Enjoy Arts and Culture in Orleans!
We received our re-designation as an official Cultural District of the Commonwealth in 2018 for another five years
With our marine heritage and 57 miles of coastline at the top of the elbow of Cape Cod in eastern Massachusetts, Orleans has a year-round population of just over 5800. Orleans is one of just 43 Massachusetts communities to be officially designated a cultural district by the Massachusetts Cultural Council (out of a total of 312 towns and 39 cities in the Commonwealth). Aimed at strengthening a sense of place while stimulating economic activity, improving the experiences of visitors, and creating a higher quality of life, by definition a cultural district is a walkable part of town with a high density of arts and cultural opportunities.
The Orleans Cultural District, first designated in 2013 and re-designated in 2018, is a cadre of volunteers championing the arts! The visionary cultural district initiators garnered support from local groups, identified a walkable district in the Village Center, officiated both a public hearing and town resolution, and created a third party committed to administer the district, essential factors in seeking designation. With many cultural activities happening routinely outside the Village Center proper we have embraced the town of Orleans and are pleased that now our whole community is included in the Orleans Cultural District! The Board of Selectmen in Orleans approved making our district committee an official committee of the Town, and as such we operate according to town committee guidelines.
During the Spring of 2019 we are administering a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council to further enhance our visual identity; we seek donations from citizens and other supporters to augment our resources to promote the arts and culture in this community. To donate, contact George Meservey, Town Planner, at the Town’s Office of Planning and Community Development at Town Hall. Thank you!
In Orleans, several fine art galleries adorn the paths of the Village Center and more still are located elsewhere about the town, including at the Craine Room in the Town's Snow Library.
Scroll to the map below a listing of galleries located in the district.
From theatrical plays to musical performances to literary discussions, you can find a range of town and privately sponsored activities that will expand your world view and enrich your life. The Snow Library, the Academy Playhouse, and the Elements Theater are great places to explore.
If you are interested in the rich history of our maritime community, the Orleans Historical Society is among the resources available for you to explore, along with other resources such as the French Cable Museum. The Orleans Conservation Trust preserves land and waterways to ensure our heritage remains.
Mission of the Orleans Cultural District
The Orleans Cultural District promotes fine arts and culture and fosters the endeavors of artists and arts supporters through enhanced opportunity and innovative collaboration, embracing an environment supportive to the creative economy.