In keeping with its guiding principals and practices, the Cultural Center invites submissions  from  both emerging and established artists and from those with special needs and challenges.

With the exception of its Annual Members’ Exhibition in January, the exhibits it hosts are open to all.

The Center typically issues three or four calls for art submissions each year (though it hosts approximately 80 other exhibits through rentals and invitationals). Open calls are  usually based on a theme of wide appeal. Most are juried by the directors. Submission fees, which help to defray expenses, are very reasonable. In some cases, they are waived.


Online Competition

The Cultural Center of Cape Cod invites artists worldwide to submit images to our online competition, AMPLIFY.  Deadline is Friday, October 13, 2017 at 11:59pm (MST)
All winners will be displayed in our online gallery at First Place $500, Second Place $200, Third Place $100. The Cultural Center directors will jury.
Music is a powerful force. It motivates, relaxes, inspires, and gives us goosebumps. We can grieve with it, create to it, tap our toes to it, and sweat with it. Scientifically it synchronizes our brainwaves and can literally heal us. We tell stories through music, express emotions, celebrate through it. We can’t imagine a world without it. Show us your visual expression of music or a glimpse of how music shapes your world.100% of the proceeds will go towards the Alexander Holmes Memorial Recording Studio and Scholarship Fund. Artists of all mediums are encouraged to enter.

For a full prospectus, click here.

Entry for AMPLIFY is done through Cafe, a web-based service that allows artists to upload images and organize their artwork for submissions to galleries. To apply, you must leave our website and to to the Cafe website at where you can create a FREE artist account. You will add your details and upload your images to Cafe and then you can submit your work to AMPLIFY.

Please visit our online gallery  to view our previous call to photographers, APERTURES , SET IN MOTIONABSTRACTIONS and ELEMENTS|WATER.


Uplifting Art

UPLIFTING ART 2017 has ended, thank you to all who entered our annual elevator door competition. We will have an open call for next year, entries will begin in early 2018. Stay tuned for details.

Untitled, Katrin in Ashville Alleys by Christopher BrownBunny on Trampoline by Lisa Graf and Descent by Jackie Reeves

Flight by Kelly Ferguson, Dalia 2 by Asako Iwasawa and Towering Phragmites by Ed Chesnovitch


Poetry Competition

The Cultural Center of Cape Cod

11th Annual National & Regional Poetry Competition

A National Prize of $1000 will be awarded for a single, unpublished poem that has not won 1st prize in any national competition. Open to all U.S. residents 18 years & older. A Regional Prize of $250 will be awarded for a single, unpublished poem (that has not won 1st prize in any national competition) by an adult resident of Cape Cod, Nantucket, or Martha’s Vineyard. All Cape and Islands poets are also eligible for the National Award. A committee will judge.

General Guidelines

Submit up to three poems of any style or subject totaling no more than five pages with an entry fee of $15 by June 19, 2017 (postmark).

All entries should be typewritten on plain, white paper. The poet’s name should not appear on any page except the cover page, which should include name, address, phone number, and email address, the titles of the poems submitted, and a brief bio.

Simultaneous submissions are permitted, but please notify immediately if submissions are accepted for publication elsewhere.

Manuscripts will not be returned.

Winners will be notified and their names posted on the Cultural Center’s web site by September 2017. No other notification will be made.

Make checks payable to Cultural Center of Cape Cod. Mail submissions to Poetry Competition, Cultural Center of Cape Cod, 307 Old Main St., South Yarmouth, MA 02664

For more information, contact Associate Director Lauren Wolk at


The Cultural Center would like to thank all who submitted work to the 2017 National and Regional Poetry Competition. There were many excellent poems from which our committee could choose only two:

2017 National Winner of the Cultural Center poetry Competition is John Blair of San Marcos, Texas, for The Law of Unintended Consequences.
2017 Regional Winner is Diane Hanna of Cotuit, Massachusetts, for A Spicy 2,200,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).



John Blair’s work has appeared in Poetry, The Southern Review, Antioch Review, American Literature, The Georgia Review, The Sewanee Review, Shenandoah, Southern Poetry Review, Southern Humanities Review, Studies in the Novel and some three dozen other literary magazines and scholarly journals. He was won many awards, including the Drue Heinz Literature Prize, the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Poetry Prize, the Andrew Lytle Prize for Fiction, the Phoebe Winter Fiction Award, the Rumi Prize for Poetry , the St. Petersburg Review Prize in Poetry , the Tampa Review Prize in Poetry , the Florida Review Editors’ Prize in Poetry, the Tusculum Review Prize in Fiction, and the Dana Award in Poetry. Blair is a full professor at Texas State University, where he directs the undergraduate creative writing program and teaches American Literature.


The Law of Unintended Consequences

By John Blair


You have your unexpected benefit,

your unexpected drawback, and of course

the crowd favorite, perverse result, flitting

in last but never least on the powdered

wings of pointless butterflies. The Raj pays


for dead cobras in Dehli and people

breed cobras for pence in old chicken coops

and family kitchens. Ipso gets snake-bit

by facto, and when the Titanic sinks,

every ship gets new life-boats, and the Great


Lakes steamer Eastland, top-heavy with all

precaution, rolls at the dock and drowns eight-

hundred people on holiday. Perverse

perhaps just another way of saying

memento mori in a funny voice


with clown shoes on. You rolls the dice and you

takes your chances like they were pills of mouse

shit or any bad medicine that luck

passed your way and you don’t even ask what

for before you swallow and wait to see


what bang you’ve bought, how many ticks before

the cartoon starts. We’re the unintended

of some god’s loneliness and the raw scrape

of sin, or the first breath of accident

blowing up an ember. How could we have


been thought-through, with our bad habits and worse

intentions? One eye blind and the other

eye closed for business, or how else do you

explain it? What matters is that it is

as it was never meant to be, nihil


ad rem, and there’s nothing to be done but

relax into the random like good girls

and boys singing rain, rain, go away while

every root and stem drives thirsty into

the backs of the inconsolable fields.



Regional winner Dianne Hanna is best known for her Story Pictures in which she combines words and images for poetic and emotional effect. She believes that party dresses and stompy shoes should be worn as often as possible. Her work has appeared in numerous publications. She is also the author of Say It Right (Starrhill Press, 2009), and A Book of Weather Clues (Starrhill Press, 1986).


A Spicy 2,200,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU)

By Diane Hanna


I was a girl of the farmy lands

from a thick-stalked family of peasants,

familiar with root cellars and the eyes

of potatoes, cold linoleum,

smoke-stained wallpaper, The Reader’s Digest,

antimacassars, ashtrays, coal bins, casseroles,

road-side taverns.


What did I know of spice, save for tinned nutmeg

sprinkled in a made-from-scratch pumpkin pie cooling

on the window sill under the cherry tree, or paprika bland

as flour paste but pretty, fancying up a macaroni salad.


What did I know of poblanos, serranos, habeneros,

jalapenos, cayenne, rocotos, ghost peppers.

Anise, saffron, carry, wasabi, cumin, cardamom, tumeric

were as foreign to me as the sea, the girl who never minced

a garlic clove until she was twenty-three.


What did I know of spice?


What do I know now?


Only this: it is useful to know the names and the heat

of things so that words, when they come boiling like Vesuvio’s milk,

flaring like the breath of dragons, do not blister the tongue,

or set the fingertips on fire, scorch the bones, burn down

the flimsy walls of the heart.


Slice open a Carolina Reaper, one mean, demon

pepper, forget for one moment, touch your eyes, wait

for the blind tears to go on forever.





Bass River Press Poetry Competition

April 1 – August 1, 2017

In 2015, the Cultural Center of Cape Cod launched its first imprint, Bass River Press, to support local poets. Funded initially by the South Yarmouth Library Association and the Mid-Cape Cultural Council, the press published its first collection of poetry in April 2016: On the Loose by Cotuit poet Judith Askew, selected by judge Tony Hoagland. In April 2017, with support from the South Yarmouth Library Association, Bass River Press will publish a second collection, Wild Water Child by Hyannis poet Rose Auslander, selected by judge Elizabeth Bradfield.

On April 27 at 7pm, the Cultural Center will host a launch party and reading, with an open mic, to celebrate the publication of Wild Water Child. All are welcome.

Bass River Press now seeks manuscripts for its third annual publication. This year, judge Lisa Starr, former poet laureate of Rhode Island, will review submissions and select the winning manuscript. Bass River Press invites all full- or part-time residents of the Cape & Islands to submit work. Please read the complete guidelines before submitting your collection.

In the fall of 2017, Bass River Press will also release a call for artwork to determine the cover design of the publication. The cover art contest will be conducted anonymously. The winning cover art will be selected by the poet chosen for publication, and the artist will receive a cash prize of $200 along with 2 copies of the collection upon release. Specific guidelines for cover art submissions will be released at a later date.


Bass River Press will accept only original, unpublished collections of poems. Individual poems from the manuscript previously published in chapbooks, magazines, journals, or anthologies are eligible, but the collection as a whole must be unpublished.

The manuscript must be typed, between 48 and 64 pages total in a standard 12 pt. font with 1 inch margins. No illustrations. Please include a table of contents with your completed manuscript. The manuscript must be paginated. The poet’s name should not appear anywhere on the manuscript except the cover page. Multiple submissions are accepted, but each must be accompanied by a separate entry fee. Poets with previously published collections are eligible to submit, along with first-time poets. The former winners of Bass River Press’s manuscript contests are not eligible to submit.

Submission Fee

There will be a non-refundable submission fee of $20 for each manuscript entry. Checks should be made out to the Cultural Center of Cape Cod. As an independent, nonprofit literary press, Bass River Press will use submission fees to cover some – but by no means all – of the cost of reviewing, publishing, and distributing materials.

How to Submit

*Hard copies of collections are preferred! Please mail your manuscript and submission fee to:

Attn: Angela Howes

Cultural Center of Cape Cod

307 Old Main St.

South Yarmouth, MA 02664


Within the package, please include a title page with your name, address, phone number, email address, and the title of your collection. Also include a second title page with the title of your manuscript only.


*Electronic submissions are also acceptable. All online submissions must be sent as an attachment to in Word or PDF form, with “Submission to Bass River Press” in the subject line of the email. In the body of the email, please include your name, address, phone number, email address, and the title of your collection. Entries submitted in the body of the email instead of as an attachment will NOT be accepted. In the attached document, include a title page with your manuscript title only. All email submissions must be accompanied by a $20 submission fee mailed to the address above. Any submissions lacking a corresponding submission fee will not be considered for publication.



The postmark and online submission deadline is August 1, 2017.


In addition to having his/her manuscript printed and distributed by Bass River Press, the winning poet will receive 10% royalties along with 5 copies of the collection. The Cultural Center of Cape Cod will also hold a reading for the selected poet.

Any Questions?

Please contact Editor Angela Howes at with any questions, or consult our website at Supervising Editor Lauren Wolk can be reached at, or by phone at 508-394-7100.


To submit a proposal to exhibit, perform, or teach at the Cultural Center, please scroll down.


The Cultural Center hosts upwards of 80 exhibits each year. Some feature submissions to local or national exhibits initiated by the Center. Most are hosted by individuals or groups of artists who rent one or more of the four available galleries. Occasionally, the Center will agree to an “invitational” exhibit by an artist or group. The Center makes every effort to schedule exhibits so that opening receptions for all participants align. To learn more about the galleries, please visit our Events and Exhibits page.

If you are interested in showing your work in one of our galleries, please send an email to Executive Director Robert Nash at with the following information: preferred month/year, preferred gallery space (if known), number of weeks, artist(s) involved, medium, theme (if any), and contact information including a phone number and street address. Please also include a brief bio for each artist, a website (if one exists), and one or more jpegs of work that represents what you plan to exhibit. Mr. Nash will contact you for further information.

If you would prefer, you may click here to fill out a Gallery Proposal form.

The Cultural Center supports both emerging and established literary and performing artists with a wide variety of concerts, plus plays, readings, films, and other events. If you would like to perform or present at the Cultural Center, please send an email to Executive Director Robert Nash at with the following information: type of performance/presentation, preferred dates, links to websites with examples of your work, a brief bio (or a link to one), and contact information including a phone number and street address. Mr. Nash will contact you for further information.

If you would prefer, click here to fill out a Event Proposal form.

The Cultural Center of Cape Cod offers a wide range of classes and workshops for all levels of art. Each class is presented by an artist who has extensive knowledge and skills in the subject he/she presents. All classes are limited to a certain number of attendees to maximize their learning experience… and yours. We offer instruction in visual art, culinary art, literary art, music and movement for people of all ages and abilities. If you are interested in teaching at the Cultural Center, click here to fill out an Instructor Proposal form.