readiness
Cities and towns should assess their readiness to establish a Cultural District.

  • Assess the inventory and location of the cultural assets in the municipality.
  • Confirm if your city or town is eligible by reviewing the Standards & Criteria.
  • Submit a letter of intent to consider establishing a Cultural District to your DRSO/the Cultural Coalition for Eastern CT towns/cities.

If you have questions, please contact your Designated Regional Service Organization (DRSO).
For Eastern CT, contact Deb Mathiasen at or (860) 460-5236.


State-Designated Cultural Districts in Eastern CT:

City of New London – New London approves formation of cultural district (4/5/21-The Day)

Town of StoningtonState approves two cultural districts in Stonington (5/17/24-The Day)

The Formation of Municipal Cultural District(s) is being explored in:

City of Norwich
Town of Mansfield
City of Groton
Town of Killingly