Cultural districts are areas designated or certified by state or local governments that utilize cultural resources to encourage tourism, economic development, and synergism between the arts and other businesses.

“State and municipal arts agencies increasingly are taking a leadership role in establishing policies to cultivate place-based economic development and community revitalization through arts and culture. Cultural districts offer one mechanism to attain these goals by unifying multiple businesses, organizations and the community in areas with potentially significant cultural resources.”


National Assembly of State Arts Agencies

Americans for the Arts ( estimates there are approximately 500 cultural districts in the U.S., an increase from about 90 in 1998.

A concept that initially developed in the United States, the development of cultural districts is expanding globally. The Art Newspaper estimates that $250 billion will be spent on the creation of cultural districts over the next decade.

With project spending of $100 million, the Downtown Brooklyn Cultural District is the largest district under development in the U.S.

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