LYNN – It’s official, the power of arts and culture has been unleashed in the city.
Thursday, Lynn became one of only six communities in the state to sign a Cultural Compact with the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The Cultural Compact is a commitment among municipal leaders, local Cultural Councils and Cultural Districts to make culture a transformative force in their city.
Communities do not apply for program; the MCC selects cities that offer a strong possibility for success.
A signing ceremony was held a few steps from Lynn Auditorium in City Hall, the site of many concerts, entertainment events, and film screenings that has helped to boost Lynn’s profile. City Hall is also part of the city’s newly expanded cultural district.
Cultural districts are state-designated areas that foster artists, cultural organizations and entrepreneurs to improve the quality of life, attract visitors and stimulate local economic activity.
Signing the compact were MCC executive director Anita Walker, Mayor Thomas M. McGee, Carolyn Cole, director of the Downtown Lynn Cultural District, and Aaron Liber, chair of the Lynn Cultural Council. Drew Russo, executive director of Lynn Museum/LynnArts, also talked about Lynn’s commitment to arts, culture and history as an economic stimulus. The art of Annette Sykes was on display, Julio Bare played guitar, and cupcakes were provided by B Sweets Cakes and Desserts, a new Munroe Street business.
Walker said her visits to Lynn always leave her energized. “The last meeting we had here, I had no coffee that morning. But after spending time with the mayor and Lynn’s cultural advocates I felt like I’d had 10 cups of coffee. Their enthusiasm is contagious.”
Walker joked that the MCC sometimes “has to break into City Hall” to promote its programs. “But there’s no need to in Lynn. We came to Lynn and the door was wide open. Every time we come to Lynn and discuss ideas, the answer is ‘Yes. Let’s do it.'”
Springfield, Pittsfield, Harwich, New Bedford, and Worcester were also selected by the MCC for the Cultural Compact.