Boston’s Latin Quarter Recognized as an Official Massachusetts Cultural District

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Jamaica Plain, MA — On Tuesday, May 22, the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) Board of Directors voted to designate Boston’s Latin Quarter as an official Massachusetts Cultural District.

Two years ago, in an effort led by Hyde Square Task Force youth, the Boston City Council voted 13-0 to recognize the neighborhood as Boston’s Latin Quarter. Hyde Square Task Force then began the effort to obtain official cultural district designation. Latino immigrants have had 60 years of history and impact in our neighborhood and the designation honors that. Located in the Hyde/Jackson Square neighborhood of Jamaica Plain, the Latin Quarter is a bustling business and cultural district that has over 125 businesses — the majority immigrant-owned — including many Latino specialty shops and restaurants.

“The Latin Quarter is important to me because I believe in diversity and I strongly believe that all cultures have a place in the city,” reflected Mabel, HSTF youth, yesterday at a press conference announcing the news. Barbara Wallace Grossman, Vice-Chair of the Massachusetts Cultural Council Board of Directors, described the Latin Quarter as “diverse, colorful, and loving” and acknowledged the youth who served as the catalyst for this work.

And the good news continues. The City of Boston, in partnership with Hyde Square Task Force, was awarded a $100,000 grant through the Our Town Program of the National Endowment for the Arts to support long-term planning for the Latin Quarter Cultural District. Hyde Square Task Force will serve as the Managing Partner for the cultural district, and this investment comes at just the right time. We look forward to engaging community stakeholders in this planning process.

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