Cultural Districts


A thriving creative sector is one of our Commonwealth’s most powerful economic development assets. In support of this, the Mass Cultural Council’s Cultural Districts Initiative was launched.

Cultural Districts help local arts, humanities, and science organizations improve the quality and range of their public programs so that more local families can benefit from them. They enhance the experience for visitors and thus attract more tourist dollars and tax revenue. And they attract artists, cultural organizations, and entrepreneurs of all kinds – enhancing property values and making communities more attractive.

Salisbury Cultural District

The Salisbury Cultural District (SCD) is home to some of the region’s most venerable cultural, historical, educational, and religious organizations, as well a thriving restaurant, retail, and art community.

With sidewalks, crosswalks, bicycle paths, lighting, ample shade trees, historic buildings, and an attractive natural and built environment, the district is safely and pleasantly walkable. Around every corner Worcester’s vibrant past and visions for its creative future are revealed.

Conveniently reached from Interstates I-190 and I-290, the Salisbury Cultural District is located just north of the city’s Main Street and adjacent to historic Lincoln Square.

Thousands of visitors to the district each year enjoy over 50 centuries of art (including one of the finest arms and armor collections in the nation) at the Worcester Art Museum, the largest collection of books and materials printed through 1876 in the United States at the American Antiquarian Society, the classical sounds of the Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra in beautiful Tuckerman Hall, and a look at life in 18th century Worcester at the Worcester Historical Museum’s restored Salisbury Mansion.

The district also includes the cutting-edge Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI); picturesque Institute Park (with the Levenson Concert Stage and Gazebo) and Salisbury Pond (one of the water sources for the historic Blackstone Canal); six Houses of Worship (including the oldest Armenian congregation in America); 17 restaurants; 6 specialty galleries/gift shops; over 50 adaptively re-used properties; and 10 National Historic Register buildings. Over 1000 community events are hosted annually within the district.

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