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


About HyArts 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 $80,000. Over the eight year life of the program the collective earnings of 300 artists is over $800,000. 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. A half million 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 generous funding and support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and our grant partners, over 300 artists have enjoyed increased sales and recognition through their participation in the HyA Program.  This program continues with the generous grant support of the Massachusetts Cultural Council,  Adams Grant, along with our partners the Main Street Business Improvement District (BID), Cape Cod Art Association (CCAA), Arts Foundation of Cape Cod (AFCC), the Hyannis Area Chamber of Commerce and in coordination with Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce.

When are the artist shanties open? 
Each year the shanties open Friday through Sunday (11AM-5PM) mid -May through the end of June.  Open Monday, Memorial Day and Monday, Labor Day. 
The last full week of  June through the end of September, the shanties are open seven days a week. 
Hours in prime summer months are 11AM until 8PM.  As of Labor Day, through the end of September, 11AM until 5PM.    

2015 Program overview:

Selection Process:
In order to participate, each artist’s work must be juried in to ensure the quality and variety of work offered. All pieces must be original hand-crafted and unique. 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 acquired for resale.

Schedule and Staffing:
Following is the 2015 season shanty schedule:
Final hours TBD prior to start of season

¨ Weekends, Friday-Sunday   11 am to 8 pm from  May 15th through June 21st.  Also open on  Memorial Day
¨ Seven days a week   11 am to 8 pm from June 22nd  through September 6th
¨ Seven days a week   11 am to 6 pm from September 7th through September 27th

Each shanty must be staffed by a participating artist or assistant during operating hours.
Artists are strongly encouraged to share a shanty with other juried artists to meet the staffing commitment.  

Rotating Shanty:
To accommodate the number of qualified artists unable to commit to an entire season, several shanties are reserved to rotate artists on a weekly basis from Monday through Sunday. 
Artists are responsible for removing their work at the end of the evening on Sunday and new artists may set up Monday morning prior to 11AM.

In addition, shanties may accommodate an artist on a monthly basis or will feature artists for the entire season. 

License fee schedule for full season artists:
Once approved through the jury process, full payment for May/June is due with the signed contract; balance due dates are included in contract agreement.  Monthly artist rent is due on the first of each month for July, August and September.

License fee schedule for rotating artists:
Weekend artists:
Payment of $65 ($60 rental fee, $5 parking fee) is due in full with signed contract. 
Weekly artists:
Payment of $125  ($110 towards rental, $15 parking fee) is due with the signed contract. 
Balance due April 3rd, 2015 for June/July artists and by May 1, 2015 for August/September artists
Artists sharing the shanties shall coordinate payments and submit ONE check as deposit and ONE as balance due.

Parking passes:
A fee for the use of one parking pass for the rotating week is included in the shanty license fee.                                                

Insurance Requirements:

Full season artists must provide a copy of liability insurance in the amount of $250,000 naming the Town of Barnstable as additional insured with the $1mil/$2mil limit for injuries or damages to persons or property arising out of any use of the permitted area.
Artists in the rotating and monthly shanties are required to sign a waiver of liability for insurance purposes. 

Please note:  Currently our Procurement Department is reviewing the Town of Barnstable’s  insurance policy requirements for the shanty program.  In the event coverage requirements change and a group policy is established, the cost would be shared among all artists and therefore the rents may be subject to change.  The additional fee, if any, would be minimal (most likely not more than $25 per artist).

Please note that the fees listed below include the charge for the parking pass:

Weekend fee:
Friday-Sunday:    $65.00 (each weekend)                                                                                           
        (This includes being open on Monday, Memorial Day)

Full Season:
May/June:              $300 (total for the two months)
July, August:          $475/month
September:           $400  

June/July/August:   $225 per week
September:             $175 per week  (first full week in Sept.  Week of 8/31-labor day is $225/week)


The town of Barnstable is required to document the program's success through data collected by participants.  It is kept confidential and used for grant reports, applications and planning purposes.   This includes:
¨ Sales Reports:  Artists are required to submit the daily number of sales transactions,  revenue in dollars, and number of visitors to their shanty to the Arts and Culture Coordinator or her designee within one week of the end of the contract.  Failure to submit reports will result in exclusion from the shanty program in subsequent years. Full season artists are required to submit the reports on a monthly basis and are due on the 10th day of the following month.                                                    
¨ Visitor Surveys: Artists are also required to submit a minimum of one visitor survey per day each day of your stay at the shanty.

The forms for the sales reporting and visitor survey will be provided by the Arts and Culture Coordinator.

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 arts & crafts, complete the application, available on the home page.  
Please contact  Melissa Hersh, 508-862-4767 or with additional questions.

Each artist’s work must be approved by the HyA jury to participate to ensure the quality and variety of work offered. All pieces must be original work from the artists; hand made and unique, and 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 during operating hours. Week slots run from Monday to Sunday.  

Rules and Regulations for shanty artists:
No shanty may be left unattended.  An approved artist or artist representative must be available  during required hours of operation.  Failure to meet this requirement will result in termination  of the license.

ALL additional items for sale must be approved by the Town if not approved during the jury  process. Items for sale CANNOT include t-shirts (unless original artist design and previously  juried), food, or products bought or acquired for resale.  All items must be the original work of the  artists.

Bismore Park is town owned property and therefore all participants must abide by the Town  ordinances which expressly prohibit the use of alcoholic beverages, illegal conduct or activities of a  lewd and lascivious nature (including public nudity).

All trash must be contained in appropriate containers and either disposed of in the dumpster  or removed from the park.  Please do not put trash in the regular barrels.  The dumpster is  located on the south side of the visitor center.  No dumping of hazardous materials in any form, e.g.  paints, thinners, varnish, etc., is allowed.

Artists are responsible for general maintenance of the shanty and the grounds immediately  surrounding it must be kept in good order and repair. Upon failure to do so, permission may be  withdrawn and the license cancelled and rescinded. Driving or parking on the grass is strictly  prohibited.

It is the artists’ responsibility to maintain the inside of the shanty to ensure safe and appropriate  public access.

The Hydrangea bushes and beach grass surrounding the boardwalk were planted to complement  the overall appearance of the harbor front and shanties.  Please do not cut the flowers or beach  grass for use in the shanties. 

Public restrooms are located in the Harbormaster’s building adjacent to Bismore Park.

For specific maintenance issues, please email Melissa Hersh at the address above,
or call the Growth Management Department main number at 508-862-4678.

Shanty and padlock keys are issued to each contracted artist.  If a key is lost and new keys are  required, there will be an additional $25 fee. If an artist chooses to use his or her own padlock,  three  sets of keys are required in case Town staff needs to access the shanty during non-operational  hours for repair purposes. The artist will be notified prior to any such repair work.

Rotating artists must call Melissa Hersh at (508) 862-4767 to schedule an appointment to pick up  your keys and/or parking pass. Please do not stop by without calling first to confirm. At the end of  your week, the keys should be returned to the Growth Management Department, 3rd floor Town  Hall, 367 Main Street, Hyannis.

Artists are required to report the number of visitors to their shanty, number of sales made, and dollar  revenue. This information is maintained by the Town to document the success of the program and  the information is kept confidential. FULL SEASON ARTISTS must submit the report by the 7th  day of following month and ROTATING ARTISTS within three days of the completion of their shanty  license.  Failure to submit the reports will result in rescission of the license and/or the opportunity to  participate in subsequent years.  Reports can be mailed or delivered to Melissa Hersh.

Visitor intercept surveys are designed to gather additional data for grant reporting purposes.   Artists are asked to survey at least one person per day (more are welcome) during contracted  time. The Town will provide copies of the surveys and will collect them at the end of each week. 

If you do not have access to a credit card machine or smart phone app (square up) , customers can be referred to the ATM
machine at the Hy-Line Ferry terminal.     

FULL SEASON ARTISTS must provide a copy of their liability insurance in the amount of  $250,000 prior to the start of the season, naming the Town as additional insured for injuries or  damages to persons or property arising out of any use of the permitted area. Failure to do so shall  be grounds for cancellation and rescission of this license. Please mail to the address above.

ROTATING SHANTY ARTISTS may secure their own insurance.  By signing the contract you are also signing a general release and indemnification agreement to the Town of Barnstable. 

FULL SEASON:  The license fee for May/June in the amount of $300 is due prior to the end of April.   The license fee of $475 each for the months of July, August and $350 for September,  is due on the first of each month, beginning July 1st, payable to the Town of Barnstable (please  reference shanty color) and mailed or delivered to Melissa Hersh.

MONTHLY:  The monthly license fee is $475; a deposit of $175 is required with the signed contract  and will be applied toward your contracted month; the balance is due ten (10) days prior to  your contracted start date.

ROTATING WEEKLY:  The weekly license fee is $225; $175 per week in September.  A deposit of $110 plus $15.00 parking fee is required with the signed  contract and will be applied toward your contracted week; the balance is due either first week of April or May depending on assigned dates. 

WEEKEND RENTALS:  The license fee of $65.00 for each weekend is due with the signed  contract.  I
If you are renting for more than one weekend, please call Melissa Hersh to make payment  arrangements.

FULL SEASON:  Full season artists may obtain a seasonal parking pass for $25 which allows for  parking across from Bismore Park on the right hand side of Bay Street or behind the Harbor Hotel in  spaces designated “Boat Owner Parking Only”.  Artists may park briefly in front of the shanties for  loading/unloading purposes ONLY.   Tailgates should be left open and a sign in window indicating you are unloading items at the shatnies.  The check, made payable to the Town of Barnstable, should  be mailed with the signed contract.

ROTATING SHANTY: There will be ONE seasonal parking pass for each rotating shanty.   This allows for parking across from Bismore Park on the right hand  side of Bay Street, or behind the Harbor Hotel in spaces designated “Boat Owner Parking Only”.  At  the end of the week the pass must be returned to the Growth Management Department or a $25 fee  will be charged. 
Weekly periods run from Monday to Sunday night.  Artists are responsible for removing their work on Sunday evening.  The incoming artist will set up early Monday  morning and be ready to open for business at 11AM.  Keys to the shanty must be returned to the Growth Management Department, 367 Main Street, 3rd  Floor, within two (2) days of the completion of your week. 

In the event of severe, inclement weather which may place the safety of the artists and their work in  jeopardy, shanties will close.  Any artist who closes their shanty (for reasons other than inclement weather ) prior to notifying the Arts and Culture Coordinator will be in violation of their license. 

The website ( will include information on each artist. Artists should email a brief (3-5 sentences maximum) bio about you and your work,  including contact information, website link, as well as one or two high resolution pictures (no more than  200-400px wide and if possible, images should be 72dpi).

• The interior of the shanty is 8’ x 10’.
• There is one small track light with four lights. It is recommended that you bring extra lighting (clip lights or lamps).
• There is no wireless internet access or WiFi.
• There is no furniture in the shanty.
• There are no window coverings.
• The front and side doors have padlocks. If you wish to bring your own set of padlocks, we require three sets of keys in the event town staff needs access for repairs. (You would be given advance notice is this became necessary.)
• The Harbormaster’s office provides security 24/7 during June through August and during the daylight hours in May and September.
• Insurance coverage is recommended for the rotating shanty artists but not required.
• One parking pass per shanty is provided by the Town; additional passes are $25 each. Parking is allowed on Bay Street, across from the shanties and Artists can park in the Town Hall parking lot as well. The pass must be hung on the mirror of your car.
• No driving or parking on the grass at any time is allowed.
• Park at your own risk; tickets will not be waived if you are illegally parked or pass is not properly displayed.
• No A-frame signs, hand-written signs, or banners are allowed inside or outside the shanties.
• Artwork is encouraged to be displayed on the outside of the shanty and on the doors. Be careful not to block the entryway.
• The Town produces advertising brochures that are distributed to local hotels, restaurants, and other area businesses.
• Additional advertising is provided via facebook, the HyArts website, banners, posters, the local cable channel, weekly press releases and emails to various organizations as well as through connections with tour groups/Cape Cod Chamber/Cape Cod Concierge group.
• It is strongly encouraged that you self promote via your own advertising channels.
• The following are items that past participants have found helpful:
 Entry rug
 Clear plastic covering for over the doorway of the side ramp. (Side ramps are for delivery only as  they are not ADA compliant)
 Sunscreen/sunblock/hats
 Extra sweater/jacket/blanket
 Radio
 Extra lighting
 Chair or table from home; rug for the interior of the shanty

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