The Provincetown Community Compact, Inc. (The Compact) was established in 1993 as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization by artist Jay Critchley. It is organized as a community-building and philanthropic organization to support artists and the vitality of the community.
The mission of The Compact is to advance the health and cultural well being of the community of Provincetown and the Lower Cape – its people, the natural environment and the economy. Our initiatives include: The Swim For Life, Dune Shack Residencies, our Think-ubator program, Prayer Ribbons and special projects and initiatives.
The concept for The Compact was to recreate an inclusive, visionary and fully democratic contract with the community, reimagining the original Mayflower Compact, which was signed in Provincetown Harbor in 1620.
The Compact has envisioned Provincetown as a Cultural Sanctuary. As such, our projects express the connection between the arts, the community, and the environment. We explore the role and relevance of art and create experiences that break down divides, often in unexpected ways. The Compact projects strengthen the interdependence of people and place in order to nurture and promote sustainability.
Jay Critchley, president
Regina Binder, chair
When people gather with passion and vision great things are accomplished. Held every September and celebrating its 32nd year, the Swim For Life & Paddler Flotilla is a quintessential Provincetown tradition. It has become a catalyst for a nurturing community, offering connectedness, healthy exercise and continuity for those who return year after year.
Provincetown Harbor has one of the largest natural harbors in the world and thousands of swimmers & kayakers have braved its unpredictable waters − its chilly currents, surging tides, and their deep fears − raising $4M for AIDS, women’s health and the community.
The historic Dune Shacks are located within the Cape Cod National Seashore and protected by the Peaked Hill Bars National Register district. They remain fixed indelibly in the consciousness of the local community and along with the public, emerging and established artists are given the opportunity for creative solitude in a pristine and fragile environment. Our programs support and enhance federal public access and interpretive goals while strengthening the community bonds of people and place.
Stays in the shacks are open to all, while certain weeks are set aside for selected artists, writers and organizations. We offer a $500 fellowship to one artist in residence and we partially subsidize weeks for three jury-selected visual artists.Learn More
Since 1993, The Compact has nurtured and supported dozens of artist and community projects. We help incubate ideas that serve people and place by providing guidance and support for grass roots projects and organizations.
Through fiscal sponsorship and management of social, environmental and artistic projects that fit within the mission of the organization, the Think-Ubator helps creative ideas become reality with tax-exempt donations, budgetary accountability and strategic planning . Many have since formed their own non-profits and become vital contributors to our community.Learn More
A living archive honoring those we love with messages, prayers, gratitude and tributes - both living and deceased. Prayer Ribbons were initiated in 1993 at the Provincetown Swim for Life to provide a visual witness to the swimmers as they crossed the Provincetown Harbor from Long Point to the Boatslip, each swimmer with his or her own personal images, hopes and fears. All are invited to inscribe the names of those they love on one of the five-foot long colored ribbons – and personal messages – to those they wish to celebrate in their lives, both living and deceased.Learn More
We would like to thank the many thoughtful contributors who graciously participated in the building of this site. We especially appreciate the support of Marisa Geraghty Photography and Mike Syers for their wonderful images.