Arts & Cultural District

Arts & Cultural District



There is a vibrant arts scene in New Rochelle and the City wishes to support artists and identify locations and policies that can help creativity and arts enterprises thrive. 

The City has hired CivicMoxie, LLC to create a plan for the new arts district to: 

*Conduct a survey of artists and arts/cultural organizations to determine space and affordability needs 

*Identify the best location and boundaries for the arts and cultural district 

*Recommend policies, governance and zoning to support arts and cultural uses and protect and grow affordable work and work/live spaces

Arts and Cultural District Plan
On November 19th Civic Moxie presented the results of their recent artist survey. View powerpoint presentation

On February 4, Civic Moxie presented their draft Arts-Cultural District Conceptual Plan.  View powerpoint presentation.

The Arts & Cultural District Plan is being finalized by the Department of Development and its consultant, Civic Moxie, hired to lead the effort.  The plan will include zoning recommendations for an area of the district to create live work space for artists.  Concurrent to the establishment of an Arts and Cultural District, the City is working to update and implement a new  Comprehensive Plan assisted by a state grant.  The recommended zoning changes for the Arts & Cultural District will be a part of the Comprehensive Plan to be approved by City Council in the Fall of this year.

1. Why is New Rochelle interested in establishing an Arts + Cultural District? There is a vibrant arts scene in New Rochelle, with a long history behind it. Some believe that all of the vibrant activities and people are somewhat hidden, and that the arts and culture of the City should be more visible. The City wishes to support artists of all kinds, by identifying locations and policies that can help creativity, culture, and arts enterprises thrive.

Many cities have created successful arts districts, such as Cleveland, Denver, Miami, and Portland, Maine. Establishing a special district dedicated to arts and culture can help existing arts organizations, cultural groups, and artists thrive, connect, and grow, while promoting economic activity and attracting visitors and businesses.  A district can also attract art buyers by offering a cluster of spaces and greater visibility for the arts. In addition, an arts and cultural district also offers amenities for residents of all ages, such as entertainment and educational programs.

2. Why do we need a plan? To create a successful Arts + Cultural district, the City needs to have a clear vision of what it would look like, who should be involved in establishing it, and what policies and strategies it should use. The plan will provide a roadmap showing how we can move towards a flourishing Arts + Cultural District, with goals and recommendations for both the short term and long term.

3. Who’s working on the Arts + Cultural District Plan? What are they doing? 
The City has hired urban planning firm
CivicMoxie, LLC , based in the Boston area, with strong experience working on arts district plans, working with arts organizations and artists, and expertise in urban design, economic development, other city planning projects. Along with economic development consultant Seidman Consulting, the CivicMoxie team is developing the plan for the new district.  Their work will include:

  • Conducting a survey of artists and arts/cultural organizations to determine
    space and affordability needs 
  • Leading public meetings and other community outreach efforts
    Identifying the best location and boundaries for the arts and cultural district
  • Creating a vision for the district including overall themes, location, urban design and programming recommendations
  • Recommending policies, governance, and zoning to support arts and
    cultural uses and protect and grow affordable work and work/live spaces 

City officials, key stakeholders, and local arts organization leaders, as well as individual artists, are also involved in planning the district—and will work to make it happen once the plan is complete!

4. Where is the district going to be? That’s part of the discussion! The City along with CivicMoxie want to know where local artists, organizations, and community members think it should be located.  In addition to conducting public outreach and surveying artists, the CivicMoxie team is studying the current demand for and supply of arts events, performance and work space, and various real estate uses.  They’re also mapping out potential sites for the district and conducting fieldwork to better understand the geography of arts and culture in New Rochelle.

5. When will the plan be finished? The planning process will last about six months. The Arts + Cultural District Plan kicked off in September 2015 and will be completed in February 2016.

6. Sounds interesting! How can I get involved? We encourage you to attend one (or more!) of the upcoming public meetings to share your ideas and feedback.  You can also email Suzanne Reider, Senior Project Manager at the City’s at to join the plan’s email list and find out about upcoming public events and other news, or track #ArtsCultureNR on Twitter.  Or you can simply check back on the city website for updates! 

7. Where can I find more information? For updates about the Arts + Cultural District Plan, please visit  For more information about CivicMoxie, please visit