The Compact



Grant Awards, deadline June 15



The Provincetown Community Compact, Inc. (The Compact) was established in 1993 by Jay Critchley as a community-building and philanthropic organization to support the vitality of a changing community. We are celebrating our 25th year!


The mission of The Compact is to nurture the health and cultural well being of Provincetown and the Lower Cape towns of Truro and Wellfleet – its people, the natural environment and the economy.



As we commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ arrival in the New World in 1620 and honor the First Nation people, the vision of The Compact becomes increasingly relevant. Inspired by the signing of the Mayflower Compact in Provincetown Harbor, The “Compact” broadens and elaborates on the legacy of Provincetown as a community with an historic global reach of inclusion and acknowledges that difference creates richness


  The Compact also acts as a grass-roots incubator (Think-ubator) for social, environmental and artistic projects. The Compact has envisioned Provincetown as a Cultural Sanctuary. As such, our projects express the connection between the arts, the community, the economy and the environment.


The Compact's projects strengthen the interdependence of people and place in order to nurture the creative process and promote sustainability. 

Swim For Life
Dune Shacks

Swim For Life 

One of the largest community gatherings on Cape Cod & celebrating 31 years of raising funds for AIDS, Women’s Health Organizations and the Community.

Dune Shacks

Artists, writers and the public are invited to apply for a stay at an historic dune shack set in the Cape Cod National Seashore.


The Compact helps creative ideas become reality by supporting dozens of artist and community projects with fiscal sponsorship and much more.


The Provincetown Community Compact is pleased to announce the 2018 Dune Shack Artists and Writers Residencies. The Provincetown Community Compact has announced the selection of Tasha Lewis as the recipient of the artist in residence fellowship of $500 and three weeks in the C-Scape Dune Shack. Two additional artists selected for three-week residencies include Stacy Caldwell and Jenn Wood.  Writers selected for funded writer’s weeks include Jonathan Pitts and Ralph Bousquet. The Compact, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, manages two dune shacks in the Cape Cod National Seashore, located in the Peaked Hill Bars Historic District. The public is invited to apply for weeklong stays, which run from April to November. The deadline for 2019 is January 15. The Compact’s mission is to nurture the community of the Lower Cape and it’s Thinkubator program offers fiscal sponsorship for local artists’ and community projects. The Compact also sponsors The Provincetown Swim for Life and Paddler Flotilla, which has raised $5M dollars for AIDS, women’s health and the community since 1988. This year’s Swim for Life is scheduled for September 8. Tasha Lewis, recipient of the 2018 Dune Shack Fellowship, lives in Jersey City, NJ. Her recent work engages marine imagery in the form of macrame corals, glass beads evoking barnacles and snails, and dyed ombré textiles.  Tasha will be working on the embellishment of new 1/4 size figurines with her signature thread and beadwork and Classical Greek inspired vessels during her fellowship. Stacy Caldwell, residency recipient, is a plein air landscape painter based in Lancaster, PA.  She studied painting with Robert Andriulli at Millersville University whom she considers a key influence. She paints daily in the environs of Lancaster and has exhibited there and on Block Island, RI. Jenn Wood, residency recipient, has been exhibited in Brooklyn, NY, Boston/Cambridge, Provincetown, Los Angeles, and other locations. Wood is based in the Boston area and has taught studio art courses at UMass Lowell, UMass Dartmouth, Quincy College, and regional art centers. Jonathan Pitts is a published writer and Associate Professor of English at Ohio Northern University.  “Little People”, a work of creative nonfiction, was awarded The Missouri Review Editors’ Prize for Nonfiction in 2001 and the Donald Murray Prize for Best Published Essay on the Teaching of Writing by the National Council of Teachers of English in 2003. Ralph Bousquet is returning to Cape Cod where he lived until leaving to attend Hampshire College in Amherst. He is currently working on a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry at New York University. He has published poetry in a number of reviews and periodicals including Ponder Review, Every Writer’s Resource, The Reader, Mainsheet, and Kaleidoscope.             ​

The Compact Community Fund 2018 Grant Awards

 The Provincetown Community Compact establishes grant awards to celebrate its 25th anniversary  --    The Compact Community Fund was established to further the mission of the The Compact by recognizing artists and creative projects and endeavors that enhance the quality of life and further the sustainability of the environment, culture and economy and of the Lower Cape. With 2018 marking The Compact’s 25th anniversary, the board of directors has created The Compact Community Fund Grant Awards for individuals who shine a creative and imaginative light or tackle challenging and overlooked issues in the community. The award is open to year round Provincetown and Truro residents only. Artist Award ApplicationCommunity Project Award Application How to apply: Two grants of $2500 each will be awarded in 2018. 1. Artist Award. One award will be granted to a year round artist, writer, actor, musician or performer age 18-30. The Compact is pleased to be collaborating with Provincetown Schools where a studio/work space will be available – details to be worked out. The artist will submit five images, twenty pages of writing or a link to 5 minutes of video, along with a bio and artist statement about why they are living in Provincetown and how it is contributing to and inspiring their work (up to 250 words). 2. Community Project Award. The second $2500 grant is open to all year round residents of Provincetown of any age. Please submit a project application that proposes to enhance the quality of life and furthers the sustainability of the culture, economy and environment of the Lower Cape. Deadline June 15, 2018. Awards announced in July. Grant year, September 1, 2018 to August 31, 2019. We look forward to seeing your application. We appreciate your interest.    ​

Provincetown Compact at 25

Provincetown Magazine, April 26, 2018 -- This year marks the 25th anniversary of a Provincetown institution. The Provincetown Community Compact was founded by Jay Critchley in 1993 as an organization that would help artists, individuals, and small organizations raise funds for ideas that would contribute to the culture and environment of Provincetown. Since its inception, it has contributed to the successes of many of the town’s most important cultural and philanthropic organizations, not the least of which is the Swim for Life. Critchley took some time to walk down memory lane with us and prepare us for what is to come in the next 25 years.​ READ FULL ARTICLE

Come celebrate with us!​

  The Provincetown Community Compact launches its 25th anniversary with The Compact Chronicles – the story of this grass-roots community organization through the eyes of artist and founder, Jay Critchley From 1993 to the present, The Compact has initiated dozens of projects through its , including five, successful non-profit organizations and managed two dune shack residencies in . Its signature event, the  has raised $5M for AiDS, women’s health and the community. The Compact Chronicles will periodically highlight these projects on our website and Facebook pages throughout our anniversary year.  Thank you for your support! The Compact Chronicles​​

Chapter 1:  The Compact Chronicles

  Twenty-five years of nurturing community!  As I set (real) pen to paper to exhume the stories of this grass-roots organization far out on the tip of our beloved country, I ask: Why celebrate 25? Is it a magic number? Or are twenty-five year incremental celebrations in our DNA?  So why should it be questioned? One reason, I guess, is that we question everything here in Provincetown. But we also look for results – with attitude. So what do we see? Is there a symbiotic connection between our unfolding community and the transformational shifts of our spiral spit of sand?  How does The Compact help define this vortex of a community? Sitting by a cozy fire in Fowler Dune Shack in the month of January, I write about this journey, about our stories of inspired individuals who imaginatively created positive community impact, some forming important, non-profit cultural organizations: The Compact Chronicles: 25 years of nurturing community. As we commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ arrival in the New World in 1620 and honor the Wampanoag Nation, the vision of The Compact becomes increasingly relevant. Inspired by the signing of the Mayflower Compact in Provincetown Harbor, The “Compact” broadens and elaborates on the legacy of Provincetown as a community with an historic global reach of inclusion and acknowledges that differences creates richness. Do we see the world in a grain of sand?  1993: The Birth It was the mid-1990s. The real estate bubble was taking off. AIDS was devastating the community and the fishing industry was in decline following tragic losses at sea. In 1976, seven men died on the Patricia Marie, four died on the Cap’n Bill in 1978 and three on the Victory II in 1984. There was much sadness and anger in the community. Yet, like the prow of a ship on the edge of an expansive sea, we always look to the horizon, unobstructed, with no barriers. We are global hunters, spanning across the seas for the next bountiful whale grounds. Twice a day the powerful tidal dance sets the pulse of the town, biomimicking legendary artist Hans Hofmann’s famous “push and pull” painting philosophy. But our welcoming shores are both receptive and vulnerable to migrations, natural disturbances and invisible pathogens: Portuguese fishermen in the mid 1800s; the devastating Portland Gale of 1898; the foray of adventurous artists and radical thinkers in the early 1900s; the 1960s counterculture; queers; and HIV. I lost many friends to the disease, attending weekly memorial services at the UU Meeting House, harbor beaches, the west end breakwater, Race Point and numerous other special locales that celebrated special lives. At one service I threw one of Paula’s high heel shoes off the breakwater in honor of her feisty drag persona. She was my tenant, as were Michael, John, Doug and…how can I forget someone? But there were so many. The Compact was registered as a non-profit in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1993 after my return from massage school in Santa Fe, New Mexico. On May 13, 1994 it were granted tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service. The Swim for Life, an AIDS fundraiser, was founded five years earlier and had no fiscal sponsor. At the time I was also in need of a non-profit to apply for an art grant, along with others in the community. Thus was born The Compact and its embryonic community-centric mission from this original document.   


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