Welcome to the
Nantucket Cultural District
Maria Mitchell Aquarium
Part of a series of educational and historical facilities of the Maria Mitchell Association, the Maria Mitchell Aquarium sits on the edge of the Cultural District welcoming everyone to explore the possibilities of our surrounding ocean.
Welcome to the Nantucket Cultural District, a walkable geographic area in the heart of downtown Nantucket filled with arts, history, and culture. Discover our cultural institutions and businesses located within the district and check out our schedule for live performances, concerts, lectures, exhibits, and other exciting events throughout the year.
Encompassing our district partners and our cultural partners who are part of our greater network, we believe in the synergy of arts and business working together. Come visit us and experience this unique collaboration in our charming Nantucket Cultural District.
Visit the District
Check out the District Calendar and our Newsletter above to see what is happening in the district. Below is the Nantucket Cultural District map including the district's highlighted organizations.
Whaling MuseumThe Nantucket Whaling Museum is a museum located in Nantucket, Massachusetts, dedicated to the history of whaling. It is run by the Nantucket Historical Association. Wikipedia
13 Broad St, Nantucket, MA 02554
Nantucket Atheneum LibraryAddress
1 India St, Nantucket, MA 02554
Nantucket Culinary CenterAddress
22 Federal St, Nantucket, MA 02554
Maria Mitchell AquariumThe Maria Mitchell Association Aquarium, also known as the Nantucket Aquarium, is a small, local, seasonal aquarium in Nantucket, Massachusetts. It serves as the island's only marine science center and resource.
28 Washington St, Nantucket, MA 02554
Visit and enjoy our cultural partners and businesses with their 11 categories: Accommodations, Art Galleries, Banks, Boating, Cultural Institutions, Food Vendors, Parks, Recreation, Restaurants, Shops, and Social Organizations. For ferry schedules, accommodations, accessibility information, and other visitor information, visit the Department of Culture and Tourism website.
Keep exploring! Visit and enjoy our cultural partners outside the Nantucket Cultural District by following the links below.
Shipwreck & Lifesaving MuseumAddress
158 Polpis Road, Nantucket, MA 02554
Memorial Day Weekend - Columbus Day
Maria Mitchell AssociationThe Maria Mitchell Association is a private non-profit organization on the island of Nantucket off the coast of Massachusetts.
89 Nantucket Ave, Nantucket, MA 02554
Nantucket Historic Assoc.The mailing address for the NHA is:
Nantucket Historical Association
P.O. Box 1016
Nantucket, Mass. 02554
When addressing correspondence to the NHA, please include the name of the person or department the mail is directed toward.
General Information - NHA Administrative Offices
15 Broad Street
(508) 228 1894 x4
(508) 228 1894 x7
Lightship Basket MuseumThe Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum is a small seasonal museum and gift shop located in Nantucket, Massachusetts, dedicated to the history and preservation of Nantucket Lightship Baskets.
49 Union St, Nantucket, MA 02554
What is a Cultural District?
A thriving creative sector is usually among a community’s most powerful economic development assets and one that contributes greatly to the overall well being of residents and visitors alike. 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 tourists and tax revenue. And they attract artists, cultural organizations, and entrepreneurs of all kinds, which often enhances property values and makes communities more attractive.
The Nantucket Arts Council represents the Nantucket Cultural District (NCD) and holds the contract with the Town of Nantucket to fulfill those responsibilities including maintaining the NCD website, hosting events, and managing communications.
Nantucket Cultural District
Here on Nantucket, our process began and continues as an initiative through a combination of Town of Nantucket, our island’s arts and cultural organizations, and leaders from the downtown business community.
Whether you love nature, history, or the arts, Nantucket offers each in abundance. Encompassing the island's downtown core, the Nantucket Cultural District embraces the heart of the island’s wealth of arts and culture. Visitors especially like going back in time on Nantucket, with its cobblestone streets, historic public buildings, well-preserved homes, and hidden pathways. Strolling around the 28 blocks of Nantucket Cultural District, visitors encounter hundreds of houses and landmarks on the National Register of Historic Places and landmarks that are part of the National Historic Landmark district, sites that chronicle our nation’s past in this present day setting. A busy waterfront, which abuts the district, welcomes visitors daily via public boat transportation and is home to a world-class marina and scenic harbor, where international sailing and power vessels lay anchor alongside sport fishing boats and traditional scallopers. A short walk away takes strollers to stunning public beaches. Little wonder that many movies and books have made the island central to their stories.
Nantucket Island is in its early stages of the development of a Cultural District with the inclusion of the designation of the area, potential collaborators/partnerships, sanction through the Town of Nantucket’s Board of Selectmen and the ultimate approval by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. During this process, a marketing strategy and plan is being developed to include three stages of short term, midterm and long range implementation plans. The following is a condensed version of these three strategies and their execution.
To underscore the importance of arts and culture to our health and happiness and to local businesses while improving the enjoyment of arts and culture locally for residents and visitors alike.
Increase visitor and resident participation in cultural activities through programming, education and community engagement.
Establish and expand collaborations among businesses and cultural institutions.
Boost economic benefits for our cultural institutions and local businesses year round.
Provide an inclusive experience of cultural and historic Nantucket.
Learn more about the island at the Nantucket's Official Website.
Massachusetts Cultural Council
In recognition of the importance of arts and culture, an act of the Massachusetts state legislature in 2010 created a process to designate local “cultural districts” throughout our commonwealth. With applications initiated by local communities, these areas are reviewed and determined under guidelines of the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Among the current 32 designated Cultural Districts in Massachusetts are the Village Cultural District and HyArts Cultural District in Barnstable; Beverly Arts District; Rocky Neck Cultural District in Gloucester; Newburyport Cultural District; Glass Town Cultural District in Sandwich; Vineyard Haven Harbor Cultural District and others including several in Boston. Many other Massachusetts towns have launched applications for the designation.
Nantucket Arts Council
Town of Nantucket Department of Culture and Tourism
Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce