The HYArts district nurtures and celebrates the creativity and talent of established and emerging Cape Cod artists.


About the Hyannis HyArts Artist Shanties

In 2005, the town designed and built a boardwalk and installed seven artist shanties to serve as affordable, unique studio and gallery space for local artists and artisans. The shanty program, an integral component of the HyArts District summer program, has flourished and continues to grow each year, garnering overwhelmingly positive feedback from both the arts community and residents and visitors.

This popular attraction provides a picturesque setting to view art made by both man and nature. A visit to the artist shanties guarantees a cultural experience that is unmatched! This is a unique opportunity to meet Cape Cod artists and watch them work along the inspiring backdrop of Hyannis harbor.

As part of the program the town collects data from the artists who participate each season. The data includes number of visitors and items sold as well as artist revenues. The town uses this information to track program progress and for grant reporting and applications.

Since it’s inception in 2005, this arts program has been a successful venue for participating artists. In the first season 11 artists collectively earned over $80,000.  In 12 seasons (through 2016) the collective earnings of  600 artists is over one million dollars.  The program is designed to support arts and culture in downtown Hyannis with the ultimate goal of increasing visitors to the harbor area and downtown. Over 800,000  visitors have visited the shanties since 2005.

In 2009 two shanties were moved from the center of the boardwalk to new locations at either end providing a move open view of the harbor. Over the years visitors enjoy a myriad of mediums found at the shanties including fiber art, watercolor, pastels, oils, pressed seaweed, photography, gouache paintings, pen and ink drawings, rope work, jewelry, pottery, wood carving, scrimshaw, glass work, fine tapestry and much more.

Through prior funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council Adams Grant and programming support from our  Hyannis HyArts Cultural District  partners, hundreds of artists have enjoyed increased sales and recognition through their participation in the artist shanty program.  The success of this program continues today, and we thank local and regional media outlets and our cultural district partners including the Hyannis Main Street Business Improvement District (BID), Cape Cod Art Association (CCAA), Arts Foundation of Cape Cod (AFCC), Cape Cod Maritime Museum, the Greater Hyannis Chamber of Commerce, and value the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce promotional support. 

When are the artist shanties open? 
Each year the shanties open weekends May through Mid June, Friday through Sunday (11AM-at least 8PM).  This includes Monday, Memorial Day. 
Seven days a week, from the third week of June through Monday, Columbus Day.  
Hours May through the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, hours are 11:00 am until at least 8:00pm  
Hours Monday, Labor Day, through Monday, Columbus Day,  hours are 11:00 am until at least 6:00pm.    

Program overview:

Selection Process:
In order to participate, artists must be a Cape Cod resident ; each artist’s work must be juried in order to ensure the quality and variety of work offered. All pieces must be original hand-made or hand-crafted. Any items not approved during the jury process must be approved by the Town of Barnstable’s Arts and Culture Coordinator prior to selling in the shanty. Items for sale CANNOT include food or products bought or items acquired for resale. Prior participants must apply each year -the amount of time allotted in the shanties for each artist varies from year to year.

Applications are due by close of business, the fourth (4th) Friday in October each year. 

Jury of artists will be conducted in November and December and the decision on all applications received from the October due date will be made by December 31st of each year.

There is a rolling application/jury process for all remaining openings (if any) and/or to be added to the waiting list for the upcoming season.

Artists selection process is bsed in part, on quality and variety of each media category.

Artists must complete an application and participate in the artist jury each year;  participation in the program and the amount of time granted to each artist in the shanties varies year to year.. 


2017 season:

Weekends, Friday-Sunday  11:00 am - at least 8:00 pm,
                                                  Friday, May 5th through June 11, 2017. 
                                                  Open Monday, Memorial Day, May 28, 2017.

Seven days a week              11:00 am - at least 8:00 pm
                                                 June 12th through September 3, 2017.

Seven days a week              11:00 am - at least 6:00 pm
                                                 Labor Day (Monday) September 4th
                                                 through Colubus Day (Monday), October 9th, 2017.

Each shanty must be staffed by a participating artist or assistant/friend/family member who knows the artists work well, during operating hours.
As a guide for subsequent years, each shanty season takes place during a similar time frame to the dates and times above. 

To accommodate the number of qualified artist, several shanties are reserved to rotate artists on a weekly basis, Monday through Sunday. 

Artists are responsible for removing their work out of the shanty and removing all nails/hooks at the end of the evening on Sunday. New artists may set up Monday morning prior to 11:00AM.

Some shanties may accommodate an artist for two back-to back weeks, on a monthly basis or feature an artist for the entire season. 

License fee schedule for full season artists:
Once approved through the jury process, a deposit of $135.00 is due by February 1st with the signed contract and balance due in full, by April 1st of each calendar year.

2017 License fee schedule:
Weekend artists:
$75.00 each weekend (Friday-Sunday).  Cost is the same for the Memorial Day weekend which inlcudes a four day weekend.
Payment is due in full with signed contract. 
Weekly artists:
$235.00  for full weeks, June/July/August  .  This fee includes one parking pass to use for the week.
Payment of $135 is due with the signed contract. Balance due Feb 1st. (Rolling admission applicants will pay in full with signed contract).

$175.00 for first FULL week of September dates, through end of the month.

$100.00 for first FULL week of October through end of shanty season (Columbus Day).

Artists sharing the shanties shall coordinate payments and submit ONE check as deposit and ONE as balance due.

Parking passes:
One parking pass is included in the rental fees.  A fee for the use of an additional parking pass for each week is $35.00.  This pass must be returned at the end of the week.                                               

How do I participate?
If you’re an artist or artisan whose primary residence is on Cape Cod and interested in a unique opportunity to showcase your handmade and handcrafted work, complete the application, available on the home page or in PDF resources. Please contact  Melissa Hersh, 508-862-4767 or with additional questions.

Each artist’s work must be approved through our artist jury to participate to ensure the quality and variety of work offered. All pieces must be original work from the artists; hand made or hand crafted and unique.  Any items not approved during the jury process must be approved by the Town's Arts & Culture Coordinator prior to selling in the shanty. Items for sale CANNOT include t-shirts (unless original artist design) food or products bought or acquired for resale only.

Each shanty is staffed by a participating artist (or their designated person) during operating hours. Weeks run from Monday through Sunday.  Set up is Monday morning, break-down Sunday evening.

For more information contact: Melissa Hersh, Arts and Culture Coordinator, at 508-862-4767 or at