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Committee for the Arts

About the Gloucester Committee for the Arts (CFTA)

Made up of citizen volunteers appointed by the Mayor and City Council, the Committee for the Arts (CFTA) was established by City ordinance in 2000 to promote and celebrate Gloucester’s cultural heritage and to foster an appreciation of arts and artists in the local community. The Committee works to preserve and increase awareness of Gloucester’s WPA-era murals and other city-owned art. Additionally, the Committee develops and promotes educational programs and establishes awards and honors to recognize local artists. The committee works with other city departments to shape and implement a city-wide public art policy. The Committee advises City officials on the value of a diverse, cultural life as well as encourages art programs within public schools.  

2014 News Flash: Sept 26 27 28 Gloucester to Honor its Own Monuments Man: Sculptor Walker Hancock  

During the weekend of September 26-28, the City of Gloucester will celebrate the life and work of Sculptor Walker Hancock. The celebration, sponsored by the Gloucester Committee for the Arts, will feature events in several venues, including The Cape Ann Museum, The Cape Ann Community Cinema, and Gloucester City Hall. Other partners include Essex National Heritage Area and Cape Ann TV.
Download as word doc to read later

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Public Art: City Hall WPA-era Murals

Year round, when City Hall is open, make time to see Gloucester's beautifully painted and detailed WPA-era murals. We are fortunate to have such holdings and we are committed to preserving this part of Gloucester's history. The CFTA is grateful that Mayor Carolyn A. Kirk and the City of Gloucester continue to invest in our City’s arts and culture. Some of the murals were recently restored. Before any restoration work could begin the CFTA secured strategic funding over a period of several years via grants and with the generosity of individuals and foundations including:  the Belinda Foundation at the Boston Foundation, seARTS/Massachusetts Cultural Council, the City of Gloucester CPA funding, and the Bruce J. Anderson Foundation. Thank you for this support!

Public Art: HarborWalk Public Art Challenge

Justin Desilva Gloucester MA August 2014.jpg
From August into the fall of 2014, walk upon artist Justin Desilva's temporary art installation: With Every Street There's a Story, 2013-14, 20 unique, mixed-media murals utilizing downtown Gloucester's pedestrian crosswalks as its canvas.  Justin's crosswalks are one of three new works of art commissioned by the CFTA on behalf of the City of Gloucester for the 2013 HarborWalk Public Art Challenge, with funding from the Seaport Advisory Council, Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Click for Google map for Justin Desilva crosswalk locations
Desilva's project was inspired by Gloucester, the HarborWalk story moments, triangulation, scale and color. His grandfather was born in Graciosa, Island of Azores, Portugal; when he moved to the US he worked at a plastic injection mold company. An uncle was a fisherman. Justin's art is inspired by Jane Jacobs and her book the Death and Life of Great American Cities: “ I was moved by her attention to detail of human interaction, and the idea that neighborhoods and cities are safest when they're walkable.” He resides and works north of Boston. 

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Experience FISH NET, an award winning, site-specific temporary work of art by James Owen Calderwood, one of three artists for the "2013 HarborWalk Public Art Challenge".
These awards reflect discussions, community development, planning and prescient determination to remember and work towards incorporating the creative arts broadly alongside other city efforts. For information about the HarborWalk, visit http://www.ghwalk.org.  Calderwood's nearly 300' mural covers Parsons Street (between Main Street and Rogers) and is open daily, self guided. "Leaping" photograph © Cruz Ferraras. Send us your photos! 

Update: Calderwood expanded the mural along two edges and touched up the paint in the summer of 2014.
The historic estate of Edith Wharton, the Mount
, in Lenox, MA, is hosting  
the 2014 SculptureNow exhibition of large outdoor sculpture which continues through the fall. Calderwood’s welded aluminum sculpture Star was selected for that show. 

Committee for the Arts photos click here

CFTA Poet Laureate 

Please click here for a PDF for the 2014 Poet Laureate Call for Applications

April, 2012 GDT.jpg 

April 6, 2012 example of poet laureate and youth outreach: This Gloucester Daily Times photograph captures the excitement of a poetry program at East Gloucester Elementary School that featured Gloucester Poet Laureate, Ruthanne Collinson along with Young Audiences of Massachusetts performer David Zucker and Gloucester author/artist Pat Lowery Collins for a dazzling celebration of poetry. Children were also reminded to write or find a poem to bring and share on National Poem in Your Pocket Day. The program was supported in part by a grant from the Gloucester Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, and on behalf of the City of Gloucester, the Committee for the Arts, and the PTO. Ms. Collinson attended West Parish! There is also annual youth outreach for poetry-- the poet laureateparticipates in Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free's Poetry Without Paper Competition and during the month of May participates in Gloucester Education Foundation City Wide arts festival 
Gloucester's former Poet Laureates Ruthanne Collinson, served July 2010-2014

Public Artworks in Need

There are approximately objects in the collection. The City of Gloucester allocated $5000 towards the CFTA for fiscal year 2013. If you would like to join the effort to care for the irreplaceable City art-- including the historic murals-- and the work of the CFTA, contributions in support of our City art can me mailed to:

The Gloucester Fund
45 Middle Street
Gloucester, MA 01930
Be sure to put "Committee for the Arts" on the memo line of the check.

Civic Art Collection and Public Art Documents

--coming soon--
Revised City Ordinance 2012
Memorial Bench
Proposed Gifts of Artwork
Sample artist contract: Public Art
PDF 2013 HarborWalk Public Art Challenge (closed)
FAQs Public Art 

CFTA in the News

2013 March: Press Release Announcing $13,200 in new private donation
Work to Begin on WPA Murals in Gloucester City Hall, Cape Ann Beacon

Gloucester has two cultural districts officially designated by the Massachusetts Cultural Council! 
Screenshot_060314_084543_PM.jpgScreenshot_060914_111029_AM.jpgDowntown Harbortown Cultural District and Rocky Neck 


The Committee for the Arts mission is to further the City’s deep cultural heritage and promote its contemporary arts by:

  • maintaining Gloucester’s WPA murals and other City-owned art 
  • developing and promoting educational programs 
  • establishing awards and honors that recognize local artists including the position of Gloucester Poet Laureate 
  • implementing a City-wide public art policy and commissioning process 
  • developing mutually beneficial arts partnerships 
  • encouraging the creation and promotion of arts projects created in and/or about Gloucester 
  • advising City officials on the value of a diverse, cultural life for all citizens 
  • encouraging arts programs within the public schools


Agendas are available prior to Committee meetings.
Minutes are available once approved by the CFTA.
Most recent Minutes | All Minutes


The Committee has 7 members, each serving a 4 year term.

Last Name
First Name
To Expire
16 Highland Street

Hoglander Judith   Chair February 14, 2017

February 14, 2016

February 14, 2017

February 14, 2016
Haverkamp Robert 

  February 14, 2017

February 14, 2017 

Mayor's Representative
February 14, 2016

CFTA History
Thank you to previous CFTA members

Kyrouz Auditorium photo, City Hall © Chuck Choi

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