Jamaica Plain's Latin Quarter has some big news this week! First, it is being designated an official Massachusetts Cultural District. Second, a $100,000 federal grant was awarded to Boston, which will be used to produce a cultural district plan that will include artists in residence who will work with area youth and the community to create cultural vibrancy projects.
More than a year ago the Hyde Square Task Force (HSTF) began trying to obtain the cultural district designation from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and on Thursday the HSTF will hold a press conference in front of the Blessed Sacrament Church on Centre Street to announce the grant and the new cultural district.
Two years ago the city designated the Hyde and Jackson Squares neighborhood as Boston's Latin Quarter, and now it will be known as the Latin Quarter Cultural District, becoming Boston's fourth cultural district.
“The creation of the Latin Quarter Cultural District is a significant step toward accomplishing several goals of the Boston Creates cultural plan, including to create fertile ground for a vibrant and sustainable arts and culture ecosystem,” said Julie Burros, Boston's Chief of Arts and Culture via press release. “I am eager to see Boston’s Latino community be celebrated and supported for years to come as a result of this cultural district.”
HSTF will work with the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission to create a cultural district plan. The grant will also be used to create and implement a Latin Quarter marketing plan and establish the Latin Quarter Advisory Council and fund artists in residence, said Ken Tangvik, director of organizing and engagement for HSTF, to Jamaica Plain News.
The Hyde and Jackson Squares neighborhood has a rich history of Latino immigrants from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Central and South America and more. The Latin Quarter has more than 125 businesses with the majority of them Latino owned.
"We are thrilled to partner with the city of Boston, the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission and local Afro-Latin artists to bring vibrancy to Boston's Latin Quarter and to create a long range plan for this cultural district," said Celina Miranda, executive director of the Hyde Square Task Force, via press release.
The grant is one of 60 awards totaling $4.1 million supporting projects across the nation through the Our Town Program of the National Endowment of the Arts.