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Formal Recognition for Clinton’s Growing Arts District

Published March 12, 2019

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Recognizing the town’s many artistic endeavors, the town has established an Arts District. The district will span west from the Liberty Green Historic District to North High Street, as well to Hull Street and the Unilever Factory to the north.

This area was chosen due to the density of artistic assets in the location. The establishment of the Arts District is intended to encourage collaboration between the different arts groups, as well as potentially attract more visitors—and their money—to town. The resolution passed unanimously at the Board of Selectman (BOS) meeting on March 6.

“The Arts District showcases Clinton’s large and growing arts community—not just the art galleries, but performing arts as well, ranging from The George Flynn Concerts and Opera [Theater of Connecticut] to live music venues such as Scottish Dave’s, music lessons, [and] excellent stage productions from great troupes like Kidz Konnection and others,” said Economic Development Commission Chairman John Allen.

Allen said that some residents now may not know the variety of arts offered in town, but expressed hope that establishing the district will raise awareness.

“It’s a great step. Clinton is beginning to finally get ‘unstuck’ and the Arts District is another proof,” Allen said.

The creation of an arts district is a move that some in the town have been discussing for months.

Sustainability Committee Chairman Paul Gebauer said that the group is “happy to get the ball rolling on this.”

Sadie Colcord, a member of the Connecticut Economic Resource Center who was present at the BOS meeting, said, “From my personal experience with other towns, I think this is a good idea.”

Colcord said the move makes the town become a destination for those in the arts community.

Besides to the founding of the district, the BOS also announced that the board would be forming an arts council to help support the district with aspects such as programming for long term sustainability and economic vitality.

By forming an arts district, the town was able to accomplish another action item on the Sustainable CT municipal certification program in which the town’s Sustainability Committee has been participating since April 2018. Sustainable CT is a voluntary certification program that provides environmental best practices and grant opportunities to help communities promote economic well-being and enhance equity. Participating towns select which initiatives they would like to pursue.

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