“Open Every Door”

A concentration of facilities, activities and assets in walking distance downtown that offer a center of cultural, artistic and economic activity.

The Amherst Center Cultural District exists in downtown Amherst in the civic and cultural core of the community. In appearance, it is the quintessential New England town center with striking commons and parks and distinctive architecture. Its population changes seasonally with infusions of multicultural students from the State’s flagship campus and two private colleges. The more permanent population is a largely progressive, diverse community that actively engages in artistic and cultural institutions, systems and support. The discourse, debate and examination is the Center’s quintessence as Tory and Rebel, Transcendentalist and Fundamentalist, Poet and Farmer have lived and done business, “side-by-each” since it’s founding.

The Center’s focal points are the town commons, actually two commons. The North Common continues to be a space for community engagement, including protest and activism, political action campaigns, and celebratory events like the December lighting of the Merry Maple. Between the commons is Spring Street, used for the seasonal weekly Farmers’ Market. The South Common is the sprawling greenway and is the first glimpse from Route 9. Multiple festivals and fund-raising events for organizations and nonprofits.are held here. The cultural center is bounded to the east and north by Sweetser Park and Kendrick Park where concerts, gatherings, and events are held. North Pleasant Street is closed annually for one afternoon and evening in September for The BID’s Block Party that celebrates the culture of downtown Amherst with music, performance and food.

The official seal of Amherst: the book and the plough is made manifest in the spirit of the district. The Farmers’ Market is one of the region’s best attended. Food establishments promote the use of local, farm fresh ingredients. The book in the town seal references the area colleges, but it also represents that strong literary presence manifest in the Poetry Festival, programming at the Emily Dickinson Museum and Jones Library, book discussions and readings at the two independent bookstores and author appearances at special programming and films at The Amherst Cinema. The arts in the center are represented by several galleries and an evolving and inclusive monthly Art Walk now rebranded as Arts Night Plus that includes businesses, churches and nonprofits.

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and Instagram: @amherstculturaldistrict

Take the Amherst Cultural District Community Input Survey

Amherst Media Video from our Winter 2017 Celebration of the Arts in Amherst

View the Artists of Amherst slide show

View the Cultural District Partners Winter 2017 Event slide show

Information on the Amherst Cultural Council

Downtown Amherst is

music Art Spoken Word DancePoetryFilmCollaborationCommunity

Approved Minutes from Steering Committee Meetings:

Minutes from 10/4

Minutes from 10/14

Minutes from 12/20

Minutes from 2/21

Minutes from 4/18

Minutes from 5/16

Minutes from 6/30

Minutes from 7/18

Minutes from 8/15

Minutes from 9/19

Minutes from 10/24

Minutes from 11/21

Minutes from 12/19

Sarah la Cour – President
Eric Broudy – Vice President
Jane Wald – Treasurer & Secretary

Our Steering Committee includes representatives from:
Amherst BID
Amherst Art Walk/Arts Night Plus
Amherst Cinema

Amherst Cultural Council
Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce
Amherst Historical Society
The Emily Dickinson Museum
Jones Library
Amherst Public Art Commission
Mead Art Museum, Amherst College
External Affairs, University of Massachusetts
Economic Development Officer,
Town of Amherst