Provincetown Community Compact

Nurturing Community

Things To Do Flyer

The Provincetown Community Compact awarded a grant from the National Park Service to document LGBTQ history within the Provincetown National Register Historic District

Press: Provincetown Magazine:
Press: WBZ News:

Date: April 16, 2024

The Provincetown Community Compact has been awarded a grant from the National Park Service to document LGBTQ history within the Provincetown National Register Historic District. The district has nearly 1200 structures within a three-square mile area, one of the largest districts in Massachusetts. The grant is for $49,999 for a two-year project.

The National Park Service announced $1,250,000 in grants to 21 projects in 19 states and the District of Columbia for the survey and nomination of sites and districts associated with communities that are underrepresented in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).    National Park Service awards $1.25 million to recognize historic underrepresented communities - Office of Communications (U.S. National Park Service) (

The Underrepresented Communities Grant program is funded by the Historic Preservation Fund and administered by the National Park Service.

“The Compact sees this award as a milestone for the community, both residents and visitors, making visible this significant aspect of our collective memory through the built environment,” states Compact director Jay Critchley. “It reflects our mission of nurturing community through the integration of culture, the economy and the environment. We have a singular American story to tell,” he added.

Provincetown is one of three sites nationally to focus on LGBTQ recognition, along with the state of Colorado and the Chelsea Hotel in New York City. Other underrepresented grants include migrant workers in Florida, Black architecture sites in Washington, DC and African American sites in Kansas.

Beginning in the early 20th century, Provincetown emerged as one of the nation’s most significant cultural enclaves attracting artists, writers, actors and musicians, and those associated with the arts, many who were LGBTQ individuals.

- Its LGBTQ population became more visible post-World War II, sustaining its association with the arts and culture and through its connection to Boston and NYC.
- By the 1970s and through the AIDS epidemic, the town was a well-established destination for LGBTQ activism and tourism that nurtured cultural, creative, and political connections.
- Today, it is one of the nation’s most prominent LGBTQ-associated towns with compelling historic LGBTQ sites that are not currently recognized.

The proposed 24-month project will increase the underrepresentation of LGBTQ history on the NRHP by amending the existing NRHP historic district. The period of significance will commence in the early 20th century, the earliest documented LGBTQ history in the PRHD, through ca. 1996, to encompass the extraordinary significance of the AIDS pandemic in the town. The contributions of those marginalized within the LGBTQ umbrella, including women and transgender, non-binary, and gender variant people, will be documented.

The Compact has assembled a team of volunteer advisors and scholars, together with community engagement, to help with this endeavor over the next two years.

The Compact was founded in 1983 by artist Jay Critchley. Its mission is to advance the health and cultural well-being of Provincetown and the Outer Cape - its people, the natural environment and the economy. Their initiatives include: Dune Shack residencies, the Thinkubator program, Prayer Ribbons, the Swim for Life (the 37th benefit is September 7, 2024), and special community projects.

For more information about The Compact: Provincetown Community Compact - P. O. Box 819 - Provincetown, MA 02657 USA