A note from The GTCD Planning Group:
In October, Sandwich’s Glass Town Cultural District (GTCD) was designated through a vote of the Massachusetts Cultural Council. We join 13 other districts state wide in this exciting new program designed to build economic development through recognition, preservation, and expansion of the creative economy. Sandwich Glass Town Cultural District is only the second one on Cape Cod. A town can have more than one cultural district.
Through the application process the working group identified a portion of the village area as the footprint for Sandwich’s first Cultural District. A Cultural District is designed to be an area that can be explored on foot. Needless to say our quaint village fits the bill perfectly.
Map of Glass Town Cultural District
Sandwich’s Glass Town Cultural District focuses on the village center of Sandwich, with the Sandwich Glass Museum serving as the focal point – a lens to tell the story of Glass Town. Whether they’re photographing the picturesque Shawme Pond, watching live glass-blowing, or learning about our nation’s colonial history, visitors may easily spend a week here and still have sites to enjoy.
Recent restoration work on the historic Town Hall has reopened the upstairs theater space. The Dexter Grist Mill & Hoxie House was recently restored to capture what life was like in the 1600s. The Sandwich Public Library houses the town’s historic archives and offers cultural programming for various age groups. Historic inns, private residences, four architecturally significant church buildings, restaurants and shops are located in the district.
Outdoor Juried artisan shows, an antique market, and an annual Street Fair with a Best Sandwich in Sandwich Competition take place yearly. Plans are in place for a First Night Sandwich celebration. There are two art galleries and a small community of working artists and a great response to the recent revival of community theater productions.
The focus on “Glass Town” connects the town’s history with its present, and weaves together both art and industry; this is not your “typical Cape town” – there is something different here, rooted in history but continuing in the present day; a heritage connecting artisanship and innovation; a sense of place that celebrates the beauty of a natural setting while calling attention to the ways it has been shaped by the hands of people.
For more information about what a Cultural District in Mass is all about, visit www.massculturalcouncil.org. To look at Sandwich’s application which includes visions and goals for the GTCD visit sandwichmass.org.