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Committee for the Arts

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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.  

Save the Gloucester High School Civil War era coat given to Albert BachelerAs of April 1, 2016 nearly $2600 of the $3500 needed to repair the coat and improve the mount and display has been raised. We are grateful for the great media coverage it's received by Good Morning GloucesterCape Ann BeaconBay State Banner, and the Gloucester Daily TimesTo donate by mail: Gloucester Fund (Civil War Coat), 45 Middle Street, Gloucester, MA 01930 or c/o the Mayor's Office, (Civil War Coat) 9 Dale Avenue, Gloucester, MA 01930

To donate on line Civil War era slave's coat

Public Art: City WPA-era Murals

Year round, when City Hall and the library are open, make time to see examples of 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 the City of Gloucester continues to invest in our City’s arts and culture. Some of the murals were restored in 2014. 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 with the 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

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! 
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CFTA Poet Laureate 
The City Of Gloucester Committee for the Arts establishes awards and honors to recognize local artists -- including the position of the City of Gloucester Poet Laureate. The Poet Laureate is dedicated to building community through poetry and encouraging a love of poetry among people of all ages. Many fine poets live and write in the city of Gloucester and their poems have been widely published. The honorary post for the City of Gloucester was created in 1998. There have been 4 Poet Laureates: Vincent Ferrini was the City’s first, then John Ronan, Ruthanne Collinson, and Peter Todd. 

We are saddened to write that the 4th Poet Laureate for the City of Gloucester, Peter Albert Todd, passed away December 12, 2015. A self-taught poet, Todd wrote more than 800 poems and shared them humbly and generously, often in honor of family and community.  We can read his poems:

April 30, 2015, CFTA Poet Laureate: Read poems shared by Peter Todd, Collinson, and Ronan for East Gloucester Elementary Poem in Pocket Day 
April 10, 2015, Gloucester Daily Times: OUR VIEW column  by Gloucester's current Poet Laureate, Peter Todd, and former poet laureates: Ruthanne Collinson and John Ronan. 

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Photo taken April 6, 2012 shows an example of youth outreach via the Poet Laureate: 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 annual youth outreach for poetry-- the poet laureate participates 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 . Carry a Poem! Share a Poem! Look for the annual National Poem in Pocket Day each April.

Gloucester's former Poet Laureates Peter Todd served 2014-2015 and Ruthanne Collinson served July 2010-2014. John Ronan preceded Ms. Collinson as Poet Laureate and served 2008-2010, maintaining the website resource dedicated to Gloucester poets, Gloucester Poet Laureate, also for Salt and Light: An Anthology of Gloucester Poetry, published spring 2010. He is the host of the Cape Ann TV program, The Writer’s Block.  Vincent Ferrini was the first Poet Laureate (1998).

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 (Committee for the Arts)
45 Middle Street
Gloucester, MA 01930
Be sure to make the check out to 'the Gloucester Fund' and 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 
Please click here for a PDF for the 2014 Poet Laureate Call for Applications

Committee for the Arts photos click here

 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 

 2014 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 press release 

Click here for a partial listing of poetry events and opportunities around town April 2015

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2014: 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 were 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 of Justin Desilva crosswalk locations

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 up to 7 members, each serving a 4 year term.

Last Name
First Name
To Expire
Romeo Theken
Sefatia Mayor 978-281-9700

Hoglander Judith   Chair February 14, 2021
Reynolds Rebecca 

February 14, 2019
Haverkamp Robert 

  February 14, 2021

February 14, 2021 

February 14, 2018
Sicuranza Christopher   Mayor's Rep February 14, 2021

CFTA History
Thank you to previous CFTA members

Kyrouz Auditorium photo, City Hall © Chuck Choi


Press Release - Public Art Policy and the Arts and Cultural Initiative

Current Committee of the Arts Ordinance

Proposed Committee of the Arts Ordinance (12 Apr 16)

Annotated Proposed Ordinance (12 Apr 16)

2015 RFP for Public Art Consultant

Consultant Elizabeth Keithline's Final Report

2005 Policy Handbook Proposal

2012 Public Art Policy Proposal

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