The Compact


Grant Awards Meeting May 1st


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.

Public informational meeting

 The Compact Community Fund 2018 Grant Awards The Provincetown Community Compact establishes grant awards to celebrate its 25th anniversary Application Guidelines Artist Award ApplicationCommunity Project Award Application 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.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.   

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.   

The Compact and its Founder and Director receive a Provincetown Film Fest Award

The Provincetown Community Compact and its founder and director, artist Jay Critchley, were given special recognition from the 2017 Provincetown Film Festival for 30 years of community building, which includes the 30th Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla (Sept. 9). One of The Compact’s initiatives, the Think-ubator, nurtures grass roots projects through tax-deductible fiscal sponsorship. The Film Fest was incubated by The Compact for five years before the festival became it’s own non-profit


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The Provincetown Community Compact

PO Box 819

Provincetown, MA 02657​