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Our Community

Courtesy Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum

“Heroes are not giant statues framed against a red sky.They are people who say: This is my community, and it is my responsibility to make it better.” -Studs Terkel

Site of the Pilgrims’ First Landing, home of the country’s oldest, continuously operating art colony, and land of the Cape Cod National Seashore, our community has a rich heritage, is considered one of the most desirable places in the world to live, and attracts visitors from around the globe.

Early location of Seamen's Bank

Ten years before the civil war, Seamen’s Bank was founded by a group of philanthropists to serve the citizens of this community. Seamen’s was incorporated as a mutual bank, owned by its depositors and not by stockholders. Seamen’s continues as an independent bank, dedicated to meeting the needs of local individuals and businesses, and reinvesting the money deposited in Seamen’s Bank for the health and growth of our community.

The Arts

Provincetown Art Association and Museum
Provincetown Art Association and MuseumThe Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM) was established in 1914 by prominent artists Charles Hawthorne, Oscar Gieberich, William Halsall, Gerrit Beneker, E. Ambrose Webster and several local business men and women including Seamen’s Bank President William H. Young who served as the President of PAAM for 22 years. Seamen’s Bank is honored to continue this tradition of support as the major supporter of the PAAM’s100th Anniversary celebrations.

PAAM
The backbone of our art colony, offers cultural opportunities for everyone. The Museum School offers classes and workshops for children and adults. Year-round activities include exhibition tours, panels, and talks on art-related themes. The galleries also offer chamber music, jazz, dance and spoken word performances. PAAM’s addition of the contemporary wing—adjacent to the original building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places—enables artist members to show their work in contemporary galleries beside the significant American art collection and other world-class exhibitions.

Fine Arts Work Center
Fine Arts Work CenterThe Fine Arts Work Center, founded in 1968, is dedicated to encouraging emerging visual artists and writers, and to the year-round vitality of the historic art colony of Provincetown. The Work Center is internationally known for its acclaimed Fellowship residency program, summer workshop program, online writing classes, and MFA program in collaboration with MassArt.

Each year the Center brings nationally recognized artists and writers to the Cape’s tip for lectures, readings and exhibitions — all free and open to the public and enjoyed by thousands of people in the community.

Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill
Truro Center for the Arts at Castle HillCastle Hill fosters the arts and crafts by providing a wide range of instruction for adults and children. Castle Hill holds exhibitions, lectures, forums, concerts and other similar activities in order to promote social interaction among artists, craftsmen, laymen, and the community at large. Operating year round, Castle Hill is an vibrant year round resource.

Performing Arts

Eugene O'Neill - Courtesy Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown MuseumEugene O’Neill’s involvement with the Provincetown Players began in mid-1916 and led to Provincetown becoming the undisputed birthplace of Modern American drama. Ever since the Provincetown Players produced Eugene O’Neill’s Bound East for Cardiff, the town has hosted and nurtured playwrights and writers from Tennessee Williams to contemporary award-winners such as Norman Mailer, Michael Cunningham, Wendy Kesselman, Paula Vogel and John Guare.

The Provincetown Theater Company
The Provincetown Theater Company has a Winter Reading Series that supports the development of new plays by American artists; produces original plays and established works; and provides educational and training opportunities.

Provincetown International Film Festival
The Provincetown International Film Festival is one of the country’s preeminent film festivals, presenting diverse programming that reflects the town’s unique place in American history — its arts colony, Portuguese fishing village, and gay American inhabitants.

Tennessee Williams Theater Festival
This annual festival offers an immersion into the creative life of Tennessee Williams, one of the world’s most influential playwrights through performances of his enduring classics as well as his little-known experimental work.

Payomet Performing Arts Center
Payomet audiences expect, and get, national talent on the local stage. Amid the roar of applause for a Grammy-winning music artist, under the colored lights of their open-air dance floor, or at a performance of Shakespeare, the Payomet tent in Truro can be magical. Operating year round, Payomet also presents shows at the First Congregational Church in Wellfleet, Wellfleet Preservation Hall and Provincetown Town Hall.

Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater
WHAT provides an alternative theater experience not found elsewhere in the region and advances and preserves the art of the theater. In addition to noteworthy plays, WHAT presents movies, opera, community events and a summer program for children.

Harbor Stage Company
Wellfleet’s Harbor Stage Company strives to preserve and promote the legacy of challenging live performance on the Outer Cape. The Harbor Stage prizes innovation and is committed to making their performances accessible to the broadest possible community.

Wellfleet Preservation Hall
“Prez” Hall brings a great sense of community to Wellfleet’s charming Main Street. The year-round schedule includes a film series, concerts, dances, workshops and classes.

Preserving Our History

250 families made up of 7,100 Pilgrims came from England to the New World in the 1600s. The 102 traveling on The Mayflower landed, not at a rock, but in the deep waters of beautiful Cape Cod Bay. Descendants of these early settlers live here today on land granted to their forefathers by kings of England. The Portuguese brought their warm, colorful culture, along with their expertise in whaling and fishing to Provincetown. Old New Englanders in Wellfleet were joined by French Canadians who were drawn by fertile mackerel grounds in the mid-19th century. Lively towns, filled with industrious tradesmen, merchants and teachers, grew around those that harvested the land and the sea.

Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown MuseumThe railroad came to the tip of the Cape in 1873. Aboard were artists and writers who became inspired by the natural surroundings, each other and their intriguing neighbors. The train and steamships marked the beginnings of streams of tourists and summer people. Roads were built, bridges over the Cape Cod Canal opened in 1935 and the automobile brought an ever greater influx of visitors. The economy dramatically changed and led us into the leadership we hold in the hospitality industry of the 21st century.

“History cannot give us a program for the future, but it can give us a fuller understanding of ourselves, and of our common humanity, so that we can better face the future.” -Robert Penn Warren

The Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum
Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown MuseumThe Pilgrim Monument commemorates the Mayflower Pilgrims’ first landing in the New World in Provincetown, in November 1620. Here the Pilgrims drew up and signed the Mayflower Compact, a foundation for the United States Constitution. The Provincetown Museum educates the public about Provincetown’s role in Pilgrim history and American history. Millions of visitors and generations of local residents have admired and climbed the 252-foot granite Pilgrim Monument, something that honors our role in democracy and freedom.

Provincetown Portuguese Festival
Provincetown Portuguese FestivalThe annual Blessing of the Fleet and Portuguese Festival honors the Provincetown Fleet and celebrates all Portuguese culture with decorations, dancing, a parade, music and cuisine. One doesn’t have to be Portuguese to enjoy these vibrant, family-friendly festivities.

Truro Historical Society
Truro Historical Society - Fisher Beach 1923The Truro Historical Society takes one back to the past through its collection of artifacts, images, and historical documents on display and in repository at the Highland House Museum and Cobb Archive. The Museum hosts summer events and activities designed around Truro’s rich local history. It is located next to the Highland Links Golf Course and the Highland Light, an active lighthouse in the Cape Cod National Seashore. Highland Light is the oldest and tallest lighthouse on Cape Cod.

“As the tides constantly change, so does our community. Yet, like the ocean, our essence remains the same.”

Wellfleet Historical Society & Museum
Wellfleet Historical Society & MuseumThe Wellfleet Historical Museum’s collection offers reminders of the social, cultural and economic milestones of Wellfleet’s diverse and fascinating history. The eclectic assemblage of artifacts in the permanent exhibits represents the unique character of Wellfleet’s history of whaling, fishing, oystering, farming, shipping (and wrecking), surf lifesaving, salt making, and the worldwide voyages of its residents.

Eastham Historical Society
Eastham Historical SocietyThe Eastham Historical Society is the steward for historically important collections in three museums. The Schoolhouse Museum is housed in a one-room schoolhouse built in 1869. The Swift-Daley House is furnished with articles ranging from Colonial to Victorian, reflecting the long period when the house was home to many generations. Set behind the Swift-Daley House, the Olde Shop is a gift shop is filled with fascinating treasures from antiques to hand-crafted items from local artisans.

Our Natural Surroundings

Cape Codders, aware of the magnificence of their natural environment, work to preserve, celebrate and honor their surroundings. While more widely thought of for the waters around us, Cape Codders also have an age-old connection to the land.

Cape Cod National Seashore.
Cape Cod National SeashorePresident John F. Kennedy signed the Cape Cod National Seashore bill in 1961 “to preserve the natural and historic values of a portion of Cape Cod for the inspiration and enjoyment of people all over the United States.” Now we have 40 miles of protected shorelines and 43,604 acres of ponds, marshes, dunes and upland forests surrounding the communities where we live. By securing natural landscapes, diverse species of plants and animals, cranberry bogs, lighthouses and antique homes, the National Seashore allows us to step into Cape Cod’s past. The Park’s Visitor Centers, programs, beaches, waterways, nature trails and bike paths give us, and our visitors, access to our heritage and our present day place in our country.

Mass Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
Wellfleet Bay provides peace and unmatched beauty on 937 acres of hillsides and shoreline overlooking Wellfleet Harbor. The sanctuary features a universally accessible trail, award-winning “green” nature center with professional exhibits and aquariums, summer camp and year-round programs in education, research and conservation.

Wellfleet Oyster Fest
Wellfleet Oyster Fest - Kim KelterThis family festival celebrates Wellfleet’s famous oysters, clams and shellfishing traditions bringing together locals and visitors alike for hometown flavor and big time fun! Local cuisine, arts and crafts, educational programs, cooking demonstrations, children’s activities, walking tours, live music, a road race, and the annual Oyster Shuck-Off competition mean there’s something for everyone.

Oyster Fest is produced by Wellfleet Shellfish Promotion and Tasting, Inc. (SPAT), a non-profit organization devoted to fostering a greater understanding of the shellfishing industry, to preserving its history and traditions and to protecting its harbor, aquaculture and wild fisheries.

“Most of the people who come to the lower Cape have come because they love this country. They have come, many of them, to make their homes permanent, summer and winter. With many of them there is an involvement with this piece of land that is peculiar and deep.
The Cape is not just a pleasant country for vacationing, but the place beyond all others where they wish to live.”
 -Mary Heaton Vorse

Sustainable CAPE
Sustainable CAPE’s Truro Agricultural Fair – celebrating Agriculture, Aquaculture, Fishing and Farming– is an annual Truro event featuring an array of locally harvested foods from land and sea, and encouraging an appreciation of traditional harvesting active on Cape Cod today. Sustainable CAPE’s mission is to demonstrate the direct link between local food, sustainable health and wellness, and the importance of preserving the fragile land and water resources that directly enable our local harvest.

Sustainable CAPE also runs the Truro Farmers’ Market and a “farm to school” program that takes students out and about so they can see where food comes from and how it is produced.

Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies
Provincetown Center for Coastal StudiesCoastal Studies conducts scientific research with emphasis on marine mammals; promotes stewardship of coastal and marine ecosystems; and conducts educational activities that encourage the responsible use and conservation of coastal and marine ecosystems. The Center is the only organization on the east coast authorized by National Marine Fisheries Service to disentangle large, free swimming whales. The Center is generally most well-known for saving whales and other marine animals such as dolphins and porpoises, seals and sea turtles.

Great Provincetown Schooner Regatta
The Great Provincetown Schooner Regatta celebrates the role of the Great Atlantic fishing bank schooner in Provincetown’s maritime history while providing opportunities to experience these historic vessels in port and at sea. The Regatta shares the story of Provincetown’s place in the traditional fishing industry and educates the younger generations about the days of Cape Cod’s past, when commerce and transportation truly ‘ran with the wind’. The regatta includes schooners, catboats, other historic vessels, modern sailing yachts and small boats.

Eastham Turnip Festival
Eastham was once the country’s turnip capitol, with an abundance of fields including at Brackett Farm where Seamen’s Bank now stands. The Turnip Festival celebrates this history with all kinds of turnip fun including a cook-off, tastings, games, crafts and music.

Health

The organizations attending to the health concerns of our citizens are supported by volunteers, donors and creative fundraising events. The Provincetown Harbor Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla is a quintessential Provincetown tradition symbolizing the heroic efforts of a community once devastated by AIDS and its unequivocal response to it. This successful event now serves as a benefit for AIDS, women’s health and community.

“How very fortunate we are to live here, in this, our community.”

Outer Cape Health Services provides comprehensive primary care, walk-in care and specialty care, along with a range of supportive services, to residents, workers and visitors.The AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod, one of the first AIDS organizations established in the United States, works to foster health, independence and dignity for people living with HIV/AIDS and Viral Hepatitis by providing care, support and housing. Helping Our Women (HOW) educates, empowers and supports women as they cope with chronic disease and life threatening illnesses. Each town is supported by trained fire and rescue personnel, many working on a volunteer basis.

Youth

Puma Park - TruroCape Cod Children’s Place is a non-profit resource, referral, and education center committed to providing high-quality care, support, and advocacy for families with young children in order to sustain a healthy community for Cape Cod’s future. Playgrounds, skateboard parks and school athletic programs are supported by community organizations, businesses and private donors.

Our Community MembersWhether from families that have lived here for generations, or they moved here when they fell in love with our community, Seamen’s Bank employees are an integral part of the towns where they live and work. Trustees and staff members invest their time, energy, and expertise to give back to the community as volunteers and active members of community organizations.

Our commitment to our community is further reflected by direct, generous financial support from the Bank’s Charitable Foundation. Seamen’s is an active participant in, and major sponsor of, fundraising events benefiting local health, educational and cultural organizations.

Cape Codders are known for their strong sense of community. Seamen’s Bank, an integral part of that community, remains committed solely to its customers and their community.