The Town of Concord has two Cultural Districts:
- Concord Center Cultural District
- West Concord Junction Cultural District
Concord Center Cultural District
Picturesque New England village with a revolutionary past (one of the first battles of the American Revolution took place at the North Bridge), an amazing literary history (home to Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson) – and a lively performing and visual arts scene.
Where we are?
A 45-minute drive from Boston or accessible by MBTA commuter rail. A good starting point: Monument Square.
Explore: There’s no better way to immerse yourself in revolutionary lore than by visiting on Patriot’s Day: The parade features Minutemen, a fife and drum corps, and historical re-enactors on horseback. Fast forward: Musicals and comedies are on tap at the Concord Players. Also based in the Performing Arts Center: the Concord Band and the Concord Orchestra. The Emerson Umbrella Center for the Arts is a lively hub for the visual and performing arts. Its theatre hosts an eclectic schedule of plays and musicals; the art gallery presents exhibitions of the Umbrella’s 50+ resident artists and other guest artists. The Umbrella’s twice-yearly Open Studios are a chance to meet all the artists and see their work — complete and in process.
The list of Concord’s literary legends reads like a 19th- century Who’s Who of American Literature. Explore Orchard House, home of Little Women author Louisa May Alcott. The Old Manse was Nathaniel Hawthorne’s home and a gathering place for intellectuals. Transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson’s study is in the Concord Museum. Not in the district but nearby: Walden Pond, where Walden author and naturalist Henry David Thoreau famously lived for two years. The independent Concord Bookshop stocks titles of Concord authors, past and present.
West Concord Junction Cultural District
West Concord, in the past few years, has developed into an active and vibrant cultural area, aided by the rebuilding of the Bradford Mill, and its ArtScape studios housing 20 artists; and the completion of Brookside Square, with 74 residential units, 30,000 square feet of commercial space, and a public courtyard that was developed to host outdoor performances and public art. Unique shops like Debra’s Natural Gourmet, West Concord 5&10, noa Designs, Concord Outfitters, Firefly, Forever Tile, and Phillips Fine Paint and Design create varied shopping experiences. Concord Youth Theatre, Concord Conservatory of Music, West Concord Dance Academy, and Dance Prism offer performances, concerts, classes and workshops. Merlin’s Silver Star Studio, Three Stones Gallery, Robin Original Studio, and Brock & Co. Gallery add to the art scene.
West Concord has become a dining destination offering a wide-range of options which include casual cafés, a specialty ice cream shop, two local bakeries, and “farm to table” fine dining.
The District is home to a number of annual events: Concord Give Back Day, the Annual ArtWalk, West Concord Open Studios, Discover West Concord Day, The Tastes of Concord Wine and Food event, West Concord’s Early Bird Shopping Day (it starts at 5:30am!), and an annual outdoor summer film series held in Rideout Park.
The Bruce Freeman Rail Trail will be extended through West Concord and is on schedule to be completed in 2018. The completed bike path will cross through the site of the historic railroad crossing and add a new dimension to visiting the Junction.
Download our West Concord Junction Cultural District Map.
More Information: Click here for our Calendar of Events