Dartmouth Cultural Center, Inc.
is a grassroots organization based in the Town of Dartmouth Massachusetts. We are incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable group
dedicated to preserving, maintaining, and
enriching the cultural life of our community.


Our Mission

The Dartmouth Cultural Center, Inc. strives to be a community partner, enriching the quality of life for all Dartmouth residents. Our goals are to protect the rich heritage of Old Southworth Library and to encourage an appreciation of local artists, and artisans. We will accomplish these goals by offering educational activities, presenting the works of local artists and art groups, and partnering and collaborating with others committed to the arts in our community. 


As we take possession of the building it becomes even more apparent how this beautiful historic structure is in need of restoration. This brick and stone structure, built to serve the public, is in need of some TLC to bring it back to its days of glory. Over the first three years of our lease, with the support of the community, many parts will be restored with attention to historic detail. With any structure of this vintage, ongoing maintenance is a vital aspect in preserving the vision of the original founders. Through hard work, persistence, donations, and grants we will breathe new life into this precious gem for all to enjoy. 

We invite you to visit our Education pages to learn more.

Watch the Video Below to Learn More

How did Olde Southworth Library begin? Why does it matter? What is its legacy? What will happen to it now? Watch the video to learn more.

The importance of the Southworth Library to the community cannot be overstated...The building is quite distinguished and designed in the style of the time, Richardson Romanesque, which represents a distinctly American expression to a relatively young nation.
— James Thomas, AIA, Principal


We do not want to see Old Southworth rezoned for commercial purposes! Our goal is to preserve and protect the wonderful neighborhood feeling that has existed in Padanaram Village.

We are working hard to protect Old Southworth Library and the community. That means continuing the building's 129-year use: housing educational activities and serving the public on a small, human scale. This continuation of this type of usage will  enrich the quality of life for Dartmouth residents and visitors, without any of the impact of commercial zoning or private ownership.

Please help us get the message out!


How Will The Building Be repurposed?

  • The exterior will remain as close to the original appearance as possible.

  • The interior features, including fireplace, stained glass windows, turreted rooms, will be preserved and open to the public.

  • The Dartmouth Cultural Center will enrich the quality of life in the community.

  • Local artists and artisans will have a small venue to share their gifts and talents with residents and neighbors.

  • Local artists, artisans, and historians will use the classroom-sized spaces for workshops, demonstrations, and presentations to small groups.

  • Residents will have hands-on opportunities to learn about handcrafts such as quilting, bookbinding, embroidery, rug-hooking, and more, from local experts

  • Community artists will have opportunities to exhibit their works.

Old Southworth Library as it appeared about 100 years ago.

Old Southworth Library as it appeared about 100 years ago.