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-8PM) 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 May through day before Labor Day, September are 11AM until at least 8:00pm  As of Labor Day, through the end of September, 11AM until at least 6PM.    

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-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 items acquired for resale.  Prior participants must apply each year -the amount of time allotted 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 ih 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 to be added to the waiting list for the upcoming season.

Artists selections based on quality and variety.  

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

Schedule and Staffing:

Following is the 2015 season shanty schedule:

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

Each shanty must be staffed by a participating artist or assistant during operating hours.
As a gide, each season runs similar time frame to the dates and times above. 

Rotating Shanty:
To accommodate the number of qualified artists , 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 11:00AM.

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

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

2016 License fee schedule:
Weekend artists:
Payment of $65 ($65 rental fee, $5 parking fee) is due in full with signed contract. 
Weekly artists:
Payment of $135  ($110 towards rental, $25 parking fee) is due with the signed contract. 
Balance due April 1st.
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.                                                

Weekend fee:

Friday-Sunday:    $75.00 (each weekend)                                                                                           
        (This includes being open on Monday, Memorial Day)


June/July/August:   $235 per week
September:             $175 per week    Rate goes from first FULL week in September.  

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.  

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