A new promotional video spotlights the art, culture and community of West Concord. Courtesy image

New promo spotlights West Concord

March 8, 2024

By Andrew Stojkovich — Correspondent 

To some, industry and art may seem unrelated, perhaps even at odds. The story of West Concord, however, shows they can be two sides of the same coin — and community-driven creativity may be the force behind both. 

This throughline of creativity is highlighted in a new promotional video for West Concord.  

The Concord Visitor Center released the minute-and-a-half-long promo, produced by the West Concord Junction Cultural District Committee and funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, in recent days.  

“West Concord is a vibrant and innovative village known for its community vitality, energetic business and arts sectors, and recreational facilities,” said Select Board Clerk Mary Hartman.  

With visitors strolling Commonwealth Avenue, colorful plates in warm restaurants, and eclectic scenes of the arts, the video tries to capture West Concord life in its full breadth.  

“Part of the charge on the West Concord Junction Cultural District Committee is to raise awareness of features and attractions and general wonderfulness of the West Concord Cultural District,” said Carolyn Bottum, a member of the Committee.  

“The purpose of this video is really to fulfill that mission.”  

Celebrating a unique enclave 

The video, produced by the Luminous Creative Agency, displays vibrant, quaint aspects of West Concord that can sometimes get lost in the town’s established reputation as a cradle of literary and political revolutions.  

Joy Street owner Jen McGonigle, a member of Concord’s Economic Vitality Committee, said the business and arts community came together to make the clip a celebration of West Concord’s uniqueness.  

“We know that when visitors watch the video and come to the village for shopping, dining, the arts, and recreation, we have a livelier and more sustainable economic district which benefits everyone,” she said.  

Changing times, enduring spirit 

Just two miles from Concord Center, West Concord was once an industrial village of mills and factories. Today, it is a lively community bolstered by art-first businesses and organizations, such as Art for All and ArtScape.  

Bottum doesn’t feel that West Concord’s priorities have shifted since its industrial era: The same spirit that drove West Concord to produce centuries ago, she says, is the same spirit that drives West Concord to create today. 

“West Concord has always been a place for ‘makers,’” Bottum said.  

“In the 19th and early 20th century, that was reflected in industrial history … now it’s reflected not only in the art scene but in the many, many, many small businesses.” 

Bottum said the promo, which cost $4,000 to produce, will be promoted on the Concord Visitor Center’s website and YouTube page. 

Whetting an appetite for West Concord

The video includes footage of shops such as Twin Seafood, Debra’s Natural Gourmet, Concord Teacakes and Reasons to be Cheerful, to name a few. It’s crafted to whet the viewer’s appetite (figuratively and literally) for all things West Concord.  

“It’s a taste,” Bottum said. “There’s lots of other things they’re going to want to come see.” 

There are myriad ways to get to West Concord. Yet, visitors to town “are often surprised to learn that just two miles from Concord Center is another very walkable district with an industrial history all its own,” said Beth Williams, Concord’s tourism manager.  

West Concord’s industrial history gets a hat tip in the video with shots of the Commuter Rail and even the Rail Trail — modern reminders of the 120 trains per day that used to run through. 

The video marries West Concord’s past with its present in moments like a shot of the Edward Feather-designed grand mural on Beharrell Street. It expresses West Concord’s yesteryear — industry — in terms of West Concord’s today — art. 

“It’s a community that values art in many, many, many different ways,” Bottum said. “If you enjoy culture, it’s a wonderful place to come.”