Cultural District Director Accepts New Position

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[Disclosure: LynnHappens editor Seth Albaum was part of the committee that laid the groundwork for the Downtown Lynn Cultural District – one of the state’s first – and has been an active participant.]

Downtown Lynn Cultural District Director Emily Ruddock has recently been offered a full time position at a company where she once worked part time, called MarketCast. She says it’s too good of an opportunity to turn down, and that it combines her creative side with her passion for data and research. More specifically, the work that she will do may impact future movie trailers that you see.

Sadly for us, that means she is leaving as Director of the Downtown Lynn Cultural District after 11 months. However, she will continue as administrator for the Lynn Cultural Council.

One of Emily Ruddock’s notable accomplishments in her past eleven months as director was working with Councilor at Large / State Representative Brendan Crighton to establish a Public Art Commission, to which the final appointments will be made soon. But Ruddock has also been busy planning events, meeting with district stakeholders and helping to raise the district’s profile within the state.


LR: Lorin Buksa (Girls Inc), Laurel Messina (NSCC) and Emily Ruddock (DTLCD) at a District Meet and Greet last June. ©Bob Bond

“There are so many successes that I count the district having done. We’ve done about nine events, all told. Block parties, more intimate artist talks at the museum” says Ruddock, whose efforts have resurrected some of Lynn’s favorite 3rd Thursday activities like the Pizza Bake-off and Clock to the Rock 5k and infused them with music and cultural elements.


“As Lynn Cultural Council chair and a proud DTL resident, I’ve been very impressed by Emily’s positive energy and dedication throughout her tenure in the Cultural District. She will be missed! We wish her all the best in her next professional endeavor.” – Sarah Jackson

Creator Conversations were another initiative of Ruddock’s. She hosted informal forums for artists and creative-types, anyone – really, to sit around a table, speak their minds about district growth, challenges and to network with one another. To be inclusive, these rotated amongst various arts organizations and venues in the city. (Here’s an old calendar listing for one held at Raw Art Works.) In a similar fashion, Ruddock also hosted “Stakeholder” meetings involving city and arts organization representatives at rotating times and locations listen to their input and to encourage collaboration.

Perhaps less known, have been her efforts to bring the Downtown Lynn Cultural District to state-level conversations about the arts. March 25th, she brought a group of folks to the State House for Mass Creative‘s Arts Matter Advocacy Day. One of Ruddock’s earliest actions was to gather up a bunch of artists and stakeholders (I was one of them) to attend a gubernatorial debate in Worcester with an emphasis on the arts.

“We at Arts After Hours are very grateful for Emily’s work over the past year. Her amplification of the importance of the arts in the process of renewal of our beloved Downtown has been nothing short of extraordinary. The business community, residents of Lynn, and local and state politicians all are at the table because of Emily’s dedication to her role. We will definitely miss her and wish her the best of luck.” – Mike Crounse, President, Board of Directors of Arts After Hours.

Some of Emily Ruddock’s efforts are going to continue, including a rebirth of 3rd Thursdays – perhaps not always on a Thursday – but as regular arts events in Central Square. Hopefully the city will announce an interim person soon, but her shoes will be hard to fill.

As president of the Downtown Lynn Neighborhood Association and Editor of, I appreciate all Ruddock has done to provide a focal point for artistic endeavors and enliven the neighborhood. Also, with all the different missions, agendas and personalities inevitably involved in the arts, we have been lucky to have someone so universally liked to start us off on the right foot.

-Seth Albaum

More were sought for quotes – but it was a last minute idea to include them. If more come in, they’ll be added below. Or, you can add yours right now in the comments below!

Quiet storm, great to work with some one who says something and then is hands on to help achieve the goal.
Gonna miss that spirit, who ever she lands with is blessed to have her
Jason Cruz

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